What is native advertising?

March 30, 2017

Native has completely transformed digital advertising. But what is native advertising exactly? At its simplest, it's a form of paid media where the advertising experience follows the form and function of the user experience in which it's placed.

Marketers rely on native advertising more and more because it builds trust and drives engagement with potential new customers better than traditional display. Studies have shown average click-through rates are 4X higher for premium native ads vs. non-native display ads on mobile devices.

Let's take a deeper look at how native advertising works.

Native ads appear in a range of environments, including:

  • In-Feed, Content: Editorial feeds and streams on sites like the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports or in the suite of Oath mobile apps that include both paid and unpaid content in various forms. Again, the ads look similar to the other content in the feed, but they're marked as sponsored.
  • In-Feed, Social: Social sites like Tumblr include user-generated posts along with sponsored content from advertisers. The ads look similar to the other social posts, except that they're marked as sponsored.
  • Custom: Usually features a variety of content customized for a specific brand experience. This content can include images, video, audio, editorial, or other interactive elements to help promote the brand or product sponsoring it.

The look and feel of native ads is key, since the more they feel like a natural part of the user experience, the stronger their engagement becomes. In all cases, the ads are clearly marked as sponsored for users. Some of the most popular native ad formats currently used include:

  • In-feed display ads: These native display ads feature images and messages and live within the stream of other editorial content.
  • In-feed native video ads: Native video ads are the same as native display ads that are served within the editorial feed, except that they feature video content.
  • Carousel ads: Users swipe through multiple images and are able to click on each image to different landing experiences if the advertiser chooses.
  • Slideshow ads: Slideshow ads take multiple static images and messages and then effortlessly stitch them together in a single video ad.

Many advertisers consider creating custom content for their native advertising, which can be effective but certainly not required. In fact, all native ad formats also provide a rich opportunity to use marketing content you've already created for other initiatives, saving you time and money.

When native ads are combined with powerful data insights and intent signals, like with Yahoo Gemini, you have a highly effective mode of communicating with your best potential customers. Contextual and behavioral data empower native campaigns to become even more relevant and provide greater value to the audience. And programmatic buying, which is the automation of the decision-making process of media buying via demand side platforms and real-time bidding (RTB) technology, allows you to easily scale your native advertising campaigns.

How does Oath approach native advertising?

In 2014, Yahoo Gemini launched as a platform for search and native advertising, with the goal of giving advertisers the flexibility to buy ads however they want depending on their specific goals and objectives. Today, this native advertising platform, now a part of Oath, accelerates user engagement by blending premium, trusted online content and advertising in a natural way that enriches the user's experience and delivers better returns for brands.

Advertisers can skillfully target consumers with native ads that fit into the content experience they're viewing, enabling the advertiser to reach over 2 billion viewable impressions every day across Oath properties and our wider network. From the Yahoo homepage to Yahoo Mail to Huffington Post and Tumblr, and across our massive syndicated publishing network, native ads seamlessly appear in the formats most suited for each environment.

Additionally, search advertisers can extend the reach of their campaigns on Yahoo Gemini to serve targeted native ads to users that have shown interest in their products. Search ads on native supply have yielded up to a 20% increase in clicks while maintaining or improving the ROI of search campaigns.

Native advertising shows no signs of slowing down and continues to experience exponential growth in all regions and across all devices. Whether your goal is to promote your brand, drive app installs or get new customers to your site, Yahoo Gemini native advertising offers a variety of creative and powerful ways to accomplish your marketing goals.

For more information about how Oath can help you achieve your marketing goals, contact us today.