Have you ever found an article that seemed very engaging and useful at the beginning, but by the time you finished reading it, you realized that something was leery? As though it was an average editorial, yet – not entirely?

Perhaps, what you have read was a typical native ad, created by an advertiser intending to promote the product while corresponding the style of the original content.

That’s because visitors trust them more and often take them as typical media. However, improperly prepared native ads may also keep visitors away.

Therefore, we are going to look at native ads peculiarities and learn how they function.

What are native ads?

You have already got the main idea of what these ads are, but still let’s look at them more meticulously, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing for beginners.

So, native ads are the type of advertisements, which have been worked out in a way to look like content in a particular source. In other words, these ads seem to be pretty natural in the context they are showcased.

Why are native ads beneficial?

Native ads are less intrusive when compared to ordinary ads with their annoying beaming pop-ups, bright banners and so on that make people hate ads. For publishers in affiliate marketing, it is crucial to retain the attention of visitors, and native ads help them achieve this goal.

As long as users cannot straightforwardly identify and distinguish these ads from journalistic materials or any other (given the platform where they were published), people tend to spend more time getting familiar with them.

In native ads every visitor is important, so it is essential to not only engage the visitors but also make them loyal.

On the whole, for advertisers, the engagement grows thanks to native ads by nearly 60%, whereas for publishers these ads showcase a retention rate which is higher than banners threefold.

Yes, that is tricky. Perhaps, this is the reason why native ads are getting increasingly popular. Some affiliate marketing experts have already started calling them the thing from “yesterday.” Perhaps, it is also the reason why, as per some findings, native ads will be in charge of 74% of all advertising earnings by 2021.

How do native ads work?

It is untypical for native ads to praise a particular product or service. Instead, native ads are designed in a way that they offer readers useful and essential information. The user will spend time reading or watching what he or she exactly needs, and only in the very end or by devoting attention to details, visitors will be able to understand that what they read was an advertisement.

For instance, an article about 10 proven ways for teeth whitening may suggest various domestic, medicinal and other methods for making the smile of a person brighter.

However, one out of 10 solutions will be a specific product that is being advertised. Or there will be no product mentioned at all. But the article itself will be published in the name of a producer of teeth whiteners or the text will be sponsored by one of them.

Native ads peculiarities

In this niche, you should receive very cheap cost-per-clicks and strive to get the best site placements. However, the problem with native ads is that rules around them are stricter.

Anyway, IHS study study has shown that companies that have focused on native ads as the income source have been estimated as the most prominent in mobile monetization. Native ads are not only the texts that you may bump into online but also apps for smartphones.

What Types Of Native Ads Are There?

Sponsored Content

This type of content is often reachable mostly by big businesses rather. It is what a publisher creates, whereas a brand pays for it, or – sponsors it.

In such content, there is no explicit call for action. Most of the time it is just brand awareness. Sponsored content looks like editorial content as it simulates it (it may seem like an entertaining viral video, for example). However, the real intention of such media products is to promote the brand itself.

Lots of notorious media outlets have played the role of sponsored content publishers, e.g., Forbes, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, and so on.

Branded content

This type of content resembles the sponsored one. And it is actually the same thing, but as you already know sponsored content is created by a publisher, and a brand (sponsor) pays for it, while in branded content, it is the brand that makes content for a publisher.

The problem of branded content arises when the advertising standards cannot always be met (they just don’t exist for branded content), so some of them might be even misleading.

Among examples of branded content are branded playlists on Spotify, ads by Jaguar USA, posts Dell.

Recommended content

“Read More….” does it ring a bell? That’s what you often see on various news websites, in particular, CNN. That’s a typical recommendation to read another type of the content. However, there’s also paid content mimicked to own materials which are provided to you with the help of such recommendation engines like Taboola and Outbrain.

The last one, by the way, uses CNN as a platform with huge traffic. Open any news or article on CNN, scroll down the page, and you will see two columns with recommended articles: “Paid Content” as well as “More from CNN.”

Product Placement

It is what you can see in dozens of Jennifer Lopez and DJ Khaled music videos, as well as in films. You’re watching content, but then out of the blue, a particular watch-brand or pizza product or a drink appears on the screen.

And it is so seamless, it just seems that the character has the same tastes as you or your friend, but that’s it, a product placement, which promotes something for money or other benefits.

In-feed social ads (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

Lots of online platforms use in-feed social ads. Such content includes links to informative, entertaining or educational materials. However, there’s something more than that on a landing page. For instance, it may ask you for your contact information.

Traffic is driven by letting people believe they are getting something useful and of value. In the meantime, it can be beneficial for you if you don’t know what to start with your native-ads-journey.

And they are perfect for mobile apps. Let’s have a look at some on Facebook:


As you can see, native ads are what is conquering the world of affiliate marketing today. These ads are a perfect traffic source as they are not as irritating as banners or pop-ups and engage more people due to their not intrusive nature.

What you have to keep in mind, though, is that a poorly designed native ad can push users away making them feel like they are manipulated. But a well-composed one can bring significant benefits both for a publisher and an advertiser.

The examples above are by no means an exhaustive list. However, they do give a taste as to how native advertising is constantly advancing, pushing the boundaries of content and design to create new, unexpected online brand experiences.