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A Primer on Native Advertising - Part II

Posted on 2.02.2014

The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau recently published its Playbook on Native Advertising and it's a must explore resource for 'Net professionals.

What is so interesting about the native advertising trend in general is that it encompasses so many different ad formats. The IAB does a good job of profiling the various formats but let's take a closer look to see which 'Net pro's like you might start encountering with greater frequency in 2014.

In-feed units: These ads are sourced from a publishers normal content and can either be in story form or a promotional ad, can link on or off the site, has been sold with a guaranteed placement and is measured by brand metrics such as interaction or brand lift, even CTR and conversions.

Paid search units: The IAB also classifies search ads as a native advertising unit. The one defining principle that defines an ad as "native" within search is that it must present content isn a format and layout that is readily available to organic search engine results (even though disclosure aspects must be present).


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Recommendation Widgets: Ads and paid content links that are delivered in the form of a widget are another format for native advertising. It is common for these units to standout from the design, link off site, be purchased with guaranteed placement and measured by interaction metrics such as brand lift.

Promoted listings: Appearing (typically) on sites without traditional editorial content, the units fits seamlessly into the browsing experience and look similar/identical to other elements on the page, link to a special page onsite, and are bought on auction through the publisher. These units also tend to be contextually targeted.

In-Ad (IAB Standard): These ad units reside outside the stream, match the function of the site, are narrowly targeted and measured by brand engagement (lift, etc).

Custom: The final ad unit type addressed by the IAB is that of the custom type. What's so special about native advertising is that it is what you (advertiser or publisher) want it to be. Essentially, there are no limits to the possibilities brought about by the format. Custom native ad formats will however have to address the same concerns about form, function, integration, buying and targeting as well as measurement and disclosure.

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