The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising

03 September 2015

The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising

Native advertising is “a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears”. It can be found on a range of websites and media outlets, offering brands an opportunity to create content and share it on high-profile sites in order to gain access to a new audience.

As web surfers increasingly ignore traditional ads, close down pop-ups without looking at them, and barely even see banner ads, advertisers need new ways to get the attention of potential future customers. Native advertising is one solution to this issue.

However, like any form of marketing, it is not perfect and it is not suitable for everyone.

Pros of native advertising

Targeting: by choosing the outlet your content will appear on, you can select a site that is already popular with your ideal, target audience

All the benefits of content marketing: when you create useful or entertaining content for a third-party site, even when it is on a paid basis, you can demonstrate your expertise or specialist knowledge of your sector, or share your brand’s values

Improves brand recognition: when a brand places content on another site, especially one with high traffic and a good number of social shares, recognition of that brand can rise considerably.

Cons of native advertising

Some people object to it: some site visitors dislike paid content on their favourite websites, thinking it devalues or misrepresents the host-site’s brand. There are particular objections to native advertising on news websites, with some feeling that it dilutes the ‘real’ journalism

It can be misused: if a brand that places content on a third-party website uses it as an opportunity for a hard sell, this can put readers off. This further exacerbates regular readers’ objections to the phenomenon of sponsored posts

Google may not approve: if the host website makes it clear that the content placement is paid, there should be no problems. But if the fact that this is a sponsored post is hidden, or even hazy, Google may impose penalties.

Sponsored advertising offers brands a way to reach out to a new audience, however it does not suit everybody. Consider the goals of a campaign and establish whether native advertising is likely to be an effective way to achieve them.