A view from Patrick Albano

Tech viewpoint on native advertising

Native advertising is at the heart of a current movement in digital advertising.

Publishers are leveraging this format because of its ability to match the form and function of an editorial or product experience. 

For consumers, native ads provide less disruptive and more engaging advertising. For advertisers, there is a new way to communicate marketing messages more naturally. As digital consumption continues to increase and evolve, so will the opportunity for native advertising. 

The next generation of digital experiences will be much more visual, feed-driven and personalised, and native ads will evolve in a similar way.

As an industry, it is important that we nurture this opportunity and do not to stifle the growth of native advertising by too narrowly defining the space. Native comes in many types, ranging from search advertising (the earliest form of native), to in-stream ads to in-game native formats and beyond.

Content marketing and native advertising are often closely associated as content marketers often use native to distribute content. While closely related, native advertising is not only an opportunity to distribute content, but a way for all marketers to speak to their target consumers in a new way.

A good example of this is the broad range of native advertising we encounter every day via in-stream ads, the marketing messages that appear in the stream of content when we visit our favourite social platforms or content sites. In-stream has a healthy mix of messages from marketers – whether it’s sales offers, app downloads or video content – as well as content marketing messages.

Consumers expect these streams to deliver the best content and information, and advertising messages should be personalised and relevant. Transparency is key to maintaining consumer trust and it is important that advertising is clearly marked as such.

While we see many of our content marketing partners using native advertising to distribute content, we also see the format widely used by many of our search and display partners to deliver their messages in a native context. 

As the industry evolves and marketers, publishers and consumers become more immersed in native advertising, we will see the format become even more popular with marketers. It’s important that we support this interest from the market to allow for greater innovation around advertising and the continued funding of amazing digital experiences for all of us.

Patrick Albano is the vice-president, advertising solutions, EMEA, at Yahoo