8 Native Advertising Statistics That Will Convert You

8 Native Advertising Statistics That Will Convert You


Over 40% of American adults think online ads seem to be aggressively following them. Close to 47% of internet users are now using ad blockers because they think there are too many ads online, according to GlobalWebIndex. According to research, the average person is exposed to over 1700 ads monthly. Websites are abundant in pop-ups, banner ads, full-page subscription boxes, and unsolicited invites. Result? Users are no longer clicking ads. Display ads now have click-through rates of just 0.05% across all platforms. Over 54% of users don’t click banner ads due to a lack of trust. Native ads arose out of apathy and often vehemence from consumers towards ads. 

Native ads are the antidote for brands requiring reach and conversion in a world where consumers are too often abhorred to ads. Whilst sponsored content is not the only format that native advertisements are exhibited in, it is certainly one of the most well-known. We’re going to take a look at the best statistics regarding the effectiveness of native advertising, across the popular sponsored content formula, and all other formats. 

In this article/

Native Ads to the Rescue

Amid its struggle for existence and sustenance, the online advertising industry seems to have found a type of advertisement that promises to rebuild consumer trust by giving value: native ads. What are native ads? Simply put, native ads are designed to look like original content of a website or app so that users don’t find them intrusive.

Here are some examples:

Source: MarketingLand. A native ad for an app.

Source: WSJ. This BuzzFeed native ad post is sponsored by Cheerios

Native ads just don’t look like traditional ads. They are interwoven with the “native” content. Native ads have the attention of the advertising industry because of their impact and usefulness. According to eMarketer, investments in native digital ads were expected to jump 24.6% to almost $44 billion in 2019. In 2020, almost two-thirds of display spending will go toward native ads.

Do native ads really work? Is native the future of mobile ads? Let’s take a look at some mind-blowing stats related to native advertising that will help you understand the bigger picture.

18% More Purchase Intent With Native Ads

According to a report, native ads receive 18% more purchase intent of users as compared to banner ads. Purchase intent is a metric used to measure the intention of the end-user to buy the product or service mentioned in an ad. Perhaps the biggest reason why native ads receive more purchase intent is their placement, added value, and non-intrusiveness. For example, take a look at this image of a well-executed native ad.

Source: Taboola. A native ad for a nearby restaurant based on a user’s search.

Users are more likely to click and see “Kungfu Chicken” because this ad is shown to those who are actually looking for a good place to eat Chinese food. No one would mind receiving a recommendation for a nice place to eat with strong reviews even if it’s in the form of an ad.

74% Ads Revenue from Native Ads

Native ads will account for a whopping 74% of total US display ad revenue by 2021, up from 56% in 2016, according to an estimate by Business Insider based on data provided by PwC and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. This mind-blowing stat shows the power and impact of native ads. The report counts native ads on social media platforms and ads in-feed on publisher websites as part of the overall native ads sector. The report also said that the rise of social apps on mobile devices like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram will boost the native ads revenue by 2021. Another strong driver of native ads growth is video native ads.

53% More Attention With Native Ads

Marketers are channel their marketing spend into native ads as they grab human attention. Or rather, don’t deter human attention as much as other formats do. Data suggests that users pay 53% more attention to native advertising when compared to banner ads.

The primary reason behind this amazing stat is “banner blindness,” a phenomenon where internet users consciously or unconsciously ignore banner ads. Users have evolved to detect and totally ignore banner ads. Native ads instantly get their attention because they are peculiar, similar to the content the user is consuming, and more relevant. Because native ads don’t look like traditional ads, they get users’ eyes on them. Once you have the user’s attention, it depends on you how well you execute your ad and sell your product or service.

86% Facebook Audience Network Impressions From Native Ads

Given the impact and strong ROI of native ads, Facebook is offering advertisers options to use native ads on its Audience Network. According to Facebook, over 86% of impressions on the Audience Network come from native ads. Facebook also cites a report by IHS, which says that native ads deliver 60% more engagement and 3 times greater retention when compared to traditional display ads.

Source: Facebook. 

Facebook’s Audience Network allows companies to target users according to their interests.  Using Facebook’s native ads, several mobile apps were able to increase their revenue and success rates. For example, mobile game app Gametion increased its ad revenue by 40% after using mobile native ads.

Millennials, Gen X, Gen Z Prefer Native Ads

According to a survey by Time Inc, close to 90% of younger internet audience from Gen Z, millennials and Gen X prefer custom content including native ads online instead of traditional ads. The survey included the opinion of about 17,000 young individuals. About 93% of the audience said that they prefer brands that put some effort in creating something unique to get their attention. Over 56% of the audience said they like brands sharing something of value rather than just trying to sell something.

Younger audience on the internet actually prefer custom recommendations that have some value. That’s why famous websites like Buzzfeed, Penny Hoarder and The Wire Cutter earn millions in revenue every year based on their ecommerce native ads and content.

32% People Said They’d Share Native Ads With Others

Because native ads provide value, people tend to share them with their friends and family. In a survey, over 32% people said they would share native ads with their friends, compared to 19% for display ads. Unlike banner ads, native ads give you a chance to sell yourself by adding more value, insights and details.

But Be Careful With Native Ads! Native advertising is not all fun and games. If not executed smartly, native ads could backfire and result in lost trust. We will mention one key stat that sheds light on the the importance of executing native ads with a smart strategy.

54% People Felt Deception On At least One Instance

Let’s face it: native ads are by definition designed not to look like ads. This makes this kind of advertising vulnerable to deception. Users could perceive that they were tricked into clicking on ads as native ads are designed to look just like the native content the user is consuming.  In a survey, over 54% people said that they felt deceived after clicking on a native ad.

In business, trust is everything. If users feel that your native ad was deceptive, you are definitely doing something wrong.

A New York Times native ad-based piece on Wendy’s is one of the best examples of executing native ads optimally. Over 80% of readers were able to identify this article as a Wendy’s-sponsored piece, yet over 50% said they were more likely to buy Wendy’s products after reading the article. Why? The native ad has a lot of value. It was a long-form article with a lot of valuable content and real insights. Native advertising is the future of advertising in the mobile app industry and overall internet ads sector. Almost every study shows that native ads beat traditional ads when it comes to key metrics. If executed well, native advertising to your mobile app could be a game-changer.

Source: The New York Times. A sponsored post by Wendy’s

Final Thought on Native Ads

We have merely provided the data and statistics regarding native ads or advertising and their effectiveness, or in the case of the last statistic, their potential harm. Whether or not native advertising is the best strategy for your company will depend upon many variables. However, it is certainly advisable to consider adding native ads into your marketing and advertising mix, for cut-through. 


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