A new report from MediaRadar charts the dramatic growth of native ads in 2014. According to the company’s 3rd Native Advertising Index, in excess of 851 brands purchased native ads in December on the top 100 consumer and B2B websites. This compares to 688 brands that purchased native ads the previous July—representing a 24 percent increase in native ads between July and December 2014.
Across the entire market, an average of 546 brands begin using native ads each month, MediaRadar found.
Native content is often considered a subset of content marketing, and it generally refers to how brands work with online publications to create paid content that follows the form and function of that platform. For instance, native ads could include promoted tweets or suggested Facebook posts; it could also take the form of a 1,500-word piece on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black for the New York Times.
The native content strategy speaks to brands that anticipate better results than what they would get from more traditional display ads or other promotions. Unlike a traditional ad, native content is easily shared. If you want your content to bounce across the Web, native ads can help make it happen.
“Native advertising is attractive because it places the advertiser closer to the audience,” said MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman. “The advertiser isn’t just on the sidelines, but now part of the content narrative. This has led to much higher response rates and improved aided and unaided brand awareness.”
MediaRadar found technology brands are leading the pack when it comes to running native ads, followed by media and entertainment. But while technology, media, and entertainment categories lead the way in the overall number of native ads, other categories actually boast higher adoption rates. Twenty-three percent of advertisers in the pets category bought native ads from June through December 2014. Brands in the alcohol industry weren’t far behind, with 21 percent buying native ads.
Brand investment in native ads is expected to triple between 2013 and 2015, as Skyword previously reported. But while native advertising may boast better engagement than its more traditional advertising ancestors, native ads aren’t a panacea; to get eyeballs, the content has to be good. The better stories brands can weave, the more likely their content will go viral.
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