Native advertising—ads that have the look and feel of the con­tent that sur­rounds them—are not real­ly new.

Ever since the first radio pro­grams inter­viewed spon­sors about their busi­ness­es and ear­ly mag­a­zines turned over parts of their issues to “adver­to­ri­als,” smart adver­tis­ers have tried to slip their mes­sages under the radar of wary tar­get audi­ences.

But today, native advertising is one of the hottest areas of the online advertising world for three simple reasons:

  • Native ads are an effec­tive way to get an adver­tis­ing mes­sage around ad block­ing soft­ware.
  • Native ads are proven to have high­er lev­els of engage­ment than tra­di­tion­al non-native ads.
  • And per­haps most impor­tant­ly, for many of the fastest-grow­ing social media appli­ca­tions, like Twit­ter and Insta­gram, native adver­tis­ing is the only way to reach their audi­ences.

Dig­i­tal ad spend­ing is on the rise, and no area is ris­ing faster than native adver­tis­ing. Native ads come in many forms, but all share the com­mon goal of not “look­ing” like an ad.

So whether you’re talk­ing about native dis­play ads, spon­sored con­tent, or even the vir­tu­al real­i­ty native ads of the future, under­stand­ing and hav­ing a strat­e­gy for native adver­tis­ing is an imper­a­tive for every adver­tis­er, pub­lish­er, ad agency…in short, any orga­ni­za­tion that inter­acts with its cus­tomers online.