Native Ads: The Future of Online Advertising

Regardless of how annoying or disruptive some online advertisements can get, we all have to remember one thing: advertising revenue is what keeps some of our favorite websites afloat. Maintaining and operating a website—especially those with their own domains—comes with a cost, after all. Digital advertising is one way to make sure that the people and infrastructure behind these free sites can continue to do whatever it is that makes you come back.

Unfortunately, traditional online ads are simply too disruptive to ignore. Anyone who has used the Internet has likely experienced opening pages that spawn multiple pop-ups with each click. It's this type of interruption—besides the rising risk of malware delivered through advertisements—that has resulted in the increased demand for ad blockers, or apps that are designed to "kill" advertisements before they ever get the chance to display whatever product or service it is that they're pushing. While ad blockers inherently result in a better browsing experience for site visitors and users, it certainly presents a challenge to advertisers.

Ultimately, preventing digital advertising from being seen is bad for the publishers and owners of our favorite sites. It's like watching free TV without the ads. It's something that media consumers in their living room would definitely want, but we usually forget to consider that these ads are what pay for the shows that we want to watch in the first place.

Display Ads and Native Ads

Some traditional online advertising formats, like display ads, are mostly to blame for the increase in ad blocker popularity. Internet users are simply too annoyed that they're compelled to adopt a solution that gets rid of ads altogether. And who can blame them? Display ads that pop up or animated ones that take forever to load will make anyone not care that ad blockers are slowly killing an important revenue stream for their favorite sites. And for mobile users, these animated ads and pop-ups aren't just disruptive—they can cost the user in terms of data.

Static banner ads, on the other hand, are considered to be tolerable, but they're mostly ignored. And let's face it—when was the last time you clicked on a banner ad?


Two samples of native ad sections, usually located at the bottom of article pages

This is where native ads can make a difference. Native advertisements are digital ads that take the form and function of the regular content of the platform that they're in. Whenever you see a section titled "sponsored posts" or "stories you might be interested in," on your favorite websites or social media feed, you're likely looking at native advertisements. The mechanisms behind these ad platforms allow publishers and advertisers to customize the look and copy that these ads use, which is why some can take the look and feel of a viral post, or come with a compelling title that takes you to other sites.

An effective digital marketing platform

According to one particular study on how effective online ads are, consumers are 52% more likely to check out a native ad than a traditional banner ad—and that's enough to make people consider it as the future of Internet advertising.

They're also considered safer. Since they're usually vetted by the site publisher and takes a little more work to get on a respected site, native ads are less likely to take users to a malicious site or lead to a malware infection.

Ultimately, these ads are designed to be more user-friendly, and studies have shown them to be more effective. Chances are, you've clicked on a few native ads recently. And if you have, your favorite site thanks you. And if you're a website operator or owner that hasn't made the shift towards native advertising yet, maybe it's time to update the way you deliver advertisements and sponsored posts to your site users. It's a win-win situation, and one that benefits the online community and Internet economy as a whole.

Native ads are definitely the way to go in terms of next-gen digital marketing, but the benefits come with a trade-off. Since native ads must follow the form and function of the content on the site that hosts them, they take a lot more work to create compared to traditional banner and display ads. While there are a number of tools and businesses that offer platforms to help you deal with the function, you're still going to need help with content. Luckily you're already looking at a platform that can help you with that. Post your requirements on Freelancer.com to find the professional copywriters and editors you need to get started. 

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Sean is a professional tech journalist and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer tech and information security for both print and online publications. He currently works for an IT security company by day and freelances at night.

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