Marketing 2 min read

Most Consumers Don’t Trust Native Ads Says New Study

A new marketing study revealed why consumers don't trust native ads. Apparently, it's not because of content quality. But rather, it's because of relevance.

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

You may want to think twice before allocating most of your ad budget to native ads.

Native advertising is a form of paid advertising that provides valuable information to third-party website users without disrupting the natural flow of the surrounding content. You’ll find them as recommended content on web pages or in social media feeds.

Unlike banner or display ads, native advertisements don’t look like ads. Instead, they match the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear.

According to eMarketer, advertisers are beginning to favor this kind of ads more than any other format. But, this may not be a good idea.

A new study conducted by Outbrain revealed that consumers’ engagement with native advertising – also known as sponsored content – varies by age. Although 28 percent of participants in the study said that they had clicked on native ads in the last six months, only 22 percent trusted what they read.

While this is better than Facebook’s 17 percent trust level, it’s still far from ideal. This makes you wonder why consumers mistrust native ads so much.

Why Consumers Don’t Trust Native Ads

Contrary to what you may believe, the lack of trust is not caused by failure to grasp the content. Compared with Facebook’s 52 percent, 57 percent of the participants said that they understood the content in native ads.

It’s just a question of relevance. Of the study sample, only 40 percent of the consumers found content that was engaging and interesting enough to recommend.

Breaking the number down into generations, 62 percent of millennials said they understood why they were being showed the ads. On the other hand, only 53 percent of the baby boomers and 59 percent of generation X had the same understanding.

Furthermore, the study revealed that boomers are less likely to learn about new brands or products through native ads. Unlike the millennial 44 percent, only 22 percent of the baby boomers found the ads relevant to their interest.

The mistrust is not limited to native ads.

In a statement, the vice president, global business strategy-data solutions at Outbrain, Arnon Sobol, said:

“The majority of ad environments breed distrust among consumers.”

The answer, according to Sobul, is for brands to produce relevant content. They must also ensure that their message is reaching the right audience.

Read More: Is Paid Search Advertising Right For Your Business?

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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