ULG's Language Services Blog

Native Advertising: What To Expect In 2017


You’re probably familiar, maybe unknowingly, with some form of native advertising.

Native ads are the ones found tucked into social media feeds or websites that are meant to blend in with existing content. Usually tagged with words like “sponsored,” or “promoted,” these ads are used by marketers to increase engagement by creating content that doesn’t mimic the traditional banner advertisement.

Native advertising has seen success and is expected to account for 74 percent of ad revenue by 2021. As consumers grow tired of the obnoxious popups they’ve become used to since the advent of e-advertising, native ads will continue to gain traction.

In 2017, ad creators will hone their native content to better align with specific consumer demographics. Here’s what to expect from the native advertising industry going forward.

Different Forms

First, it’s important to note that there are different forms of native advertising. Native ads can be found in social media or news feeds, blending with the adjacent content so well that sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a sponsored story and original content.

These ads are also found in search results, tagged with identifiers such as “paid” or “promoted.” In another format, native ads come in the form of “recommended” content, attempting to engage consumers based on what they’ve already viewed.

Some native ads might look like a more traditional advertisement, but they leverage content that is related to the web page they’re hosted on.

The key differentiator with these ads is their ability to appear less like spam and more like something a consumer would be likely to engage with.

Customization on Multiple Platforms

Since native ads are supposed to be hyper relevant to the buyer, 2017 is a year for marketers to create content with video and augmented reality to attract consumers. The use of 360 video and more multimedia in general will be one way companies try to market sponsored content.

There will also be a strong emphasis on mobile and social platforms as they continue to evolve and grow in the marketing and content realm.

Forbes says it expects user-generated content to be more prevalent in native advertising this year. The use of social media posts or consumer surveys, the publication says, adds to the personalized nature of native advertising and will be one way for marketers to better relate to consumers.

The success of native ads in 2017 will depend heavily on how much creativity and ingenuity marketers can put into them. The more their content resonates with the platforms and interests of consumers, the better suited these ads will be to remain relevant.

Abiding By Native Advertising Regulations

This year, marketers will need to be cognizant of native advertising regulations set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As Adweek reported last summer, compliance with these rules has been an issue for a number of companies.

The FTC regulations take into consideration the ads’ content and the medium on which they are published in deciding whether the content is appropriately labeled as sponsored. The impetus behind the regulations is to make sure consumers are not deceived by native ads that aren’t properly labeled and resemble editorial content rather than advertising.

The rules emphasize the fact that there can be a fine line between deception and effective ads. But, if companies can follow the rules, it’s likely native advertising will continue its successful run in 2017.