native advertising

Just what is native advertising? Broadly speaking, native advertising marries brand marketing with content creation in a format that mirrors the user’s experience. Because it’s crafted to work within the user’s purpose at the specific time, native advertising is done across a broad spectrum of platforms.

So far, native advertising sounds just like paid editorials (advertorials). The difference is that native ads do not attempt to mask themselves as editorial, rather, the content is directly related to the brand. This is where many marketers make mistakes. A native ad should be clearly written from the view point of the company, but the content is so relatable and engaging to their audience that people will, nonetheless, want to read it.

Let’s use an example: A health drink company decides to run two native ad campaign for the summer. Their first campaign features content about best vacation spots to enjoy a refreshing health drink, best first date options for summer nights and their reviews of the best summer movies. This campaign is meant to write content that fits in seamlessly with the other content on the website. Many marketers use this strategy in their native advertising, believing that they are engaging their audience by writing lifestyle pieces that their audience cares about. None of this is wrong. However, it creates a very weak call-to-action. Even if it generates a strong click-through-rate, the content itself is not strong enough to create brand allegiance.

The health drink company’s second summer campaign features content on the health benefits of certain produce, vitamins and minerals that are featured in the company’s drinks, smoothies that can be made using the brand’s products, and how to properly diet when training for a marathon. The difference between the two campaigns is that this one writes quality editorial based on the business’s products and the lifestyle of its consumers as it directly relates to the brand. This creates a much stronger call-to-action. You may generate a smaller click-through-rate, but you will strengthen brand value and brand loyalty with those that do read your content.  Native advertising is all about brand confidence: the user will know that it’s an ad, but the content is so relevant to them that they don’t care.

Now that you know how native advertising works, you should know where you can use it. Native ads can be broken down into two categories, closed platforms and open platforms:

Closed platforms include Twitter (promoted tweets), Youtube (promoted videos) and Facebook (promoted posts). These type of ads transport the user to another page within the same platform. This also includes any news site that requires native advertising links to direct users to pages within the website.

Open platforms are simply advertising links that allow users to be redirected to outside websites. For example, a native ad on a news site that redirects the user to a different website (i.e. the advertiser’s homepage) is an open platform.

There you have it. I suggest you test out native advertising on your Facebook business page through a promoted post and see the type of results you get. However, because there are so many ways to do native advertising, using professional marketers to write you content and advertise it on the proper sites will get you better results.