Everyone loves native advertising. It boasts of contextual relevancy, something all advertisers, media platforms and consumers can go ahead with.

Everyone, especially Yahoo.

At Cannes recently, Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo, nudged marketers towards embracing native advertising, extolling the popular trend. She observed  that “viewers of native ads are 3.6 times more likely to perform a branded search than viewers of traditional display ads.”

In Singapore yesterday, Nitin Mathur, Senior Director and Head of Marketing for India and Southeast Asia, Yahoo, took the stage at CommunicAsia 2014 and touched on similar topics.

Contrary to popular belief, ‘native advertising’ is not synonymous with ‘advertorial’ or a smarter version of ‘content marketing’. It is true that native advertisements blend well with the platform it sits on, and have the ability to disguise itself as organic content. However, the most important thing is that these subtle promotions add value to the person interacting with it.

Nitin Mathur, YahooLater, he sat down with this author from e27 to delve deeper into native advertising.

He began, “If you think about how advertising has been happening among the digital mediums, whether it is mobile or PC, it has been dominated by display (advertisements).”

Visit an online publication. Download a random free-to-play mobile game. Search for a movie. Every day, people are bombarded with irrelevant advertisements. You once opened the webpage of a baby bottle brand, and now, all you see are advertisements from the said company. How annoying. You don’t even have a young child.

Also Read: Mobile advertising moving towards relevant rich media globally

Mathur added that netizens and smartphone users have started to subconsciously ignore traditional display advertisements. Their eyes skip over unrelated content. He said,

“… They (Consumers) also interact with the ads more. Native ads could be in the form of text, could be in the form of videos, can be in the form of images — let’s say if you’re scrolling and looking through photographs on your (tablet) and you get an image which is really beautiful. … You’re flipping photographs of movie stars and you suddenly see luxury items being placed in between to say this is the choice of the stars. It becomes far more relevant.”

“I would say it’s not just emerging, it’s catching on pretty fast. And from a Yahoo standpoint, when we look at our content across devices, we know that more and more people will start consuming content on mobile and smartphone devices,” he added.


An example of native advertising

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According to him, there is no one-size-fits-all format for native advertising. “The important part is to understand what is the context of the content consumption,” he said.

However, content creators and advertisers can bear in mind a few tips from Mathur. For example, text in images works well on content that functions as a reading material; videos and images, on the other hand, will not work as well.

He also shared about the correlation between native advertising and search queries. “… We recently did a study with a car brand, I can’t remember the name of the brand but when they advertised using premium display ad units on Yahoo, the search query volume on that brand went up. One form of advertising does affect the other as well.” However, according to Mayer, “viewers of native ads are six times more likely to do a related search.”

For marketers who are still unsure of this trend, and where it will lead them in the next couple of years, check out this infographic published by MDG Advertising, via Inc.