3 Key Elements That Makes a Native Ad Actually Native

By February 19, 2015 No Comments

The buzz around native advertising is showing no signs of slowing down.   It remains entrenched in the headlines, from discussions about how it can be made programmatic, to how traditional print publications are integrating native elements into their tool chest, native is seemingly on top of the world.  Yet, despite all the talk, we still can’t agree on what exactly makes an ad native. With native advertising expected to rival spend on display, and a recent study by the Association of National Advertisers, or ANA, citing nearly two-thirds of marketers will increase native advertising spend this year, it is time to clearly delineate what makes native actually native.  It’s quite simple really.  There are three attributes an ad must have to be truly native.

  1. Location

The ad must be integrated into the content flow of the site.  Typically called in-feed or in-stream, for an ad to be native it cannot live outside the content well.

Location, Location, Location

Location, Location, Location

2. Aesthetics

Probably the most important aspect of a successful native ad – it should be formatted to look and feel like other content on the page, right down to the minute details of the form and function.

Form and Function

Form and Function is Key

3. Value

It’s true; an advertisement can provide value to the consumer.  Don’t make it all about selling, instead offer compelling information or help users discover something useful.  This is all the more possible if the content of the ad is in line with the content of the site it’s on; simply out, make it relevant.

Always Be Relevant

Always Be Relevant


Before you call your next campaign native, make sure it encompasses these 3 simple, but important components.