By Jody Simon
Native advertising is a form of online advertising that closely resembles the form and function of the platform on which it appears. By creating ads in the same format as the content the users are there to consume, brands hope to provide a more organic advertising experience. With native advertising, brands experience above average user engagement, drawing higher click rates and shares.
While banner ads and online video pre-rolls may have some interactivity, they are not really all that different from traditional magazine ads and TV commercials. Even so, traditional forms of digital advertising take on extra power from improved targeting with consumer engagement, realizing an average of $3 on incremental sales for every $1 spent on advertising, according to Nielsen. This return on investment is why digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Snapchat and others constantly look for novel new ways to generate revenue through advertising. Their next step is to combine demographic targeting with native formats to further consumer engagement in more organic ways.
The challenge for many digital advertising platforms is to exploit the advantages of consumer targeting while delivering an authentic connection with users, rather than delivering advertising content that feels like a creepy big brother watching every move. When computerized algorithms track clicks and likes, the distinction between traditional and native advertising can be painfully apparent. For example, if you type in a search for information on franchising a business, every pop-up and banner ad for the next month will be about franchising. Many users find these unwanted ads uncomfortable and intrusive. But how can companies cut through the content clutter to deliver their message effectively
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