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How Do You Define Native Advertising?



Native advertising is a buzz phrase gaining in popularity which is interesting since there is no true consensus as to how to even define the term. But hey, in the Internet Age it’s less about defining and more about promoting so this ‘approach’ makes sense.

eMarketer has reported on the increased popularity of native advertising offerings and the definitions offered via a study by the Online Publishers Association and Radar Research. Here they are.

Definitions of Native Advertising

The list is not so much defining the practice of native advertising completely but really gives a few characteristics of the practice.

Let’s face it, while display advertising has its place in the market, the expectation of clicks on display ads is a misplaced metric in a world inundated with advertising messages. Display is more of a branding play and that’s fantastic although many advertisers believe that the lead generation capabilities of display are far beyond the reality of the situation.

Instead more and more marketers and publishers alike are wising up to the simple fact that content marketing works. Is it different than what we have done in the Internet space for the past 20 or so years? Not so much, really. What is different is the realization that large numbers (as in traffic and clicks for example) don’t always mean large numbers of conversions. Targeted content of value to real prospects is what ultimately helps prospects make decisions for a particular product or service. Content attracts more targeted prospects and thus helps move people along in the sales process.

The quality over quantity argument is now being seen to hold true in the Internet space just like it does just about everywhere else. The pain that has been experienced by advertisers and publishers alike has brought on the recognition of the real potential of different online advertising options. In other words, we have all been at this long enough to not let the hype drive the market. Now, everyone realizes that reaching the right person or target is much more valuable than reaching everyone. We are now treating the Internet like it should be treated rather than trying to apply old rules to a new marketing paradigm.

As a result, marketers are faced with some tough options. Content marketing is not an easy task but that’s irrelevant. It’s a necessary task and that’s the fact of the matter so, as a marketer, it’s time to start writing and producing content to supplement and complement your display efforts. Expecting people to click on ads as the sole source of leads and prospect development is not going to cut it any longer.

Wait you say? Display? Isn’t that dead? Not by a long shot. It’s simply part of the marketing mix only now we can give it its rightful spot since we all more clearly understand the purpose and potential of the medium.

Well, I’ve said my piece about this. What say you?

  • Polly Payne

    Native comes in all shapes and sizes depending on what medium the brand want to amplify. There are so many technology providers and publishers, so TripleLift built the Native Advertising Landscape to organize all the main players.

    You can check it out here:

    http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/34606.asp#multiview