Even if you’re a seasoned advertising veteran, some of the lingo springing up around native advertising is less than intuitive, partly because it changes from week to week and differs depending on who you ask.

So to make onboarding a little easier for our clients, we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to native advertising terms. Consider it a work in progress.

I.               Definition of Native Advertising

II.              Formats of Native Advertising

III.            Native Advertising vs. Content Marketing

IV.            Types of Sponsored Content

V.             Engagement

VI.            Single-Use Creative vs. Creative at Scale

Definition of Native Advertising: [Wikipedia nails this, so we’re stealing their definition.] Native advertising is an online advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. The native ad format matches both the form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and thus increase the likelihood users will click on it.

Formats of Native Advertising: Native advertisements can take on virtually any media format, but the most common at this time are:

·      Videos
·      Articles
·      Listicles
·      Photos
·      Gifs
·      Music

Native Advertising vs. Content Marketing: Both native advertising and content marketing center around the branding strategy of engaging audiences, rather than just “selling” to them. The difference is that native advertising uses a paid distribution channel to connect with a publisher/site’s existing audience. With content marketing, on the other hand, the brand acts as publisher and tries to connect with and attract its own audience. It’s worth noting that brands can use native advertising to amplify their content marketing efforts by directing the publication’s readers back to the brand’s own website.

Types of Sponsored Content: Publishers have many options when deciding how to incorporate native advertising into their sites, but these four types of native ad units have become the most common:

·      Sponsored links: Appear at the bottom or side of the page and are akin in some ways to display ads
·      “Enhanced” sponsored links: Appear in the content stream
·      Inline units: Appear in the content stream and are consumed in place (typically video)
·      Brand pages: Feature a preview within the content stream that clicks through to the complete content on a full branded page in the publisher’s look & feel

Engagement: Native advertising success is typically measured by audience engagement. Common metrics include:

·      Views
·      Votes, likes, favorites, etc.
·      Comments
·      Shares

Single-Use Creative vs. Creative at Scale: Single-use creative is native ad creative that’s made exclusively for a particular publication. The other alternative, creative at scale, is native ad creative that can be trafficked across multiple publications, rendered dynamically on each to appear native in context. These two types of creative are complementary and can be used at the same time as part of a larger campaign.

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