Using Native Ads: Digital Marketing Media Buying Technique

3 min read

A Tablet With Sponsored News Articles And Digital Ads On Screen

Over time, consumers have become weary of banner and traditional display advertising. With research showing that native ads are viewed 53% more often than display ads, it is worth considering native advertising as part of a long-term marketing strategy to promote brand awareness.

A report by the Content Marketing Institute highlights how 70% of users would rather absorb product information through content rather than traditional advertisements. Native ads are a natural fit for a particular shopper or reader’s interest. Properly written, native advertising sends a more authentic message than a direct sales pitch leading to higher click-through rates and better user experience. It’s more personal, like a friend giving advice rather than a salesperson spouting features and benefits.

Defining Native Advertising

Native advertising is paid editorial content which appears in digital or print publications. Newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media sites and phone apps incorporate native advertising into their pages. Native advertising distinguishes itself from blatant advertorials which offer no real information. Its function is to promote brand awareness via useful, relevant content rather than brazenly pushing company products.

Reasons to Go Native

Native advertising provides particular benefits over traditional advertising methods. Here are some of the reasons why you should include it as part of an overall marketing strategy.

  • Native advertising is not designed to register quick sales. Rather, it can effectively promote brand awareness over time and build up an emotional connection with potential consumers.

  • A full-service digital agency can target its market by choosing blogs, media sites or print formats that are accessed by its most likely consumers and creating content that is directly relevant to them.

  • Native advertising allows you to use such genres as stories, editorials, images, videos, memes, tweets and playlists in creative ways to enhance your brand. This allows you to stand out from companies with more traditional approaches to advertising.

Golden Rules of Effective Native Advertising

At its best, native advertising should blend organically with a publication’s regular visual and editorial content. Here are a few golden rules to ensure that your marketing campaign has the desired effect.

Don’t Trick Your Readers

While your articles should suit a publication’s style, ethical digital and print media companies will clearly identify your company as the provider of an article. Such misleading labels as “sponsored content” are likely to hurt your brand.

For an example of how to do it right, a Buzzfeed article for Captain Morgan clearly identifies them as the publisher and also links to their social pages.

BuzzFeed Article For Captain Morgan Displaying Drink Recipes

Engage Your Readers

High-quality, useful content which engages and interests the reader will garner more views and provide a positive image for your brand. The content should have subtle rather than blatant links to your brand and its products. This article in The Atlantic, sponsored by Finlandia Vodka demonstrates how visually stunning content can promote positive brand awareness without mentioning the product name in the body of the article.

Call To Action

You are providing quality content and paying for the privilege. Therefore, you need a call to action in order to gain benefit from your advertising dollars. The Captain Morgan article asks you to click on the link to its YouTube page. At the bottom of its article, Finlandia Vodka provides a link to the movie it is sponsoring. In both cases, the reader is not tricked into opening click-bait sites and the highly engaging content makes him or her more interested in finding out further information.

The New York Times and Buzzfeed cater to very different demographics. If you wish to appeal to Millennials, for example, you would choose the latter. Your subject matter should appeal to the publication’s target market and provide an authentic user experience for the reader.

The Next Step

If you are seeking a powerful tool that can distinguish you from your competitors, consider native advertising. If you have questions, contact our marketing strategy team and we can setup a walk-through tailored to your brand goals. By taking an ethical approach to creating genuine content, your brand can have greater visibility and influence in the marketplace.

Image Credit: Linkedin/Entrepreneur

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