Native ads

Digital Marketing

What are Native Ads and how can you use them in your promotion strategy?

Learn more about Native Ads, a type of advertisement that allows you to promote your products and services without getting in the way of the user's browsing experience.

Barbara Santos

08/25/2017 | By Barbara Santos

What will we see in this post

Everyone who’s got their own business, be it online or a physical store, knows how important it is to have an excellent promotion which leads to the recognition of their brand.

One of the most common ways of promoting products or services are ads. And ads are created in a myriad of ways.

But have you noticed how people are increasingly rejecting ads, especially the ones that have nothing to do with their personal preferences?

Try to remember how many times you had to wait for an ad to finish before you could watch a video on YouTube, for example.

Or think about the sheer number of adverts you see on the streets, but that nevertheless don’t have an effect on you. They simply don’t offer what you need at that moment.

These are only a few examples of how advertising at the wrong time, in the wrong place, can be harmful to your brand.

So, how can we create attractive ads that start a dialogue with your customer at the moment she truly needs, without being intrusive?

This is what we’ll talk about today.

In this post, you will learn about Native Ads and understand how they can help you promote your brand without getting in the way of the user’s experience with your business.

What are Native Ads?

Have you ever noticed that, many times, when you scroll down your news feed on Instagram or Facebook, you get shown many ads that are somehow related to your topics of interest?

These are Native Ads, a kind of advertisement that doesn’t look like the traditional ads we’re used to seeing.

They are a new way of advertising products and services online, without getting in the way of the user’s experience on social media.

This happens because Native Ads are created as elements of the page in which they will be shown. In other words, they are not completely different from what the user is accustomed to seeing on the pages she is visiting.

They are posted as stories, articles, publications, or other formats that match the content of the page they appear in, and are labeled as ‘sponsored’.

Just like paid adverts, Native Ads are paid content, and that’s why they’ll always be labeled as such. Therefore the user is able to identify that they are ads, even though they are shown in a more natural way on the pages.

The main advantage of this type of ad is that you can deliver relevant, quality content to your buyer persona, and at the same time, recommend your product or service.

To help you better understand what Native Ads are, here are some examples:

Examples of Native Ads

As we have mentioned, Native Ads are the adverts that appear in the news feeds on social media, in the middle of text blocks, or on the side of a news piece or article. And they are connected to the topics on these pages, or to the preferences of the user.


On the Facebook news feed, alongside the posts from your friends, you will see some ads that are somehow related to your preferences. They look very similar to the posts from your friends on Facebook, and the only difference is the work ‘Sponsored’ below the profile picture.

Facebook native ads example



As you roll down through the images and videos of your Instagram feed to see the posts from friends, you’ll also find sponsored ads in the same format, and also labeled as ‘Sponsored’.

Instagram native ads example



When you search on Google using a keyword, the first results are usually Native Ads, and are also labeled as ‘Ad’.

Google native ad example



When you get to the bottom of the page when reading an article, there are suggestions of other texts for you to read. The difference between articles from the website itself and Native Ads is that they redirect the user to the pages they will be able to read them, as you can see in the image below:


Regardless of the page where you find Native Ads, the most important thing to understand from these examples is that this type of ad is not invasive.

Main advantages of Native Ads

Now you know what Native Ads are, and saw a few examples, let’s talk about the main advantages of starting to advertise with them.

They help improve user experience

It is really annoying to visit a website, watch a video, or even walk on the street and be bombarded by ads that, most of the time, make no sense to what we want at the moment.

A fundamental difference between Native Ads and other kinds of ads is that the former are not as intrusive as the other kinds of advertisement. They appear in a more natural way on the pages, and that’s why they don’t get in the way of the user’s experience.

The truth is that placing a lot of banners on your page may even lead to visitors to stop visiting your website, as it makes it difficult to focus on the content with so many ads.

Native Ads improve user experience because they show up as an integral part of your content, without standing out and contrasting with the elements on the page. And this is what we’ll talk about in the next topic.

They look like website content

As Native Ads are created especially for the page they will be placed, they fit perfectly, building a dialogue with the rest of the content on the page. It is as if they are part of the content of the website.

As you may have noticed, other kinds of ads stand out because they are completely different from the other elements on the page. Having an ad that integrates naturally with the environment of the website or social media may interest the user much more, since it is in tune with what she’s used to seeing there.

