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.
The New York Times is a classic case study which demonstrates the potential for native advertising. In 2014, it introduced its first native ad for Dell computers. By August 2015, they plan to set up a London unit which would focus specifically on creating native ads for an international market. Clearly, native advertising has proved to be a win-win for The New York Times and its advertising clients.
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 company 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. This Buzzfeed article for Captain Morgan is an example of how to do it right. Captain Morgan is clearly identified as the publisher and there is a link to its YouTube page.
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 Finlanda 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, Finlanda Vodka provides a link to the movie it is sponsoring. In both cases, the reader is not tricked into opening clickbait sites and the highly engaging content makes him or her more interested in finding out further information.
Select your publications carefully
The New York Times and Buzzfeed cater for 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. By taking an ethical approach to creating genuine content, your brand can have greater visibility and influence in the marketplace.