New data released by Statista and FIPP, the network for global media, at the end of last year, has shown that native advertising is becoming an increasingly popular form of brand communications. The practice has been gaining ground for some time now as part of wider advertising campaigns, making up a growing part of overall revenue for publishers.

In 2017, most channels made anywhere from 0% – 30% of their overall advertising revenue from this type of content. By 2021, over half of those surveyed anticipate that anywhere from 30% to 60% percent of their overall revenues will come from native.

For businesses this is important, because it highlights the expanding spectrum of media options available today and the way in which corporate communications have to change to keep up with developing trends.

Content is more important than ever before and it’s no longer the case that brands can simply shop-window themselves by way of a basic ad with a catchy headline. Consumers are looking for substance in businesses and channels like native advertising can be an effective way of demonstrating thought leadership, offering free advice, and providing a serious voice to contemporary issues alongside the promotion of company services.

This week, Facebook posted a record US$6.9 billion profit for the final quarter of 2018, a growth of 61% on the previous year and a figure that smashed analyst expectations. What this shows is that despite recent controversies surrounding social media, these platforms are here to stay, and by creating tangible, accessible narratives for such channels the business world can also tell its story in a more approachable way.

The line between corporate and consumer communications is blurring, and being present while getting the balance right in terms of style and substance can be one of the keys to success in modern strategic communications.