Just How “Next Generation” Is Native Advertising?

24Apr, 2013

In a recent post on MediaPost entitled, “Ad Creation, Native Style,” Will Price wrote that “native advertising is one of the industry’s hot topics right now,” and also hailed native advertising as “the next generation of rich media advertising.”

According to his bio on MediaPost, Price is the CEO of Flite, an “online advertising technology company. And as we’ve said and written before here at Fang Digital Marketing, people in marketing and advertising LOVE marketing and advertising. So much so, in fact, that they constantly re-brand their own profession as “new” or “hot” or “next generation” whenever they feel something isn’t getting enough attention.

Native Advertising is one such example. And an increasingly “hot” example.

Here at Fang, we first started noticing the term “native advertising” really getting thrown around as a buzzword in mid- to late-2012. It appeared to be used as a way to categorize a collection of advertising practices that have actually existed in the wild, wired world of internet marketing and advertising for awhile. Since the 1990s, in fact.

As with most things, a lot of agencies have tried to insist that they are “innovators in the space”…or some other such high-tech mumbo-jumbo.

Meanwhile, as seasoned veterans of the internet marketing world, the team at Fang Digital Marketing instead said, “Oh, huh? Well, we’ve been doing that all along.”

What Is Native Advertising?

So just what is native advertising, exactly? And what makes it something that’s not as new as everybody seems to want to proclaim it?

Put simply, native advertising is a collection of display/banner advertising types that are integrated into the existing design of a publisher’s website. Native advertising is often considered a form of site content itself, and can take the form of sponsorships (sponsored content), advertorials, interactive content, integrated graphics, videos, photos, promoted Tweets on Twitter, promoted stories on Facebook or branded content on Pinterest.

Basically, native advertising is a form of display/banner advertising…but on a more customized and often interactive level. It also appears to be a bit of a backlash to banner ad networks and demand-side platforms. These types of advertising buys are managed more like paid search advertising, in that they are often self-service style agreements with publishers, and allow advertisers to run a small collection of untargeted banners over thousands of websites.

How Can I Get Started With Native Advertising?

Now that we’ve defined just what native advertising is, you’ve most likely realized that you’ve done at least a bit of it before – you little trend-setter, you. If you’ve ever sponsored an area of a publisher’s site, or done a pre- or post-roll on a video, or created an infographic for distribution, or woven your brand into a game, or bought a sponsored Tweet or story, or…well, you get the point.

So no, native advertising isn’t really “new.” But if you’ve somehow made it all this time without doing any of the above as an advertiser, getting started can take a bit of work.

You can start by identifying your target market, then building a list of sites where your target market lives. Next, refine that list of sites down to those that are contextual to your product, then reach out to those sites and negotiate a collection of advertising agreements that fit within the native advertising guidelines we identified earlier.

Back in the Good Old Days, they used to call this “media buying.” Here at Fang Digital, we still do. Our team isn’t big on buzzwords, because we know they come and go with the wind. We just view ourselves as a team of marketing and advertising professionals…who happen to focus on the internet and mobile advertising spaces.

Native Advertising Case Studies

As we mentioned earlier, native advertising isn’t really new, so providing case studies isn’t much of a stretch either. You can view a set of particularly effective native advertising examples that were parts of larger advertising campaigns – including traditional display advertising, mobile advertising, search engine advertising, social media advertising and more – by scrolling over “Case Study 1” and “Case Study 2” toward the bottom of this page on the Fang Digital site.

Both of these case studies have been created in partnership with our traditional agency partner, Always On Communications. In addition to those presented here, Fang Digital has created other native advertising campaigns in the form of Facebook sponsored stories, sponsored Tweets on Twitter and much more.

If you’re looking to learn more about how native advertising – or any other aspect of online advertising and marketing – can help you empower and grow your business or brand, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today. We’re here to help…in whatever way works best for YOU.

And if you’ve got any thoughts on this blog, please share them in the comments section below. And feel free to peruse the other entries in our ever-evolving and updated blog section.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Leave a Comment