Acquiring Traffic

Native vs. Traditional Advertising – An Example from the Blogosphere

Eli Robinson
Friday, January 23 2015

Native Advertising

One of the buzzwords flying around the internet marketing world these days is “native advertising.”

While the definition of native advertising is debated by some, it basically boils down to an ad that looks like the website instead of looking like an ad.

The “native” part pays homage to the idea that it appears that the advertisement is actually a part of the website itself as opposed to being an advertisement.

Think about the last time you clicked a pop-up ad? What about a banner ad?

Can’t remember? Well, that’s a problem for online advertisers.

Native advertising has evolved as the consumers on the internet have trained their brains to ignore ads.

I would ask you the last time you clicked a native ad, but the funny part is that you’re unlikely to remember the last time it happened. You probably didn’t even know it was an ad!


Obviously speaking about these in generalities is difficult, so let me show you an example from one of my favorite websites, Deadspin.com.

Deadspin is one of the most popular blogs on the internet. Its focus is reporting on the aspects of sports and pop culture that more refined news outlets refuse to report on. Its slogan is “Sports News without Access, Favor, or Discretion”

Now, as a blog, Deadspin is mostly limited to collecting revenue via advertisement as they do not charge any subscription fees. So it's particularly important for them to be on the cutting edge of advertisements. Let’s take a look at how they accomplish this.

Here’s a screen shot of the Deadspin homepage:

Deadspin.com Home Page 1/23/2014



Here’s how the reader’s brain dissects the page:

Deadspin.com Homepage Breakdown


As you can imagine, the click rate on that H&R Block ad is almost certainly VERY VERY LOW. Those are the ads that you don’t click anymore.


But let’s take a closer look at the first “article” listed:

Deadspin.com Native Ad Headline for Dollar Shave Club


Aha! It’s not a sports story at all. It’s an “article” about how awesome Dollar Shave Club is! And it doesn’t stop there…


When you click into the “article,” you find an actual article about Dollar Shave Club:

Dollar Shave Club Native Ad on Deadspin


Ultimately, a number of people are going to read through this article and purchase Dollar Shave Club products.


Now, I don’t know what Dollar Shave Club pays Deadspin for this advertisement, but I guarantee you it is some of the most effective advertising they’ve ever done. Plus, Deadspin’s readers may actually enjoy reading about new products, so everyone’s a winner.

Crazy, right?

If you want to talk about how we use native advertising here at FranchiseHelp and learn how your franchise can use it too, send me a message and we’ll set up some time to talk.