What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a form of advertising that integrates high-quality content into the organic experience of a given platform. Native ad units conform to the design and feel of the sites on which they display, preserving the immersive user-experience while producing click-through rates like that of editorial content.

We don't think of "Native Advertising" as the currently abused buzzword applied to anything that isn't a banner. We're redefining it as something scalable and superior. It's the intersection of beautifully customized native content delivery and the power of programmatic technology.

What is Programmatic Native Advertising?

Programmatic native advertising serves each ad unit on an impression-by-impression level and leverages real-time data and decision making to ensure that the most relevant ad is placed on each site, creating a unique user-experience.


Forms of Native Advertising

The term native advertising is broad and continues to evolve. When it first emerged, it was seen as a modern version of the advertorial. It's now viewed as a separate channel designed to deliver high-quality, value-adding branded content. In its Native Advertising Playbook, IAB mentions the core six forms of native advertising. We believe most of them can be broken down into three categories.

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In-feed Native Advertising

Pioneered by social platforms, in-feed native advertising is the most common form of native ad. The primary reason for its wide adoption is its "mobile-first" approach and ability to drive users to advertisers' owned media properties. It includes promoted listings and paid results.

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Content Recommendation Widgets

Content discovery widgets are typically found at the bottom of an article. Largely seen as a means for publishers to drive traffic and monetize their content, some advertisers see value in reaching a wide audience in a cost-effective manner through content recommendation.

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In-ad Native Advertising *

Using the elements of a native ad - image, headline, body and brand logo - in-ad native ads occur within display inventory of a given page. Advertisers can achieve greater reach while still using the elements that make native ads so engaging, when native inventory is limited.

* StackAdapt Exclusive

How can you leverage Native Ads?

Study after study has shown that native advertising is more effective than traditional digital marketing methods. Some statistics from the Content Marketing Institute on how marketers perceive native advertising are:

  • 53% Say it is extremely or very effective
  • 90% Agree that it can be used to build audiences
  • 88% Agree that it can be used to drive an action
  • 85% Agree that it offers valuable content to the reader and can be used to promote content marketing efforts

Brand awareness


Target/retarget customers in the sales funnel


Long shelf life


Building a subscriber base


Producing deeper brand engagement


Generating leads


Reach targeted audiences across trusted channels


Source: Why U.S. Businesses Will Spend $21b On Native Advertising In 2018
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Native Advertising Adoption in Numbers

According to eMarketer, in 2017 native spending grew faster than the overall display market, accounting for 58.3% of ad spending. And US native ad spending is projected to grow to $41.14 billion in 2019. The popularity of this ad format will continue to rise, as per BI Intelligence estimates that state native advertising will drive 74% of total US display ad revenue by 2021.

Native Ad Spending % Change

US Native Display Ad Spending, 2016-2019 (billion and %chg)

Source: eMarketer, March 2018 (

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