The What, Why, and How of Native Advertising

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A viable alternative to traditional banner and interstitial advertising, native advertising is a type of online advertising that suits the context and function of the platform upon which it posts. This form of paid media advertising has been frequently adopted by content marketers ever since Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) injected the new concept into advertising discussion in February 2014.

By definition, native advertising is any paid content that is “in-feed” and inherently non-disruptive. It generally comes out as either an article or video, produced by a paid advertiser who intends to promote a product or service, while matching the form and style of the platform’s other editorial content. Instead of interrupting the flow like a typical TV commercial, pop-up or print ad, it blends into its surroundings and in theory at least, provides educational benefits for the readers. Thus native advertising is more likely to be shared and much less intrusive than typical ads as it blurs the lines between advertising and content.

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  • Why Should I Consider Native Advertising

Not a few people consider native advertising is somewhat equal to content marketing. Content marketing enables promoted products and services to be delivered in merchants’ own channels, such as emails, homepages, official blog sites, and SNS channels, while native advertising reaches far more prospects since targeted and not-recognizable ads appear in someone else’s channels.

Here are some considerations why native advertising should be employed:

  1. Native advertising can transfer the credibility from a media property and the influence of an advertiser to the brand. The good faith to the brand could help you build your own database of subscribers to your own content.
  2. On the smaller mobile screen, the stream itself is the entire user experience. As more and more individuals cannot live without cell phones and SNS, it is a wise choice to approach them with native ads created by predominant advertisers.
  3. Based on Solve Media, an advertising consulting company, “You are 475.28 times more likely to survive a plane crash than have someone click on your banner ad.” Though we do not know the methodology behind the interesting number, we are all aware how people hate banner ads.
  • How to Use Native Advertising

Content Creation

  1. Identify your goals. As with any advertising initiative you should first determine what you are trying to achieve with these ads.
  2. Collect as much data as possible. Social networks allow marketers to use demographic data on users, ranging from their age and geo-location to their job title and company size.
  3. Select target audience based on your goal and collected data, and analyze this specific customer segment’s behaviors and preferences to create most compelling and fitting content. Brainstorming is recommended here and you can remove any inappropriate ideas later.
  4. Combine the content with trending topics if possible. But you would rather not use hot topics in the native ad if the topic appears stiff and incompatible.

Platform Selection

  1. Build a solid relationship with your publishers. Having open communication with them ensures the content is in line with your missions and messaging. It also offers the flexibility you will need in case your campaign does not perform as expected, and the efficiency to come up with a solution to turn things around.

2. Distinguish various platforms. Different online and social channels reach different groups of audiences, and have varied formats. For example, people aged 45-54 use Facebook most frequently and 65% of users are age 35 or older, while most active users on Twitter are from 18 to 29. Or Instagram encourages less intensive content, while Facebook rewards quality content with higher engagement. For a detailed comparison among currently leading social media sites, this article might help.

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Measurement

One of the most common metrics used by publishers and advertisers to measure performance is engagement, which may include page views, conversion rates, time spent reading the content, referrals, impressions, links out, and overall response to the ads. Others use traffic, brand lift and cost per click.

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