Native Ads are inserted in the editorial flow. So, as the visitor refreshes the page or scrolls down the news feed, this type of ad stops appearing, just like the rest of the posts from the page.

They are easily recognized

The fact that Native Ads look very similar to the rest of the content doesn’t mean that they are trying to trick the users to click on them.

Whenever you come across this type of advertisement, they will be labeled ‘Sponsored’, ‘Sponsored link’, ‘Sponsored links by Taboola or Outbrain’, ‘Ads’, ‘Related articles’, and so on, so you are sure they are ads.

Promotion to those who don’t yet know your brand

As Native Ads are inserted in portals, websites, and social media in which the user is already engaged, it is much easier to reach someone who is truly looking for your service or product, even if they don’t know your brand.

Something that is really interesting about this type of advertisement is that Native Ads use an algorithm that is capable of segmenting your campaigns to people who have shown interest in what you offer. This algorithm takes many different contexts and factors into consideration, such as information provided by users in social media and searches on Google, for example.

With this, you can expand your reach and promote your content in pages, portals, and to people you wouldn’t imagine you could, or to whom you had no prior access.

High acceptance rate

As we mentioned earlier, Native Ads are part of the content on a page, and that’s why they have such a high acceptance rate.

When people don’t feel they’re being forced to consume some kind of advertisement, they accept what you are offering much more.

As it is not intrusive, you can involve your potential consumers, since Native Ads direct adequate content in the channels people use more often. It is as if you are in the right place with the right information for people on a certain page.

How to create Native Ads

If you’ve got this far, you have realized that there are many advantages in using Native Ads in your promotion strategies. But do you know how to do that?

There are many different ways of creating Native Ads, and each of these ways depends greatly on the communication channel you have chosen. However, there are some common steps for all Native Ads, and from here on, we’ll show you how to use this strategy for your business.

1. Define the audience you want to reach

Before deciding on the communication channel in which you will promote your ads, it is necessary that you understand really well who your buyer persona is. (To learn more about buyer personas and why you need to focus on this strategy, read our post on How to create a buyer persona for your business.)

As soon as you find out who the audience you want to reach is, it is much easier to create offers that are truly in tune with people’s interests. You will then be able to develop an ad with a much more assertive content.

Moreover, you will understand what are the most frequently used channels for the audience you want to reach, and therefore will create Native Ads for the pages your ideal clients use. Which takes us to step number 2.

2. Understand the consumption behavior of your audience

From the moment you know exactly who you want to reach, you start to understand the consumption behavior of your audience, and the patterns they follow. And the same goes for the most commonly used communication channels.

As we showed in the beginning of this topic, the ways of creating Native Ads depend on the channel you wish to promote in. That’s why it’s important to know if your audience is more engaged on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, or any other website.

Knowing the channels your buyer persona visits the most allows you to direct your ads to pages that can truly reach your ideal audience.

Besides, the way your Native Ads are created is determined by the platform and Terms of Use of each communication channel. So, you need to identify where you will advertise to know if you need video, images, posts, or any other kind of content.

3. Talk about topics that interest your buyer persona

You always need to think about the best user experience with your brand, service, or product. And that’s why you should only talk about topics that interest your buyer persona and promote in channels that relate to these topics.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Let’s suppose you have a product on healthy eating. Wouldn’t it be odd to promote this product on a blog that focuses on gardening? The ideal thing here would be to choose a blog or page on social media that focuses on healthy eating.

You don’t need to only direct your Native Ads to blogs or websites on health, though. It would also be interesting to direct your ads to a page that focuses on physical exercise, sustainable consumption, and how to change your life for the better, for instance.

Do you see how you add value when you talk about something that is really interesting to the person visiting that page?

Show content that is related to what the website focuses on.


Advertising is essential to promote any kind of product, service, or brand, and it should be done constantly. We don’t want to suggest that you should stop creating ads such as banners, because after all they are also important to promote your business.

The intention of this post was to present an alternative to ads thinking about your consumer. And that’s why we suggest you start a strategy with Native Ads.

It is extremely interesting to offer a content that makes sense to your users, on the channels they use the most. This way you’re able to start a dialogue with people and show them why your product or service is the ideal one at that moment and place they find themselves.

Take advantage of the audience on social media, blogs and websites to offer assertive content and create a non-intrusive type of advertisement. We are sure that the fact you’re not interrupting people with ads all the time will show the importance you place on their online experience.

So, tell us, are you using the Native Ads strategy already? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!