Native advertising has been buzzing the advertising industry in the last couple of years and is proving itself to be one of the most effective ways of engaging with users in an advertising context. According to a prediction made by BI Intelligence, native ads will account for 63% of mobile ad revenue by 2020, up from 53% in 2016.

It is the next big thing! But what is native advertising and why people are rushing to catch this trend?

What is native ad?

The convention display ads (also known as banner ads) are just images or photos which includes all other elements such as logos, headlines, and other texts within the image. The design of the banner is fixed and stands out clearly as an advertising banner.

Native ads, on the other hand, don't really look like ads. They mimic the look, feel and function of the editorial content and the format of the media platform in which the ads appear. A native ad typical consists of 4 key elements: a main image, logo, headline, and a call-to-action button. There is a subtle disclaimer such as “promoted" or “sponsored" to inform viewers that they are ads.

The difference of placement betweek native ad and banner ad

Why native advertising works?

With audiences using ad blockers or ignoring ads, conventional display ads are no longer a sure way to reach the audience. Most of internet users are fed up with intrusive advertising online and they just ignore them. Display ads have low click-through rates at just 0.05% across all formats and placements while rich media ads are at 0.1% on average.

That is where native advertising comes in: its format match the visual design of the website or social media they appear on, and look and feel like a natural content. The most important aspect to native ads is that they are non-disruptive. This means that the ads don't scream loudly advertising which causes annoyance in some viewers, but rather be a part of the user experience which makes native ads more likely to be noticed and clicked on.

Native ads vs Display ads:

It is proven that native ads have positive impact on brand performance, according to a study by Sharethrough. First of all, native ads drive more brand attention thanks to their being visually engaging which attract more people to look at and consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than banner ads. Furthermore, native ads contribute to 9% lift in consumers' brand preference and 18% lift in purchase intent as compared to display ads.

Native ads are also more cost-effective than display ads. A Think With Google report in 2016 showed that The New York Times' “Flex Frame' native format saw its click-through rate increase by 6 times and viewable impressions jumped 4 times higher than banners. Brainlabs Digital also saw similar trend in which a native ad campaign for their client in banking industry registered 158% higher CTR and 450% higher conversion rate. They estimated that the cost per attributed site visit was 36X more expensive with display ads as compared to the native placements.

To summarize, native ad is here to stay and it will become even bigger. However, this effective ad format on publishers' sites requires sophisticated tools and expertise in order to adapt this method. Only the big brands and media agencies are capable of using these tools and equipped with knowledge to use native advertising. What's left to smaller businesses? Social media. The good news is, Solo is here and it gives smaller companies access to such a powerful advertising method and promote their businesses like the big boys. Solo is designed as a simple ad tool so that anybody, even owners of small family-run business with little marketing expertise, can use.