Banner ads are going the way of manual typewriters and black and white movies. But there are new formats and tactics that make marketing in the digital age more relevant and effective than perhaps they’ve ever been.

Entrepreneur’s Zach Cutler recently outlined one such strategy – going native with one’s online marketing and advertising efforts.

Cutler cites research from IPG and Sharethrough indicating that consumers looked at less intrusive native ads 53 percent more often than display ads. Native ads were also shown to result in a higher lift in brand affinity (9 percent) and follow-through behavior (18 percent) than more traditional advertising.

“Today’s consumers want to be as informed by advertising content as they are by articles and blog posts, and this era of native advertising is great news for businesses,” says Cutler. “Native advertising allows companies to make the jump onto the content bandwagon, providing their target audience with useful information while still leading to conversions.”

Native advertising also allows companies to talk directly to consumers about the topics they care about, in many cases leading to increased brand awareness, trust and ultimately conversions.

“It’s little wonder research from Hexagram and Spada found 62 percent of publishers are currently offering native advertising, with an additional 16 percent planning to do so within the year,” writes Cutler. “For a company looking to build brand awareness, increase conversions or get the word out about an app, native advertising can be an extremely powerful tool.”

Cutler offers a few ways to start a native marketing campaign strategy, including knowing the target market, researching platform reach, writing interesting posts, and optimizing for conversion.

On the topic of content, Cutler says the most important part of native advertising is providing top quality material.

“No one is going to click on an article unless it seems compelling and relevant to their interests,” Cutler explains. “Since the company knows its audience, look to provide this user with helpful, interesting information. Native advertising isn’t the same thing as a flashing banner ad, so make sure your content is helpful but not promotional.”