You’ve seen labels like ‘Promoted’ and ‘Sponsored Content’ floating over certain headlines on sites like Slate, Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic. Maybe you’ve checked out some of these native ads—which are structured to look and read like editorial content on the site—and wondered how well this approach works for the brands that use it, or how well it might work for your company.
To help you learn the ins and outs of native advertising (or even to just figure out a working definition for ‘native ad’), we’ve gathered up some of our favorite articles and infographics on the subject. Check out the links below.
What Is Native Advertising?
This post was written two years ago (an eon ago in internet years), but Josh Sternberg lays out examples for native advertising, sponsored content, and branded content that still hold up well today.
Although primarily aimed at small business owners, this is a good primer on native advertising for anyone.
The Shift to Native Advertising in Marketing (Infographic)
For those visual learners out there, here’s a pretty cool infographic that covers a lot of ground.
Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work (Native Advertising)
This is one of the most-frequently cited examples of native advertising done well. It fits with the format of The New York Times, it contains compelling research on the US prison system, and it clearly states the post is paid for by Netflix but does not overtly promote the video streaming company or its show, Orange Is the New Black.
What Does Your Audience Think of Native Advertising?
You’ll hear plenty of praise for native advertising in marketing circles, but keep in mind it’s what your target audience thinks that matters. (Fortunately, not all the things people really think about native advertising are bad.)
It’s worth pointing out that this survey was conducted by a native ad platform company that has a stake in what people think about native advertising, but the trends it points to are still pretty interesting.
Let’s review some of these best practices so that we know how to preserve them.
There’s well-crafted, transparent native advertising, and then there’s the kind of nebulous, irrelevant native advertising that makes readers lose trust in a brand. Answering these 7 questions can help you steer clear of the latter category.
A basic roadmap for SMBs looking to jump into native advertising.
A good read if you’ve launched your first native advertising campaign and are wondering what to do next.
One of the best ways to learn more about a marketing strategy is to look at someone who is using that strategy successfully, and so far, Dell is doing native advertising well. Read an interview with Dell’s managing editor, Stephanie Losee.
The 4 Tools section of this post nicely outlines the main distribution channels available for native content promotion.
Which Channels Are Best for Content Promotion? (Infographic)
A useful visual that breaks down owned, earned, and paid media channels.
An overview of 6 companies that place native advertising content on publisher sites. The article was written in late 2013, and all 6 startups are still alive and well today (perhaps a testament to the demand for native ad placement).
LinkedIn is turning into a powerful content distribution platform in its own right, and B2B owners might want to think about using it for their native advertising. Here writer Jeff Haden walks through the step-by-step process to start using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates.
Learn how to get more eyes in front of your LinkedIn content, whether you spring for Sponsored Updates or not.
This WSJ blog post points out the importance of coming up with standardized metrics for native advertising.
If you’re not sure where to even begin with measuring the success of native advertising, start here. You’ll learn about attention minutes, social sharing, click-through rates, and conversions.
Ready to get a little more granular? This eye-tracking study shows how participants visually focused on native ads considerably more than banner ads.
This in-depth Moz post shows you how to use metrics to compare content distribution platforms so that you can stick with the one(s) that give you the best ROI.
Here’s another very thorough Moz post, this time featuring original research on the ROI of content marketing compared to native advertising. It also includes a link to Fractl’s content ROI calculator to help you determine what’s best for your business.