There are more and more advertisements. Everywhere we see advertisements for goods, services, entertainment as on Because of this variety and sheer number, fewer and fewer people want to watch it. Users turn on blockers, and advertisers are looking for ways to bypass this resistance and sell a product or service. And one of them is native advertising.

Today we’ll tell you how businesses can work with this marketing tool, not scare away, but attract audiences.

What Is Native Advertising?

According to researchers, users are gradually getting used to advertising messages and ignore them. What should advertisers do? Mask advertising as natural content.

Native, or natural advertising, mimics the environment. It differs from conventional advertising because it is perceived as part of the site being viewed, is not identified as advertising, and does not alienate the audience.

The thin line between paid publications and building trust with the audience leads to a discussion in the market about what to consider native advertising and what to consider PR? Most often, native advertising is still considered part of content marketing.

Features of Native Advertising

Native advertising is dangerous because it is on the brink of a foul and often goes beyond the limit. If the user feels strong empathy for the content, he will get upset when he finds out about the ad.

This can even cause a painful reaction – how come that useful information turned out to be just plain “jeans”? That’s why it’s so important in native advertising to create value for the reader while not overdoing it with allusions to the brand, product, or service.

A few more nuances:

  • Uniqueness: you can’t put the same content on different sites. Adapt the content for a specific channel (an article, a special project, or a post on social networks);
  • Price: the cost of producing the content is supplemented by payment for placing the material on a particular site. Some resources deliberately take it upon themselves to write or adapt the content, which increases the price several times over.
  • The last point is controversial: if we consider the payoff here and now, natural advertising is expensive, and the conversion rate is lower than indirect advertising. But if you recalculate the cost relative to the entire sales funnel – not just conversion to purchase, but also reach, retention, lead generation, and warming, return – then the benefits gained to justify the investment.

Formats of Native Advertising

No matter what detractors say, native advertising is a purse with a double bottom. On the one hand, a company can order this type of advertising from sites it is interested in, get coverage and sales. On the other hand – to act as a seller of advertising on the subordinate resources, earning on their audience or traffic.

The principle of income by the first way is clear: you advertise, you buy. This way is becoming more and more popular and diverse. According to recent studies, the most popular formats for “native advertising” were articles, cards, special projects, tests, and games. Articles won by an overwhelming margin of 59%.

Let’s inspect these formats:

  • Expert articles are rank-and-file pieces that don’t differ in appearance from editorial content. As a bonus, they contain one or more links to the advertiser’s site.  
  • Special projects – Native materials that reveal a topic from all angles. Often designed as a separate landing page with interactive elements.  
  • Paid publications in social networks on the pages of Influencers and posts in popular Telegram channels. 
  • Advertising inserts in the videos of famous YouTubers.
  • Many interactive forms: podcasts, quizzes, apps, games, and even memes.

How to Sell Native Advertising

The second way is not so obvious, but it requires less effort. If a company has a high-quality corporate website (and perhaps over one) with a good level of traffic, you can make it an advertising platform for non-competing companies and turn it into an additional source of income.

There are several basic formats for earning money: 

  • The first is the sale of space for content: advertising articles and integrations. The format is not unlike working with large platforms as a buyer. The advantage of this model is that the owner himself sets the conditions and price, and the fact and terms of placement are sealed by a contract.
  • The second way to make money is to sell traffic. Visitors are a valuable resource for any site. It can be turned into money with the help of advertising and teaser networks. This technology is called programmatic advertising.

By What Criteria to Focus on When Choosing a Partner:

  • Targeting. Choose networks that can filter users by characteristics, interests, place of birth. The more settings the better;
  • The geography of distribution. Some networks operate in English-speaking countries, while others work only in Europe. The largest partner networks cover the entire world;
  • Limitations. Native networks do not accept all advertising. Usually, the rules have a list of topics that are not allowed on a particular site (for example, not all work with topics on cryptocurrencies or gambling);
  • Payment models: monitor clicks, impressions, conversion actions, and choose the most profitable ones.

How to Measure the Effect of Native Advertising

It is not as easy to track the effectiveness of native advertising as other marketing channels. There are no clear KPIs. Everything will depend on the advertiser’s goals (sell or show!).

The main metrics that are usually considered are completion rate (the number of users who read the entire article) and engagement (time spent by the user on the page). If the project has ways to measure reactions, you can calculate activities: likes, shares, reposts, and comments.

A handy measurement tool on someone else’s page is a UTM tag on an article, a link to a pre-landing (page-promoter), or a promo code. You can also ask the site to provide guest access to Google Analytics counters.

The advertiser must have end-to-end analytics and goals set up – this will help you track the material’s role in your digital footprint.


Native ads need to “mature”: pages need to be indexed by search engines, get clicks from paid channels and accumulate enough views. It is better to wait for a few weeks before the control measurement.

It makes sense to assess the effectiveness of your investment (ROI) after a couple of months. Successful native integrations (e.g. a YouTube video) can have a long-term effect over several months or even years.

Some are trying to measure the effectiveness of native ads as contextual: if they are shown under the interests of users, then they should immediately bring leads and sales. This is a mistake.

Native ads are a tool for generating and stirring up demand. A context is a tool for attracting users who are already ready to buy. Native ads often work together with other channels, including context and targeting ads, as a part of a promotion strategy, but you shouldn’t equate them.