Native Advertising: 3 key principles for a successful campaign

In just a few short years, the media landscape has changed dramatically with the undisputed emergence of digital, providing businesses the opportunity to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time, notably through digital advertising campaigns.

However, this online advertising trend has raised a hitherto unknown problem: intrusion! Sudden appearances, pop-ups, interstitials, banners, etc. Many different advertising formats have altered the browsing experience, leading users to block them.

To counter ad-blockers and regain interest among Internet users, companies have adapted their campaigns through native advertising. Essentially, unlike traditional online advertising, it aims to create targeted, non-intrusive campaigns that create interest with the richness and relevance of the content. In this way, ads are based on editorial context and appear natural, hence the use of native.

As such, we wanted to present three key principles you can put in place for a successful native advertising campaign.

Choose your content direction

When discussing native advertising, it’s important to choose the content of your ad, meaning the direction your message will take. There are two different content types

First, there are ads that take a promotional direction. In other words, they focus on highlighting a product or service. A brand can therefore offer, via a completely different site, content that clearly promotes one of its new products. Take the example of MailChimp, which placed an interactive and clickable visual on the WeTransfer website. This provides original, non-intrusive content while promoting its marketing services.




Next, there is content with an informational direction which aims to entertain and inform the user with content that is independent of the product or service, but within which the company can make links. In this case, one brand can associate with another without directly promoting its products. Take, for example, Netflix, which published a sponsored article in the NY Times ahead of the new season of the American series Orange Is the New Black. This article informs the reader about a topic related to the series, but does not promote it directly. Both brands interest the reader through informational content, giving them the opportunity to create an affinity with them.

Choosing the right form of native advertising isn’t a game of chance. In effect, aiming to be as unobtrusive as possible, businesses must bring value to readers via relevant content and interesting information.

Choose the form of content, promotional or informational, which is most in line with your advertising platform.

Adapt and diversify your content

The advantage of native advertising is that your content can take any format: text, games, videos, etc. However, with the goal that your advertising is perceived as natural by users, the graphic design of your display platform must be considered. Make sure to adapt your advertising format to each platform, whether you use a visual, an article, a video, etc.

If you’ve defined your advertising format before identifying your ad platforms, it’s recommended to choose the platforms that are most suited to your content. Take a video ad for example. You would be wise to choose a platform that hosts the same format, such as YouTube. This way, the content will be better suited to the platform and appear to originate from it.

Also adopt a more editorial communication, in line with the latest marketing trends, by offering diverse content such as mini-reports, tips and advice, testimonials, etc.

This will increase your credibility and open the dialogue with your users.

Be transparent

When doing native advertising, it’s important to be completely transparent. To do this, regardless of the format and platform used, you must disclose elements that allow users to differentiate between natural editorial content and sponsored content.

Inform readers with terms such as “Sponsored by …”, “Recommended by …” or “Presented by …”. Also, be sure to include your brand logo and name. Finally, showcase different colours or visual elements while respecting the platform’s graphic design.

All these distinctions must be clear and visible to be quickly identified by the reader and must appear on all pages viewed by the user.

Note that the closer your content is to the editorial line and user interests, the more you will have to make a distinction for unsponsored content.


Contrary to a 360° communication campaign that consists of spreading the same message across all channels, native advertising campaigns ask us to study each medium, to adapt our content and to diversify its forms of appearance, all with total transparency for Internet users. These campaigns therefore require a significant time investment. However, when properly carried out, they can have a real positive impact with users and increase your reputation.

If you want the support of an expert in developing your own native advertising campaign, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Native Advertising: 3 key principles for a successful campaign
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