Native advertising is not necessarily a new tactic, but you may not have much experience with it. This form of advertising focuses on placing ads that match the look, feel and design of the content on the platform where they appear. The goal of native advertising is to combat “banner blindness” or ignoring content that appears to be an ad.

Native advertising campaigns match the look and feel of the content already on the page, so they appear more natural and boost engagement and conversion with users. Today, more and more companies are implementing this strategy and taking advantage of native advertising benefits. We’ll discuss the industries that are well suited for native advertising, as well as some trends to keep an eye out for.

Native ad spending forecast

If you’re still skeptical about the effectiveness of native ads, it might calm your doubts to know that spending in this category has been trending up in the past few years. And projections estimate it will only get higher. In 2018, native ad spending hit $35 billion in the U.S. This number was expected to surpass $52 billion by the end of 2020.

In 2021, advertisers spent nearly $120 billion on native display advertising. This was a massive increase compared to 2020, which shows just how promising this avenue was becoming for advertisers and publishers. As of 2022, native display ad spending is forecasted to increase by almost 15% compared to spending in 2021.

Of course, there are many different types of native advertising to consider in these numbers, and some perform better than others. For instance, native ad spending on social media platforms and mobile devices has increased due to the growing usage of these channels.

If you’re trying to target a specific consumer, most likely, they will either engage with your ad through their smartphone or on a social network. Native social display advertising is expected to grow by over 17% by the end of 2022 and almost 14% by the end of 2023.

Native trends to watch

Here are the following trends in native advertising that your company should watch for.

Mobile outreach

In 2021, there were over 7 billion mobile users. As the time users spend on mobile devices increases, so will ad spending on this advertising channel. Native advertising is designed to enhance the mobile browsing experience and avoid disrupting consumers’ visits to certain pages or platforms. One report found that almost 90% of all native ads in the U.S. were delivered on mobile devices in 2020 compared to about 85% in 2018.

As mobile users generally rely on apps for social media networks and web browsing, spending in this category has also seen record growth, with over $40 billion spent in the App Store in 2021 compared to $34 billion in 2020. Native advertising on mobile devices is a popular trend to target consumers who are already looking to spend money.

Video distribution

Video is another popular trend in the digital marketing industry. With the rise of social media, video as an advertising format is growing every year. In fact, since 2017, native video ad spending has continually grown, reaching 38.7% of total video ad spending in 2020.

With Instagram reels and TikTok videos gaining quick traction and success for businesses, this avenue may be ideal for some publishers. Videos shown through in-feed native ads are often quicker, easier to digest and more interactive, which are all beneficial elements for companies attempting to increase sales.

Programmatic automation

Programmatic advertising utilizes AI technology to automate the ad-buying process so publishers can continue to target specific audiences. Without this solution, publishers in programmatic buying may have difficulties finding common ground for the design, look and feel of native ads with advertisers.

It’s common for native ads to be purchased programmatically, and this occurrence will continue to grow. The number of programmatic native advertisers grew from 926 to 1,900 between 2020 to 2021. The total spend in native programmatic ads grew from around $62 billion in 2019 and is expected to surpass $140 billion by 2023.

First-party data strategies

First-party data is another trend to watch out for in the native advertising world. This data, unlike third-party data, is unique to every company. First-party data is information that businesses collect — with consumer consent — through various interactions on websites, apps and emails. This helps advertisers and publishers to create more personalized ads and promote relevant content. The end goal is to convey the right message to your target audience!

Industries that are a great fit for native advertising

There are endless ways to advertise in every industry, but native ads require much more consideration and careful planning. Here are some of the top industries that are a strong fit for using native advertising as part of their marketing strategy.


The business-to-consumer (B2C) space has plenty of native advertising opportunities. As more and more companies compete for consumer dollars, native advertising can be the solution many businesses need to increase sales and stand out among the rest.

As more users become immune to traditional marketing methods — including blatant ads — and actively ignore irrelevant or disruptive ads, B2C industries can take advantage of the natural aesthetic of native ads to boost engagement. Native ads will also help promote trust and loyalty with customers.

Food and beverage

Native ads give brands more visibility, creativity and visual options. When it comes to the food and beverage industry, images can make or break an ad. After all, restaurants, caterers, wine-making companies and other businesses will want to ensure their ads craft the most appealing, appetizing images of their food or beverages to attract customers.

Native ads value relevancy and genuine photos, so consumers who are already surfing online for a recipe or searching for a new restaurant to visit will likely engage more with food-related ads that appeal to their tastes — literally. Food and beverage businesses can boost engagement with customers and maintain trust by complementing the content their readers are already looking at.


Higher education organizations can benefit from using native ads to appeal to different types of students. Some institutions are facing a growing issue of