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The majority (62%) of digital content publishers now offer native advertising opportunities, such as sponsored blog posts, according to a recent report by Hexagram and Spada.

Moreover, 16% of publishers that do not currently offer native advertising options plan to start doing so within a year.

The study also found that 41% of brands have already run native advertising campaigns, and 20% of those that haven't plan on doing so within a year.

Below, key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 1,000 publishing, advertising, marketing, and PR professionals.

What Is 'Native Advertising'?

  • Respondents consider a variety of advertising content to fall under the category of 'native advertising,' with the most popular definition being 'sponsored content' (53%).

  • The majority of brands (56%) and agencies (50%) have positive views toward native advertising. Only 11% of both groups have negative views of publishers that offer it.
  • The majority of publishers (84%), agencies (81%), and brands (78%) say native advertising adds value for consumers.

Types of Content

The most popular forms of native advertising are blog posts (65%), articles (63%), and Facebook (56%).

Labeling and Developing Content

  • Most publishers (79%) clearly label native advertising campaigns to distinguish them from editorial content.
  • The most popular way of indicating ad content is "Sponsored" (64%), followed by "Brought to you by" (34%), and "Featured" (29%).
  • The majority of brands (66%) say they create content used in native advertising campaigns on their own; however, a significant minority work with agencies (24%) or publishers (24%).

Measurement and Monetization

  • Publishers (70%) and brands (66%) prefer to use traffic or audience figures to measure the effectiveness of native advertising campaigns.
  • Native advertising account for an average of 20% of total current publisher revenues. The publishers surveyed expect it to constitute 30% of their total revenues within a year.
  • Publishers say the most effective forms of native advertising for monetization are blogs (58%), articles (56%), and videos (53%); agencies and brands rank videos number one, and they are also more positive about Facebook and infographics.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 1,000 respondents from the publishing, advertising, marketing, and PR industries (76% from US-based companies). The survey was fielded in September 2013.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji