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What Is Native Advertising? Here’s How It Works.

What Is Native Advertising? Here’s How It Works.

What Is Native Advertising? Here’s How It Works.

Unlike conventional banner or display ads, native advertising seamlessly integrates into a platform or website’s content. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands choose native advertising due to its effectiveness in forming significant bonds with their intended audience.

Native ads let DTC brands smoothly showcase ads on their website, blending their messages into content that the audience is already enjoying. This strategy boosts brand awareness, authenticity, credibility, and user experience, nurturing a sense of community and trustworthiness.

What Is Native Advertising?

Native advertising refers to a form of digital advertising that seamlessly integrates with a platform or website’s content. Unlike traditional banner or display ads, native ads harmoniously blend in, providing a more natural experience for users.

Characteristics of Native Advertising

  • Integration: Native ads smoothly merge with a page’s existing content, adapting to its style and format.
  • Relevance: Native ads are designed to match the interests of the target audience and the context of the platform.
  • User Experience: Native ads enhance user experience without interrupting the flow of content consumption.
  • Engagement: Native ads often encourage higher engagement due to their non-intrusive nature.

Differences Between Native Advertising and Traditional Advertising

  • Form: Native ads seamlessly integrate, while traditional ads are more distinguishable.
  • Disruption: Native ads are less disruptive, whereas traditional ads can be intrusive.
  • Blend: Native ads blend with the content, but traditional ads stand out.
  • Approach: Native ads focus on providing value within the context, whereas traditional ads often aim for direct promotion.

Branded Content

Native advertising can include branded content, where the content is created by the advertiser but fits naturally within the platform’s content flow.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic native advertising automates the buying process, ensuring that the right native ads are shown to the right audience at the right time.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is closely related to native advertising, as it involves paying for content placement on a platform, often in a format that resembles the platform’s native content.

The Growth of Native Advertising

You can trace the growth of native advertising back to traditional media, but it has undergone a transformative process within digital media and social platforms – constantly evolving to cater to the preferences of modern audiences.

Now, native advertisements have transitioned from the conventional banner ads that once dominated the advertising industry to more engaging formats, such as in-feed ads, sponsored posts, and video content. This enhances the user experience while maintaining brand awareness and adhering to content marketing strategies.

What Are the Benefits of Native Advertising for DTC Brands?

For DTC brands, this form of advertising offers benefits that seamlessly align with your marketing strategies and objectives. Native advertising offers DTC e-commerce brands a chance to boost brand awareness, engage customers, and drive conversions.

It achieves this through seamlessly integrated sponsored content on social media and strategically placed in-feed ads within editorial contexts.

Here are some advantages of native advertising for DTC brands:

Better Brand Alignment Compared to Non-Native Advertising

Native advertising stands out as a better choice for achieving brand alignment when compared to non-native advertising methods. These social media posts extend across multiple channels, ensuring a consistent brand message. 

By strategically placing sponsored content within relevant platforms like social media feeds or news feeds, native advertising reaches the target audience without causing disruption – i.e sponsored posts that appear as part of the social media experience or in-feed ads that blend with content.

Moreover, the real-time and programmatic capabilities of native advertising platforms enable brands to quickly adapt their messaging. This form of advertising presents a greater opportunity for better brand alignment, fostering lasting connections with audiences.

Higher Consumer Engagement

Through native ads, brands can encourage shoppers to interact with them in ways that traditional display or banner ads often fail to achieve. Using in-feed ad formats that mimic editorial content, native advertising fosters a sense of authenticity and relevance. For example, Instagram and Facebook utilize sponsored posts that blend seamlessly with user-generated content for a more connected experience.

These campaigns generate higher click-through rates (CTR) and stimulate interactions, conversions, and customer loyalty. With its real-time and personalized approach, native advertising presents a greater opportunity for brands to drive sales and create lasting connections with their target audience.

Increased Reach and Visibility

Unlike intrusive display ads or banner ads, native ads seamlessly integrate with editorial content across platforms, ensuring heightened visibility. This approach has proven to be a formidable form of digital marketing, offering various benefits such as increased reach and visibility.

Through various types of native ad formats like in-feed ads, sponsored posts, and recommended content widgets, native advertising efficiently expands the audience base of brands. Big names like The New York Times and Forbes have incorporated native advertising into their marketing strategies, showcasing how native ads can complement editorial content.


Cost efficiency is a key advantage of native advertising, setting it apart from other advertising methods, such as display or banner ads. By targeting their audience based on demographics, interests, and behavior, brands can achieve a higher return on investment (ROI). This is because the content appears tailored to users’ preferences, which boosts engagement and conversions.

As a cost-efficient and results-driven form of advertising, native advertising presents a great opportunity for brands to connect with their target audience.

Enhanced Trust Building

By associating themselves with credible content providers, brands can increase their reputation while leveraging the context of editorial content. This form of advertising, seen in sponsored posts on social media, aligns organically with the platform’s environment.

Furthermore, this content marketing surpasses traditional ads by providing real-time value to the audience, leading to increased trust. With metrics like click-through rates (CTR) and programmatic native advertising, brands can effectively fine-tune their strategies to build customer trust.

