Native Advertising: What it is & How it Works

Native advertising

Traditional advertising methods struggle to capture and retain consumer attention in the digital age. As a result, native advertising has emerged as a more effective and less intrusive approach to engaging audiences.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad content matches the platform it appears on, making it feel like a natural part of the user’s experience. Unlike traditional display ads, which are often disruptive and easily ignored, native ads blend seamlessly with the surrounding content. They’re designed to be non-disruptive and provide value to the audience. Native advertising works by integrating promotional content into the context of the platform on which it’s displayed.


Ethical native advertising practices require clear disclosure to distinguish the content as paid promotion. This transparency is crucial to maintain trust with the audience.


Native ads can appear in various placements, including in-feed ads on social media, promoted articles on news websites, sponsored content in emails, and more.


Native advertising often leverages advanced targeting options to reach specific demographics or user segments, ensuring that the content is relevant to the audience.

Non-disruptive user experience

Native ads seamlessly integrate with the platform’s content, enhancing user experience without being intrusive. This non-disruptive approach increases the chances of capturing the audience’s attention.

Higher engagement rates

Due to their contextual relevance and appealing content, native ads tend to receive higher engagement rates compared to traditional display ads. Users are more likely to interact with and share native content.

Enhanced credibility

Native advertising often focuses on providing valuable information or entertainment rather than a direct sales pitch. This approach can enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of the advertiser.

Improved ad recall

Studies have shown that native ads are more memorable and have better ad recall compared to traditional display ads. Users are more likely to remember the content of native ads.

Effective for content promotion

Native advertising is an effective strategy for promoting content such as blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics. It can drive traffic to a business website or social media channels.

Better mobile experience

Given the rise of mobile browsing, native ads are well-suited for smaller screens. They provide a seamless and visually appealing experience for mobile users.

How much does native advertising cost?

The cost of native advertising can vary widely depending on several factors. Different platforms have varying pricing structures. Social media native ads, for instance, may be priced differently than native ads on news websites. The placement of the ad can impact the cost. In-feed native ads on social media platforms or highly visible placements within a website’s content tend to be more expensive. Advanced targeting options, such as demographic targeting, geographic targeting, or retargeting, can affect the cost. More precise targeting may come at a higher price. The quality and complexity of the content play a role in the cost. Creating compelling visuals or videos for native ads may require additional investment. The level of competition within the brand’s industry or niche can influence ad costs. Highly competitive markets may require a higher budget to achieve visibility. Some platforms use a bidding model for native ads, where advertisers compete for ad space. The cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM) can fluctuate depending on the level of bidding competition.

Ronn Torossian founded 5WPR and The How Agency, a leading digital agency

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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