Why native ads will continue to dominate digital marketing in 2017

Why native ads will continue to dominate digital marketing in 2017

In the marketing world, predicting trends for the upcoming year is a common occurrence and provides some insight into how the industry is evolving. At the end of 2016, I scoured the internet to see what some reputable marketing experts were predicting for 2017, specifically content marketing (breaking news: the internet is yuuuuuge!)

What was one of the most common predictions for this year? That native ads would skyrocket in popularity.


What is a native ad?
A native ad, also sometimes called a sponsored post, is an advertisement that mirrors the aesthetics of the page or environment in which it appears (see image below). Basically, it’s a method to get your ad in front of an audience without coming off as obtrusive—and ultimately, hope readers click the ad to get to your landing page of choice.


native ad example
The content in the red box is a standard example of a native ad, where the design and placement of the ad matches the content on the pages where it exists.


By 2021, revenue from native ads and sponsored posts in the U.S. will make up 74% of total U.S. display ad revenue—a big jump from a 56% share in 2016.* Part of the reason for this upward trend is because of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram who tailor their look and feel to accommodate these types of ads (and make big bucks). In the example below, the advertisement on Facebook appears just as your friend’s Facebook post would in your newsfeed.


sponsored post example
A sponsored post on Facebook


Previously, it was pop-up ads that dominated digital advertising. But with many people using pop-up blockers when surfing the internet on their computers or mobile devices (309 million people globally as of 2016), these ads are continually becoming less effective.


display pop-up ad example
Display ads like this pop-up ad are becoming less effective due to the widespread use of pop-up blockers.


As long as social media remains a part of many people’s daily routines, you can expect native ads and sponsored posts to be the preferred digital advertising method for many companies.

Have you considered native ads as a part of your marketing strategy? Want to learn more about how you can benefit from this approach? Send me a message.



*According to data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), PricewaterhouseCoopers and HIS.

Author Info

Steve Heald

One comment

  1. Lindsay

    10 Apr 2017 - 9:08 am

    Great post. Very interesting and informative. Thank you!

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