With digital advertising continuing to evolve, businesses must too in order to stand out and rise above the noise of the internet. One way this can be done is through native advertising, which is a paid ad concept that includes matching the editorial direction and design to an online publication. This is done to engage the audience that wasn’t yet familiar with your services enough to seek your website out, or anywhere else you can be advertising. This also helps you build thought leadership.
The ad is positioned in a way that doesn’t impact the users’ current search, but voluntarily stumbles upon it instead because the nature of the content is aligned with the existing users content experience. Although matching the content that surrounds this type of paid content experience, it should stand out enough for the user to know it’s a sponsored piece of content. This is only fair as these pieces of content also receive additional promotion in other content vehicles like eNewsletters and other areas of a website that can attract likely readers of said paid content. These ads are usually identified by the text “suggested post,” “featured link,” “recommended for you” or something similar.
At some point or another, you’ve visited a popular website or social network and have been subject to native advertising. These ads can appear as a collection of content on your chosen media channel - like a Facebook newsfeed ad from your health insurance company, a Google remarketing ad from the last item you thought about purchasing online, to an article about why skin cancer screening is important written by the American Dermatology Association. All of these natural instances of relative content lead to greater thought leadership and brand credibility.
A critical best practice to engrain in any native advertising program strategy is to ensure the native content is not too promotional in nature, but more educational and offers the reader valuable information. This helps further build the relationship between the brand and the reader.
Because your native advertising content will look similar to surrounding editorial content, the audience will willingly retain it if it is engaging and interesting. Give them something to gain by presenting useful information. Any proven great content or company achievement can be showcased as a native ad, drawing users to the link. Use content to your advantage by striking a thought in the minds of your future audience by answering the question “how can this product or service be useful to me.”