How to Do Native Advertising Right in 5 Easy Steps

Posted on April 22, 2014

How to Do Native Advertising Right in 5 Easy Steps

All about Native Advertising

All about Native Advertising

Don’t worry, no rain dances involved!

If you’re familiar with advertising, then you have heard of the term native advertising. Ad agencies have pretty much been throwing the term around for the last 2 years or so. It refers to how ads are placed to make them blend as seamlessly as possible on whatever platform they are placed on. That includes adopting a style and format that makes them look like they are from the site, not a 3rd party.

But if native advertising has been around for so long, why is it being talked about so much now?

Good question. And I have an equally good answer.

advantage of native advertising platform in the ways consumers are actually using it

advantage of native advertising platform in the ways consumers are actually using it

It has something to do with “selective seeing.” Site visitors used to pay attention to ads, or at least some of them did. But that has changed drastically. More and more, they are ignoring the glaring ad banners and anything that screams ADS!

Basically, 14 years ago, online ads were about 9% effective. Two years ago, the effectiveness dropped to 0.2%. And that’s pretty much enough to send marketing professionals scampering for a fix.

This is where native advertising comes in. You may know it by way of Facebook “promoted stories” or the like. It’s advertising that has been woven into the site content to make it look like it actually belongs there. And it has the effect of making you look. It’s also done in such a way that it appeals to a particular audience, targeted to make them read and not in any way masked as something else.

What do you need to know about Native Advertising

What do you need to know about Native Advertising

There are 5 types of native ads:

  • Social NA – using social media to promote products and services, has the benefit of being very affordable
  • Branded Image – creative, original and image-heavy post on other web pages
  • Sponsored Video – costly to create but an attractive and trendy choice
  • Promoted Post – content that is educational and enjoyable and pitched to a targeted audience
  • Creative NA – usually open to interpretation but very appealing to consumers

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Let’s talk execution. Here are the 5 Easy Ways to do Native Advertising Right.

1.       Choose the right site to partner with.

You can’t be selling shoes and advertise in a gamer site. That just doesn’t make sense. Yes, I know gamers wear shoes on the rare instances they step out of the house. But they don’t go to the site to actually buy shoes, do they?

Native advertising needs a synergy of sorts. The ad and the site needs to cater to the same consumer market to make the ad look seamless. That means the shoe ad will work better on a shopping site like Nordstrom or the like.

Native Advertising ideas

Native Advertising ideas

2.       Make sure the ad has value.

High-quality content is taking over your generic SEO. And that’s also the same with native ads. To make it work, you have to include content that appeals to the consumer because it has value for them. Here’s an example: Converse ads appearing in Complex magazine. The shoes connect to the magazine’s young hip hop fans. The shoes emphasize street style and creativity and offer a look that embodies those traits and that fans can emulate.

3.       Integrate designs.

If the site you’re putting the ads on use lists, then consider doing the same for your ads. If they use pictures, use images as well. The point is to make the connection intuitive, like the ad belongs on the page with all the other content. And the quickest and easiest way to get that done is by integrating the site’s designs to your ads.

NOt this kind of native

Not this kind of native

4.       Be transparent.

The worst thing you can do is to leave your target market confused. Focus on design and quality but do not mislead your audience.

5.       Do things in moderation.

It’s easy to note all these tips and go all out. That won’t really work all the time. Too much of a good thing can still turn people off. So do things in moderation.

Native advertising is the future of online marketing. But make sure you are doing it right.

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