Native advertising is the use of paid advertisements to make your content look more attractive by blending in with their organic surroundings, somewhat veiling the fact that a native advertisement is indeed paid placement.
You may find native ads in various social media platforms as they are recommended on the feed, videos, images, etc. For example, posting an informative article to Facebook instead of promoting a traditional banner ad makes the article an effortless part of the editorial flow of the page.
Why is native advertising important?
Now that you have a bit of an idea of what native advertising is, you are probably asking yourself where it falls in importance within the advertising ecosphere. Surely most consumers know an ad when they see one, so is the guise of “blending things in” even helpful anymore?
For the modern consumer, native advertising simply offers users the opportunity to connect in a format that the user chooses themselves. While studies suggest that most people searching online know they are being advertised to almost constantly, many consumers still take kindly to the effort of making content relevant and unobtrusive. By personalizing content as much as possible, and letting your ads be an organic part of a users’ online experience, your brand will have a higher likelihood of building a favorable reputation amongst new potential customers.
Additionally, you can expect to produce a good amount of brand lift through high engagement rates, click through rates (CTR) and pageviews with a well-produced native ad strategy.
Types of native advertising
One of the great things about native advertising is that there are several different types, allowing ample opportunity to take the same piece of content and produce multiple variants for promotional distribution. Most native ads are designed to help keep the general viewer engaged in a piece of content they are reading. This is one of the most common types of marketing tactics that can be used by new businesses to expand their products and amplify brand awareness.
1) Content recommendation
The first and the most common native ad type is the content recommendation. These are simply ads that appear as recommended articles and blogs. One thing about them is that they appear in the middle or at the end of an article rather than being on top.
2) Search and promote the listing
Another type of native advertisement is the search and promoted listings which essentially appear at the top of an article so that viewers can engage in the ad. Besides appearing on top, they may also appear on the side page of the article so that as viewers scroll down the article or blog, they can watch the ad. This is a great way to attract more viewers to any website.
3) Feed advertisements
The third type of native advertising is the in-feed advertisement which are ads that appear as social media posts as you scroll through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter. Since so many people use Instagram and other social media daily, these advertising types prove to be extremely useful for improving your overall engagement or top of funnel visibility.
Relevancy of native advertisement
Since native advertising has been around for a bit longer than other digital marketing methods, like video ads or social commerce, it’s easy to be enamored with newer, shinier pennies. But do not underestimate the value that this advertising method can bring to your holistic marketing plan. Native ads continue to be a relevant tactic for many businesses as they build brand trust and authority with users, due to their inconspicuous nature. The success of these ads depend on the quality of their content. If the content is memorable and gripping, it is more likely to engage an audience and bring new people into your customer funnel.
Native advertising best practices
You should be following best practices to get the most out of a native ad strategy. That includes:
- Plan and budget all of your campaigns. Setting achievable goals by campaign type also helps a lot.
- Save time and effort with high-quality content.
- Targeting is important here, so you can make sure to optimize your reach and impact.
- In order to provide a good user experience, test and optimize creatives so that you always show the best variant for the audience.
- Data analysis can help you identify the best content for each geographical region to which you are advertising. With content-driven marketing it is particularly important to ensure culture and regional context is considered.
Be a storyteller
Brands are shifting their strategies for more effective native ads; instead of running ineffectual campaigns, they're prioritizing storytelling and putting content in the right context.
This includes tangible assets such as advertising on premium publishers with a clear brand message to tell. Many brands already apply this methodology other channels such as PR and SEO, and the same can absolutely be done with a well thought out native advertising roadmap. Be in control of you brand's story.