How Can DTC Brands Use Native Advertising?

Here are the multiple ways in which direct-to-customer (DTC) brands can use native advertising:

Analyze Audience Demographics

Understand your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and behavior to choose the right platforms for your native ads. This ensures your content reaches relevant users.

Develop Relevant, High-Quality Content

Craft compelling native content that tells a story and provides value to your audience. High-quality content not only engages users but also enhances brand credibility.

Maintain Consistency with Brand Messaging

Keep your native ads consistent with your overall brand messaging and style. This cohesive approach reinforces brand identity and fosters familiarity.

Time Native Ads Strategically

Coordinate native advertising timing with your broader marketing strategy. Ensure native ads complement non-native ads for a cohesive customer experience.

Explore Various Native Ad Formats

Experiment with different native ad formats, such as in-feed ads, sponsored content, video ads, and recommendation widgets. Tailor the format to match the platform’s user experience.

Leverage Social Media Platforms

Use social media platforms for native advertising. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter offer in-feed sponsored posts that blend seamlessly with user-generated content.

Focus on Metrics and Analytics

Measure the performance of your native advertising campaigns using metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversions, and engagement. Analyze data to refine your strategies.

Incorporate Call-to-Action (CTA)

Include a clear and compelling call to action (CTA) in your native ads. Direct users on what steps to take next, such as visiting your website, subscribing, or purchasing.

Adapt To Different Platforms

Customize your native content for each platform. What works on one platform might not suit another, so tailor your content to the platform’s style.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

Ensure your native ads are mobile-friendly. With the rise of mobile usage, your content must look well on smaller screens.

Explore Diverse Ad Units

Experiment with various ad units like carousel ads, sponsored podcasts, and interactive formats. These options can provide better engagement.

Examples of Successful Native Advertising

Universal Standard

Universal Standards is a useful example of native advertising as it showcases how personalized promotions and marketing services can help increase brands’ visibility.

Universal Standard engaged MuteSix’s Programmatic experts to implement Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) with the aim of surpassing their previous agency’s performance. The primary challenge was enhancing personalization for recent non-converted website visitors. DCO enabled the strategic display of products tailored to individual shoppers’ experiences. The outcome was remarkable: a 7.7x return on ad spend (ROAS) within two weeks of launch, twice their previous agency’s achievement.

Additionally, MuteSix’s in-house custom pipeline streamlined the management of Universal Standard’s 600+ SKUs, saving significant costs. Dynamic HTML5 GIFs, reflecting product page views and availability, substantially boosted revenue and ROAS by 120%. MuteSix’s DCO approach and tailored assets collectively delivered a 50% overall ROAS increase.

Dude Products

MuteSix’s Dude Products case study showcases the necessary strategies to increase brand awareness and visibility.

Facing the challenge of boosting revenue, particularly for new customer acquisition in their DTC segment, DUDE Products partnered with MuteSix. Their strategy entailed multifaceted approaches across various platforms. Google efforts concentrated on elevating brand awareness and netting fresh customers via Paid Search, Shopping, and YouTube to enhance site conversions.

Facebook campaigns were meticulously divided by product category to optimize spend and targeting, gathering insightful data for the precise audience and creative tailoring.

Programmatic initiatives focused on seizing homebound streaming audiences by strategically placing ads during key TV programs and moments. MuteSix devised a comprehensive email engagement program to ensure a steady revenue stream, leveraging pop-ups for list growth and automation for consistent income generation.

Noteworthy results surfaced, including an astounding 11,925% YoY revenue rise on Facebook, coupled with a 65.71% increase in ROAS. Programmatic CTV achieved a substantial reach, with 1 million impressions served and 440,000 unique households engaged.

How Can Brands Measure the Success of Native Advertising Strategies?

Let’s explore some of the key measuring tools for the success of native advertising:

Metrics To Track

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on a native ad’s link, indicating the ad’s effectiveness in driving traffic.
  • Engagement Metrics (Likes and Shares): Metrics measure user interaction with native ads, reflecting audience interest and involvement.
  • Conversion Rate: The proportion of users who complete a desired action, such as purchasing or signing up, after interacting with a native ad.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of users who leave a webpage shortly after arriving without engaging further, indicating poor user experience or mismatched content.
  • ROI (Return on Investment): The ratio of the net profit generated from a native advertising campaign to the total cost of the campaign, indicating its financial success.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost: Acquiring a single customer through native advertising efforts.

How MuteSix Can Help

MuteSix accelerates growth for disruptor brands through real-time marketing that solves for customer, market, and brand needs. 

Leveraging data-backed, omnichannel media buying, growth marketing, and creative strategies, our team of forward-thinking experts scale brands to success faster and more efficiently than any agency can.

Ready to grow your brand? Reach out today for a marketing consultation to see if you qualify for a free omnichannel audit. 


What Is Native Advertising? The 6 Universal Types & How To Use Them | LinkedIn 

Guide to Native Advertising | Columbia Journalism Review Inside Forbes: How Native Ads In Our Magazine Are Inspiring Digital And Video Ideas | Forbes

Special thanks to our friends at MuteSix for their insights on this topic.
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