Dangers Of Native Advertising: 5 Ways To Improve Your Strategy

Dangers Of Native Advertising: 5 Ways To Improve Your Strategy

Over the past few years, native advertising has become one of the most widely used and successful ways to advertise products and services. Publishers have cast their eyes beyond typical ads and are instead turning to integrated branded content that appeals to their audience.

According to eMarketer, native advertising spend makes up 60% on display spending. And it’s not super expensive — great news if you’re trying to launch an ecommerce empire on a budget.


However, despite the success rate and growing popularity of native advertising, there are several dangers that come along with the territory.

Take a look below at comedian John Oliver’s comical take on native advertising. He highlights some of the common traps that publishers, content creators and advertisers can fall into if they don’t tread carefully:


Here are five important things that you need to remember when you’re planning your native ads:

Be honest — you must ensure clear disclosure

It’s really important that the reader understands that your ads are sponsored pieces of content. It’s your job to make sure that this is disclosed clearly.

This is especially important because ads can easily be disguised as content, which could lead to your audience becoming upset at your lack of transparency. It can even result in your service or product being discredited.

Signposting sponsored content is generally more positively received by readers, as this creates trust and clarity between the reader and the brand.

In order to comply with this, The Interactive Advertising Bureau states that “a reasonable consumer should be able to distinguish between what is paid advertising vs. what is publisher editorial content.”

By being clear, this will give your readers faith in what they are reading. This also works towards reducing the levels of perceived deception that can unfortunately come hand-in-hand with native advertising.

Relevancy is key

Maximize the effectiveness of your native ads by creating relevant content that your audience will want to see.

If a native ad is irrelevant or poor quality, this could cause a bad experience for the reader and potentially create a negative opinion of your brand or force consumers to look elsewhere for relevant content.

By creating more focused and relevant content, this will ultimately increase the success of your native advertising strategy and generate a greater return on your spending.

Break your plan down: form, function and integration

Understanding your aims will help inform you of the best way to plan the form, function and integration of your native advertising.


There are a number of different platforms on which you can create native ads, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Amazon. Each has their own style, plus several options and tools that you can choose to best fit your brand and help achieve your goals. 


Think about the form you want your ad to take, and if it’s suitable for your chosen social media platforms. There are plenty of video ads on Facebook — these make up 46% of all video ads created, and 90% of marketers say that customizing or personalizing video campaigns gives them strong results.


Putting consumer experience first like this works effectively on certain platforms for particular native ads. It’s important to adjust your native ads to the platform and style you want to use, so that it reaches your chosen audience and has the most impact possible.


You will need to ask yourself these questions when thinking of your native ad when it comes to the form, function and integration:


  • Where the ad will fit in with the overall page design?
  • Will the ad deliver the same content experience/function as other elements on the page?
  • How will the ad behave? Will it behave the same way as surrounding content?

Through clarifying your aims and asking yourself these key questions, you can drive brand familiarity. Which in turn will result in good native ad execution.

Adjusting your strategy is healthy

By measuring and analyzing how your audience interact with your native ads, you can adjust your strategy accordingly to perfect the balance between advertising and relevant high-quality content.


This is particularly important if you’ve bought an existing business and you’re in the process of rebranding it — what you will often find that the first task you will need to do is to conduct an in-depth content audit that will highlight content improvements and ‘blackspots’. Improving both onsite and offsite content should be your number one priority to help increase brand value.


One way you can improve your content strategy is by performing split tests on segments of your audience. This will help you establish how native ads impact engagement, such as traffic, clicks, time spent on the site, session frequency and other metrics.


Through measuring metrics that you use to judge success, you can tweak and adjust your strategy consistently.


Use your findings to better understand your audience and to help create relevant native ads that they will love reading (and clicking):

Don’t forget other approaches

As wonderful and effective as native advertising may seem, it’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket, especially when it comes to allocating your spending.


Native advertising won’t sustain its projected growth forever and is gradually slowing down year on year. So it’s important to distribute budget between native advertising and other strategies that will increase brand engagement.


Native advertising has massive potential to benefit both publishers and advertisers, but there are also a number of pitfalls that need to be avoided in order to maximise the success of the branded content.

Maintaining and growing consumer trust —  alongside providing value to your audience — is key when delivering native advertising. and can increase brand loyalty and overall brand image.

If you are unable to do this and produce low quality or poorly targeted ads, you risk losing your audience to competitors.

Ultimately, clarity, relevance, strategy and form are the solid foundations you need to build your successful native advertising strategy!


Written by


Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Check out the latest news on Twitter @myecommercetips.

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