When it comes to native advertising, there are a number of approaches you can take. Which route you go down all depends on your business’ content marketing strategy. Let’s discuss three of the most popular methods.
A Quick Refresher
First, a quick refresher. What is native advertising? Native advertising involves paid ads that are aligned with the function, look, and feel of the media format in which they appear.
The idea is that they don’t really look like ads, and as such are much easier on the eyes. So, by following the same flow as the surrounding content, they’re less disruptive. Customers are far more likely to engage with the ad because clicking on it feels like a natural step.
When an ad feels disjointed from its editorial surrounding, it stirs up a different emotional reaction in the customer. You’ve probably experienced this yourself, as it can be noticeably off-putting. Remember when we covered winning over sceptics with ads? Well, when an ad feels disjointed, everyone is a sceptic.
Native advertising can take on many forms – it all depends on the context in which the ad appears. The three approaches that we’ll be discussing today are editorial, social, and display.
Editorial native is the approach that’s most similar to the traditional advertorial model. For example, in a newspaper, it would be an ad similar in style and content to the articles that surround it. Online, the approach is more or less the same. The on-site advertising materials and editorial content are aligned, whether that’s blog copy, audio, or videos.
As a result, editorial native content is both seamless and effective. It’s a great way to get new leads and boost sales.
However, there are a couple of disadvantages to bear in mind. If an ad looks a little too much like the editorial content surrounding it, it could be considered misleading. Remember that even though editorial native content blends in, the fact that it’s an ad should still be apparent.
Moreover, editorial native content has to look similar to its neighbouring content on site, so the look and size of it are limited. This means that, although it’s compelling to customers, it’s time-consuming for marketers as the ads placed on each different site needs to be bespoke.
Before native advertising expanded its remit, social native was at the forefront. This approach involves advertising on social media. The ads sit alongside the regular social interactions that consumers participate in on these networks.
Sponsored Instagram posts or tweets are common examples of social native content. This kind of advertising is particularly powerful. The reason is that it feels entirely organic when the customer comes across these ads. They are using the social media platforms as they usually would, and so the ad doesn’t seem out of place in any way when it pops up in their feed.
Also, advertising through social media carries the power of social recommendation. For example, a customer might come across an ad because one of their friends or connections likes it. Another highly effective example is when influencers with a high following are affiliated with a brand and promote a product or service. The reach of an ad expands significantly on social media.
However, space limitations are a drawback of social native advertising – it’s difficult to tell a detailed brand story in the provided space. This is particularly true of Twitter, as users are limited to a certain number of characters. The ability to like, share, and comment on social media can counteract this issue as customers that engage with a post might ask questions, creating space for dialogue.
Display native seeks to combine the power of editorial native with display advertising’s reach and scalability.
Display ads are essentially ads that appear in the online space. Early versions were hyperlinked banners, typically placed at the top of webpages – they stood out, to say the least. As web design became more creative and complex, display ads began to change. Although they still look different from the rest of the content, they’re a lot more cohesive with the web page as a whole.
So, display native is when third party content moves from being purely commercial to semi-editorial. To achieve this, display ads are aligned with the content on the site on which they’re featured. For example, a carmaker might advertise its newest model on a lifestyle website. Clicking the display ad will redirect the customer to the carmaker’s content on the vehicle. The idea is that the website’s target audience is the same as that of the product being advertised. As a result, they’re more likely to be interested and engage with the ad.
To Sum Up
Native advertising is all about catching the attention of prospective customers seamlessly. The three approaches above are some of the more commonly used methods and are favoured for their effectiveness.