For digital marketers, content creators, publishers and other online innovators, lengthy discussions around the rise of native advertising are happening everyday. Industry insiders have been debating the merits of native at length, and everyday we see examples of brands creating new types of content, experimenting with innovative strategies and pushing the envelop into uncharted advertising waters.
But outside of the thought leaders, things seem a little more quiet on the native advertising front. Earlier in April, Copyblogger released a survey that dove into how brands are looking at native advertising and where it fits into their present and future content strategies.
As a company that is focused on pushing the boundaries with new native advertising formats, we were surprised to see the general lack of awareness that this survey exposed. Some stats in particular that shocked us:
- 49% of respondents did not know what native advertising is
- 51% of respondents are “skeptical” about native advertising
- 39% of respondents think that native advertising is “misleading”
While detractors might argue that this lack of awareness and overall negativity is a grim sign for the future of sponsored content and native advertising, we prefer to take a “glass half full” view on the issue. There is clearly a huge opportunity for both brands and platforms to establish the credibility of these new models.
Brands that are already engaging with these techniques are ahead of the curve and will likely see high ROI on their native campaigns. Companies who are prioritizing experimental ad formats have little to lose and a lot to gain while the competition remains focused on outdated models. We won’t be surprised to see a dramatic increase in the number of companies reconsidering their stance on native in future surveys like this one.