​With so few Americans recognizing native advertising, should marketers go that route or stick to organic content marketing instead?

​Native advertising disguises promotional media as organic content and puts it in front of unsuspecting audiences. Many industry professionals say the practice toes the ethical line of marketing, but it’s impact is too powerful to overlook.

The main problem with native advertising is that only 5 percent of surveyed Americans say they know what it is, according to Ask Your Target Market. That’s a significant amount of consumers who unknowingly engage with inorganically placed web content. The second problem with native advertising is that 26 percent of Americans say they are definitely more likely to pay attention to native ads. This might not be a problem for advertisers, but it does encourage trickery in promotional campaigns.

But is it fair to produce promotional advertorials and native ads to generate leads when viewers don’t know they’re seeing advertisements online? Google’s Matt Cutts says it’s a sore subject, and the search engine company may take action against certain practices that go overboard and ruin the web’s user experience. Therefore, companies should deeply consider how much time they spend on native advertising compared to their organic content marketing campaigns. Transparency always wins in customers’ eyes.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.