Marketers are dipping their toes in native ad waters, but they need to know the benefits and drawbacks before diving in headfirst.

What marketers need to know before they invest in native ads

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To ensure their web content gets maximum exposure online, marketers use SEO practices, write guest blogs, send email newsletters and publish regular updates on social networks. Another method has emerged as a way to quickly gain web recognition – native advertising. Before companies move forward with these strategies, they need to decide whether the benefits are worth the potential consequences, and if they can achieve the same results with their organic content writing practices.

Brafton has covered the debate about the ethics of native advertising – do prospects have the right to know if brands bought their way into publications?

Currently, only 5 percent of Americans can recognize native ads, which means they can’t differentiate between organic and purchased articles. Despite Google Search Engineer Matt Cutt’s warning in a Webmaster Help Channel video that websites might be punished and even barred from Google News if they are not forthright about paying to print branded content on popular sites, marketers are still dedicating ad dollars to paid advertorials.

Only 5 percent of Americans can recognize native ads, which means they can’t differentiate between organic and purchased articles.

A recent eMarketer report found companies are dedicating 5 percent of their advertising budgets on native ads. This is a small portion of their total allocations, but spending is expected to rise 22.1 percent in 2013 as brands seek space on sites like Mashable, Buzzfeed, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Brands that get their digital content into these publications will expand their reach, but they might be able to do the same with their organic efforts over time. By crafting articles, creating eye-grabbing infographics and offering exclusive insights, companies can produce content that is widely shared and goes viral on its own.

Lauren Kaye
Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.


  • Jason Keath

    Where does the 5% number come from that you are quoting?

    “Only 5 percent of Americans can recognize native ads”

    • TedKarczewski

      Hi Jason,

      The author of this piece cited stats covered by Brafton in a previous article. The original source was a survey from Ask Your Target Market. Click on “Brafton” in the second paragraph to read the previous article and view the original source’s metrics.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Jason Keath

        Thanks Ted.