What is Native Advertising? We have heard this term a lot more lately. Unless you are looking closely at the articles you read in the morning while waiting for the cup of joe to work its magic, chances are you are  clicking on these ads.

A Native Advertisement delivers content, promotional or otherwise, to targeted audiences in a form and function acceptable to them. A Native Advertisement can also be described as normal content stamped with tiny disclaimers and contain messages that are clear endorsements.

Editorial content, especially news, has been forced to change their business model in order to stay in business. More news and content is online and users are not willing to pay for it. The Internet is free, right? 

If users are not willing to pay for the news, then advertisers are necessary to fill the money void. With traditional banners ads only delivering a low 0.17% click through rate, advertisers have been less likely to use their advertising budgets on editorial sites.

So a new way to appeal to advertisers was created:  native advertisement, branded content, sponsored content. It is effectively camouflaged ads that look like news stories.

Take The New York Times, for example. They released this article sponsored by Netflix. It contains a powerful statement while still advertising the second season of its original series, Orange is the New Black.

New York Times: Netflix: Orange is the New Black Native Advertisement

New York Times: Netflix: Orange is the New Black Native Advertisement

While there are many examples to show, we highlight this one because we am rather fond of the series and found the content itself poignant and inspirational. 

Twitter's Promoted Tweets, BuzzFeed's Sponsored Ad Galleries, and Facebook's Sponsored Stories are more examples of how advertisers deliver promotional content in a native form to the platform that is more easily accepted by their target audience. It just blends right in!

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this new method of advertising (church vs state anyone?), but if done right, it can bring brand awareness, entertainment, and knowledge to the end user without seeming too "in your face".

Look around, let us know what you find with a Native Advertising filter in your head. We would love you to send us an example of native advertising that you clicked on thinking it was part of your feed or an editorial article!