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With the daily inundation of advertisements in all directions, we are actively dodging, sidestepping and evading all manner of solicitation. Gradually, advertisers have infiltrated every trending medium from streaming television to social media and are continually working to reach us where we don’t want to be reached. Native advertising is a budding medium that solves the problem of invasive advertising.
Native advertising is loosely defined as paid ads masquerading as editorial content. Have you ever browsed a news source’s website and casually clicked through their articles? It’s likely that you consumed paid content unknowingly and interacted with an advertisement. These ads are often only identifiable by small “sponsored content” denotations.
Benefits of native advertising
Native advertising is truly a marketer’s dream. If done correctly, you can reach your target market and hold their attention for minutes rather than seconds. Native offers you the chance to advertise to your future consumer while also adding value to their online experience (something Google will thank you for via your search engine ranking).
Native is becoming an essential component of the marketing mix for several major brands including Airbnb, Lexus and Visa. According to Hearst Television, Inc., 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through content, and as a result, they tend to have a higher opinion of these brands after reading their stories.
How it works
A native ad should look just like other articles found on its host site. Whether it’s hosted on NBCSports.com or GoodHousekeeping.com, your ad should match in terms of written content and design. For example, if you own a local nursery and decide to purchase a native ad hosted on GoodHousekeeping.com, you might feature an article entitled, “The 5 Most Beautiful Plants You Can Grow in the Desert.”
From there, the goal is to create content that finds balance between tutorials, anecdotes or information, and the soft promotion of your product. Identifying this convergence is an artform that can translate to increased profitability, brand awareness and positive brand perception. Videos, infographics and even memes are frequently used to further engage and hold the attention of potential clients.
Not sold yet?
The rationale for native advertising is simple: Consumers are now effectively trained to avoid most every form of digital ad. Native strategically embeds your brand within a compelling article and affords you the chance to meaningfully engage with the consumer beyond a mere impression.
Ultimately, native can serve as a litmus test for your product or service’s utility and marketability. Could you tell me, in 1,500 words or less, a story that compels me to spend with you? If you’re answer is unequivocally “yes,” then it’s time you give native advertising a try.
Andrea Quiruz is the marketing director for the PGA Tour’s Barracuda Championship (BarracudaChampionship.com) and NCET’s VP of special events. NCET (www.NCET.org) is a member-supported nonprofit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.
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