What the FTC’s New Native Advertising Guidelines Mean for Marketers

Native advertising features the perfect marriage between form and function. It’s non-intrusive, feature-rich, and useful (rather than distracting) to the reader. However, the FTC has introduced new guidelines that could impact your digital advertising strategy. If you’re using native advertising or thinking about it for the future, you’ll need to know what the FTC’s new guidelines mean for your business.

Click-Through Rates May Decline

Expect to see a decline in click-through rates thanks to new disclosure rules.

The FTC’s ruling requires native advertisers to disclose the nature of an ad so consumers know what they are clicking. In other words, even though a native ad will appear similar to other content on the screen, a disclosure message will notify consumers that the content is an advertisement rather than a piece of editorial.

This will likely reduce click-through rates, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that advertisers will see a corresponding drop in revenue. Consumers who aren’t interested in advertisements might have clicked on a link in a native advertisement prior to the FTC’s new guidelines, but they likely wouldn’t have made a purchase if they weren’t interested in making a purchase.

In other words, consumers who are interested in making a purchase or investigating a product will click on a native advertising link regardless. This is the traffic with which advertisers should concern themselves — not the people who are disinterested in the content.

Native Advertising Might Increase on Unrelated Publications

The FTC gives several examples of native advertising that doesn’t require an explicit disclosure. For instance, if the content appears on a page that contains radically dissimilar content, consumers will be able to identify the content as an ad without a specific disclosure.

Let’s say you’re running a native advertisement for your car dealership. You publish a native advertising piece on a blog that shares content about insurance. Since car dealerships and insurance aren’t in remotely similar industries, consumers would be able to intuit that the content is an advertisement.

In digital advertising, context often doesn’t matter. A consumer who reads a blog about insurance might also be in the market for a new car. Consequently, native advertising in non-related publications might become more popular among marketers.

Advertisers Will Need Guidance

If you want to take advantage of native advertising, you might need help to ensure compliance.

Working with a digital advertising firm that specializes in native advertising will become essential for businesses that want to market their companies in this space. Failing to comply with the FTC could have drastic consequences, so business owners will have to partner with experts to ensure they follow the rules.

Of course, this strategy offers other benefits, as well. Effective native advertising requires intimate knowledge of the industry and best practices. If you have a strategic partner that can help you maximize your advertising spend, you’ll see higher click-through rates and improved conversions.

Regulations have changed many aspects of the digital advertising industry. To learn how you can capitalize on native advertising and other effective strategies, sign up for Top Secret Digital Marketing Insights and news.

Response Mine Interactive