In this week’s edition of our Marketing Trends Series, we are taking a look at a form of advertising that has rapidly grown over the last several years: native advertising. Content marketers are migrating and implementing native advertising because it is better building trust, engagement and feels more authentic with prospective clients and customers than traditional paid media ads.
Native advertising is advertising done in an online publication that closely resembles content published by that website, but is actually paid for by the advertiser with the intent of promoting a product, service or other offering.
A report from eMarketer shows just how popular native advertising has become over the last few years. Native ad spending was at $1.6 billion for the year in 2012, and by the end of 2017, it is expected to reach approximately $4.6 billion for the year. The reason for this is that many advertisers have come to believe native advertising is significantly more effective than traditional display ads. One study by Sharethrough and IPG Media Lab found people look at native advertisements 53 percent more than they look at those display ads.
“Native advertising is the hottest new traffic strategy in digital marketing. Native advertising is on the same trend line that ‘content marketing’ was on back in 2010… about 18 months before every chucklehead with a keyboard became a “content marketer.” ~ Molly Pittman, Digital Marketer
Basically, native advertising works because it is treated like any other piece of content on the platform hosting it. When done well, it does not interrupt the user experience.
Creating a native advertising plan that works
If your business is interested in looking into native advertising as part of your marketing strategy this year, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Don’t be overly promotional: Don’t turn your native advertising into a press release for your business. Your brand name and logo will be placed alongside the content, so you don’t need to spend any time branding your content. In fact, you don’t even have to mention he name of your company at all. This is the biggest mistake made by companies that are new to native advertising.
- Create content that draws people in: You do not have to be overly boisterous when it comes to the tone you take with native ad content. Remember: you’re trying to get people to come to you, visit your website and purchase your products or services. Focus on saying interesting things, rather than being aggressively self-promotional.
- Be consistent: Don’t expect to see immediate results from a single piece of native advertising content. This is a type of advertising you have to be persistent with, so you should be committed to a long-term plan.
- Stay brief: Brevity is important when it comes to native advertising. Again, one of the big benefits of this type of advertising is that it is designed in such a way that it minimizes the intrusion into a user’s experience on the site. Too long and you run the risk of being intrusive.
- Make your content consistent with your brand: This should go without saying, but it is worth repeating—any content you create, whether written or visual, should always be consistent with the image you have established for your brand. This will help you ensure you attract the kind of people who are actually likely to become customers.
- Analyze examples of good native advertising: If you are new to native advertising, one of the best ways to learn how to do it well is to check out examples of other companies that have already achieved success using the method. You might be surprised at the extent of success many companies have already experienced in their native ad campaigns.
Companies that invest in native advertising are well positioned to see improved lead generation and overall brand recognition.
Copyright Viral Solutions 2017
Thomas von Ahn
Chief Elephant Slayer for Viral Solutions LLC
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