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Native Video Advertising 101

Published: May 7, 2018

Author: Reeves Caldwell

The ever-changing landscape of digital marketing makes staying current a challenge. The native advertising space continues to expand as content consumption behavior evolves, and publisher tech stacks change with it. Native video has recently seen a huge uptick in adoption and is proving to be a must-test new ad format for marketers.
Native advertising is essentially any form of paid content that is designed to fit the form and function of a publisher’s editorial environment without disrupting a reader’s user experience. Therefore, native video advertising is paid video content that is both served in-feed and formatted to mesh well with the publisher.

Allowing Users to Opt Into Video Drives Higher Brand Lift

One of the most common types of video ads are standard pre-roll video ads. These ads are made for a set length and play before a piece of video content starts. While they may feel ubiquitous when watching video content, pre-roll video ads may not be the best way to connect your desired audience as they force the user to watch the ad, disrupting the user experience. This starkly contrasts with native video ads, which people can choose to either scroll past or stop and watch.
Between the two formats, studies have shown that native video ads frequently outperform pre-roll ads in terms of brand lift1. ShareThrough and Nielsen compared the brand effectiveness of native video ads versus pre-roll video ads and noted that in each case, the native video ad generated higher lift than pre-roll2. The study also reported that people exposed to the ads were less “likely to have negative brand opinions” when compared to pre-roll ads.
This seems to all stem from the nature of native video. People choose when they want to engage with a native video ad, while pre-roll video ads are gatekeepers that block the content users want. The element of choice when engaging with the content makes the ad more engaging and leaves the user happier with the experience due to the voluntary nature of the interaction.

Brand Awareness and Acquisition

Using native video as a way of introducing users to brands is extremely effective, and agencies are catching on. These ads have been proven to pull in orders of magnitude more engagement and lead to better brand recall when compared to traditional banner ads. This performance has been reflected in the increase in prevalence of native video in the marketplace; native video increased by almost 4x from 2016 to 20173. This explosive growth of in-feed video shows that it is effective in helping brands reach the audiences they care about.
For brands focused on leveraging native as part of a last-click CPA program, in-feed video is a great tool for “pre-qualifying” users, as well as driving traffic to engaging content pages. Studies show that in-feed native video is the most engaging native video format, with the highest completion rate and most clicks to landing pages4. A well-qualified user paired with a well-designed landing page experience is a recipe for great CVR!


As demand for native video continues to grow, brands shouldn’t wait to test it as part of performance and branding programs. Getting started can be as simple as repurposing social video assets (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for native networks like Outbrain and Yahoo Gemini.

To learn more about native advertising and native video advertising, contact us.

Results will vary depending on content type, platform, the advertiser, etc.
2  http://www.sharethrough.com/resources/native-video-vs-preroll/
3  https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/294646/native-video-is-on-a-growth-trajectory.html
4  https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/294646/native-video-is-on-a-growth-trajectory.html

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