Native Advertising and story telling through headlines


Let’s start with a basic definition of Native Advertising: "A form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed".

Take a read at our blog piece on Buzzfeed for an example of native advertising.

Native ads are intended to match the visual design of the experience they live within and look and feel to the average online user as natural content.

They can come in many shapes or sizes including in-feed native ads, search and promotional listings, content recommendation widgets, and can be developed into customised content.

We live in a generation where the media consumption is changing to meet our digital lives. A common image we see across our daily lives is that of a face buried deep into a phone. Mobile is quickly becoming a lead in delivering information to us on a day to day basis so we, as advertisers need to consider ways in which our content can be consumed to reflect a digital world.

Something which is becoming more common on both desktop and mobile platforms is the implementation of ‘the feed’. It’s a scroll of information more commonly seen on the likes of our social feeds and on media sites such as The Guardian.

Content is now being presented to these consumers of information through a simple headline and thumbnail format, reducing the depth of the content but delivering the crucial points through short and snappy titles.

Interestingly, content consumption has actually increased since the introduction of feeds with headlines being more influential than the article itself. A study by Sharethrough showed that although people may have been retweeting headlines on Twitter, there was no correlation between the number of retweets and the clicks on links. This is obviously indicating to us that people are wanting more and more of their content in short-form.

This leads us to think whether it’s more beneficial to deliver native ads which have strong headlines that tell the story that could have a stronger impact on your audience. This could potentially become the new normal for brands - spreading meaningful stories through headlines.

From this we can develop new content strategies:

  1. Embrace the placement
  2. Develop a new content palette - reconsider where your content will be seen, reaching out to audiences who revolve around social media and feeds.
  3. Create a more modern marketing mix
  4. Understand the variables related to it

For more information on native advertising, get in touch with our online media team today!