Native Advertising Articles by Copyblogger

This archive page delivers every article we have posted on the topic of native advertising, including each piece in Demian Farnworth's series that began with this insightful reader survey: Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report.

Is Native Advertising Ethical? (It Depends On Who You Ask)

image of mountainous wilderness with varying shades of light and shadow

Let’s see.

A dubious six-page insert in the Denver Post appears one Sunday.

You flip through it and see articles like “Reclamation helps balance environment and energy needs” and “Colorado environmental regulations serve as model for rest of the U.S.”

The section is labeled “Advertising Supplement to the Denver Post” and looks, design-wise, somewhat different from the rest of the Post, but clearly intended to look like a Post article.

Yet it isn’t.

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Is Native Advertising Even Profitable for Brands?

vintage image of a man looking at bags of gold

Desperate for new revenue streams, publishers are turning to native advertising in droves.

They are handing over valuable real estate on their web properties to brands that are looking for new ways to drive traffic and build awareness.

And they are charging a premium for this space.

Examples of these native ads run from the advertorial to sponsored content to interstitial ads on mobile phone apps. And options are multiplying. As is the money spent.

The question brands must ask (even though there is no simple answer) is: are we getting a positive return on the dollars being spent on native advertising?

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The 14 Keys to Writing Advertorials That Sell

still life image of a desk with Mac products, colored pencils, books, etc

Advertorials are native ads with a single purpose: getting specific action from the reader.

This could be donating to a cause, downloading a PDF, subscribing to an email newsletter, visiting a store, or buying a product.

An effective advertorial grips the reader and leads her to the logical conclusion — pointing her, in very specific language, to what to do next. This is the call to action.

Advertorials come in all shapes and sizes.

  • They could be lists or guides
  • They could be videos or print articles
  • They could be one page or six

Regardless of the format or medium, however, most tell a story.

This is why there are so many similarities between the essential ingredients of a blog post and an advertorial.

But there are still some specific things you must know.

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12 Examples of Native Ads (And Why They Work)

Guinness Guide to Cheese advertorial

Despite all the hype, native advertising remains a fuzzy concept for most marketers.

According to our 2014 status report:

  • 49 percent of respondents don’t know what native advertising is
  • 24 percent are hardly familiar with it
  • Another 24 percent are somewhat familiar
  • Only 3 percent are very knowledgeable

So, given the lack of awareness (and people mistaking it for other things, like sponsorship), we thought it would be a good idea to walk you through about a dozen examples of native advertising — and why they work.

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Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

blog post title image for Copyblogger's 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

Native advertising is paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations.

Think Captain Morgan’s campaign on BuzzFeed in general, their 15 Things You Didn’t Know About 15 Captains, Commanders And Conquerors article in particular.

First off, the theme of the article matches the brand’s values: Captain Morgan was a real live pirate who thrived on adventure and raw conquest — a theme not too foreign to BuzzFeed readers.

Moreover, the article matches the editorial standards of BuzzFeed: a list with big images and short, quirky copy — a format their audience expects.

Three important points need to be noted here:

  • The content is clearly labeled “BuzzFeed Partner.”
  • Nothing is being sold. The call to action is to visit the Captain Morgan YouTube page.
  • The Captain Morgan BuzzFeed author page is branded.

This is classic sponsored or branded content. Now let’s look at another example of native advertising, this time a historical one.

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5 Ways to Rankle an Old-School Journalist

image of young journalist diligently writing while older journalist stands beside her looking dumbfounded

This is the first post in a series on native advertising. An introduction, if you will.

One that states from the start that there is controversy.

Why approach a series this way?

Simple: Native advertising is probably one of the least-known scalding-hot topics in the business world.

In fact, few business people can even define native advertising. And those outside of it are clueless it even exists (we’ve got the data to prove this — will share later).

Yet media research group BIA/Kelsey predicts that by 2017, brands will spend $4.57 billion on social native ads.

$4.57 billion is a lot of money.

How could there be so much enthusiasm and animosity for an ambiguous model?

Two words …

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