Best Practices For Native Advertising

People are savvier these days when it comes to identifying an ad online. But we also know that consumers love connecting with ideas and content, which means native advertising can be a huge asset in today’s digital scene. 

Native advertising is “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.” It has become a common practice for companies to pay to place native ads on social sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to name a few. Native advertising is unique in that it tries to avoid being annoyingly obtrusive. When people are online and are constantly bombarded with pop-up ads they get frustrated. Native ads are supposed to blend in with the website the user is on so it doesn’t stick out like a normal ad. Buzzfeed has been successful with native advertising by connecting companies’ advertisements with editorial content that relates.  They have been a shining example of how native advertising should be done. Below are some tips to utilize native advertising in the best way: 

  1. Deliberate targeting should not be a main focus


Businesses often focus on targeting their ads to a specific target market through filters like age, location, gender, etc. This is a practice used to get ads to the right target market. However, there is another way to do this. Buzzfeed, a global network for news and entertainment, has been able to naturally target people by placing native advertising with related content. An example of this would be the time that they place a Featured Partner ad for Captain Morgan (a native ad) with an article that talked about Captain Morgan. People who were interested in the article saw the ad. Most of the people that looked at the article were already interested in Captain Morgan and then saw the corresponding ad for a company they were already interested in.


  1. Ads should be engaging and relevant


As mentioned above, native advertising should be natural — it should never be forced. Native advertising is successful when the ads that appear relate to the people that see them. The purpose is to advertise relevant content to people without making it obvious that it’s a sales pitch. People respond better when things aren’t gimmicky or pushy.


  1. Use ads with people in them


Native ads that feature people in them appear to be more genuine and appealing. According to, “people-based ads” are great at establishing “deep engagement.” They help with brand familiarity more so than an object image does. People relate more with other people and this can help with brand affinity by getting a person to connect on an emotional level with the brand.


  1. Tell a story


The best way to draw people to your business is to interest them. Yes, this can be done with headlines and cool graphics but people are really attracted to stories that make them feel a certain way. Sales promotions are everywhere and people see them all day long. If your business can use native ads that stand out by telling a funny, emotional, or exciting story that will go further.


  1. Ads should be PART of a bigger campaign. 


Native advertising works well for top-of-funnel ads. You can capture new leads by the interest you garner in native advertising. However, the native ad may not be what actually gets them to convert. The actual conversion comes further down in the funnel once you’ve retargeted them with deterministic data and retargeting. By connecting the dots between IP address and Mobile Ad IDs, physical addresses, and other persona records we can send smart ad campaigns that truly convert. We know that when we use smarter data, we can make native ad design do its job so much more effectively!