Reading Between the Lines

By Gina Nasuti written about 11 months ago

As I was scanning Facebook for my usual dog video fix I couldn’t help but notice the commonality between some of the most popular articles being shared online:

  • 17 Things You Learn When You Date Someone From Newfoundland
  • 19 Things That Will Actually Help You Survive The Zombie Apocalypse
  • How You Should Wash Your Jeans
  • 15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors
  • What You Missed Last Night on Jimmy Fallon's Fallonvention
  • How To Be Transformed Into A Total Nerd Babe
  • 11 Things You Didn’t Know About the Apollo Missions

I know what you’re thinking: What’s happening to the world? But if you read between the lines, these far from scholarly reads are actually more clever than you would think.

Let me introduce you to Native Advertising – a shiny new object on the digital landscape that is changing the way we relate to content.

Native advertising is paid content (sponsored content) that matches a publication’s editorial standards and style while indirectly meeting the audience’s expectations.

If you’re confused, you’re not alone.

According to CopyBlogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report, 49% of respondents don’t know what Native Advertising is, while 24% were “hardly familiar” with it.

In contrast, 90% of media outlets either have or plan to launch Native Advertising campaigns, while 41% of brands are currently engaged as part of wider promotional efforts.

At it’s simplest, Native Advertising is so tightly interwoven within our everyday platforms, channels and publications that consumers have a hard time identifying it as advertising. This is because the user's experience is not disrupted and content is delivered in a way that doesn't change the normal behavior on that particular channel. Content is similar to other content on the site, so engagement is higher than with something like a banner ad.

The best way to think of this is a partnership. It’s a way for a popular platform and a relevant brand to mutually profit. In other words, the platform’s readers/viewers are getting the content they want while brands are getting exposure to the audience they want. 

Let’s take a look at some popular partnerships…

1.The Onion (Platform) + H&R Block (Brand)

2. The New York Times (Platform) and Netflix (Brand)

3. BuzzFeed (Platform) and literally anyone…

*BuzzFeed has been booming with an increase in revenue from native advertising producing more than 100 articles/videos last year alone.