Glossary
Mobile App Terminology

Native Ads


What are Native Ads?

Native advertising refers to paid media that matches the form and function of the platform on which it is placed. Natives ads can be in the form of articles, videos, editorials, or any other type of media that matches the format of the underlying content distribution platform. For example, one of the most common types of native ads are sponsored articles on a blog or magazine.

Native ads are similar to “advertorials”, which are commonly used in print media such as magazines. As Wordstream highlights, the difference between advertorials and native ads is that the latter not only match the media format of the underlying platform, but also the editorial style of the publication.

According to eMarketer, more than $40 billion is spent on native advertising each year. One of the main reasons that native ads can be effective for marketers, albeit also controversial at times, is that it is more difficult for users to tell they are engaging with sponsored media. 

Ultimately, native ads offer users a much more seamless advertising experience that is more contextual than traditional advertising formats, such as banner ads for example. Instead of interrupting the user experience with disruptive ads, native advertising fits more naturally into the platform by mimicking the style and format of the rest of the site’s content.

Uses of Native Ads

With so many advertising channels and platforms available, there are a few reasons that businesses continue to use native ads as part of their overall marketing budget. First off, the fact that native ads match the form and function of the underlying platform means that they are less intrusive, and thus often more effective than traditional ad formats. In particular, StackAdapt provides several reasons that native advertising may outperform other paid media formats, a few of which include:

  • Higher CTRs
  • Higher ROAS
  • Scalability
  • Sophisticated targeting capabilities
  • Effective attribution
  • Higher engagement

In a digital world where we are bombarded by ads at every click, native ads enable marketers to reach their audience in a more organic, and less disruptive fashion than other media formats.

As the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) highlights, there are six common types of native ads, these include:

  • In-Feed Units: In-feed native ads appear in the publications list of content or next to other content on the site. For example, sponsored articles that appear on the homepage of a publication alongside non-paid content are in-feed units.  
  • Paid Search Ads: As one of the most commonly used paid media formats, search ads can be considered native as they mimic the form and function of organic search results.
  • Recommendation Widgets: Recommendation widgets are typically placed below other content and feature a list of sponsored articles in a widget. Although these ads are not in the exact style of an editorial content feed, they are still seamlessly integrated into the publication and thus can be considered native.
  • Promoted Listings: Promoted listings are primarily used on sites that don’t have advertising space in editorial content, such as ecommerce sites. That said, promoted listings on eCommerce sites still match the browsing experience and look similar to other listings and as such are considered native ads.
  • In-Ad (IAB Standard) with Native Element Units: Also referred to as display ads, these ads are typically placed outside of the editorial well in standard IAB containers. What makes these ads native is that the content is contextually relevant to the rest of the content of the page.
  • Custom Ads: Finally, with the speed of innovation in online advertising, IAB leaves a category for custom ads that don’t fit into any of the other media types. An example of custom ads are native placements in apps such as Spotify or ads placed within video games.

In order to determine the right native ad format, IAB suggests that marketers ask several questions about the form, function, integration, and goal of the campaign.

How Singular Uses Native Ads

For app businesses that are using native ads in their marketing stack, Singular provides a suite of tools for both advertising analytics and attribution.

In terms of native advertising analytics, Singular takes a scientific approach to analyzing ad spend data and return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). This includes granular performance insights for each campaign, ad creative, and more. In particular, our ROI and performance insights provide comprehensive advertising analytics, regardless of the media source or ad platform used. In addition to ROI analytics, Singular enables marketers to visualize their native ad assets side by side to compare the performance of each. This analytics data provides marketers with actionable insights into their native ad performance so they can improve performance and maximize ROI.

In addition to native ad analytics, Singular provides mobile marketers with the attribution tools needed to both track their results and provide a seamless user experience. For example, by adding deep links and deferred deep links to native ads, app marketers are able to send users to a specific location within the app. With Singular’s mobile attribution technology, app businesses can streamline their tracking across mobile, web, paid advertising, and organic channels for a holistic view of their marketing campaigns.

Related Terms

Related Articles

Related Terms

Stay up to date on the latest happenings in digital marketing