If you’re reading this, you may be familiar with why native ads work as a marketing tactic. If not, check out 3 Reasons to Go Native for a quick overview.
Regardless of how much you already know, you should look into adding native ads into your marketing mix. According to a study by IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough, consumers look at native ads 53 percent more often than traditional display ads. So how do you get consumers to look at your native ad? Here are some tips to create powerful and enticing native ads:
Consider the channels where you’d like your ads to appear. Channels you may consider are social channels like Facebook and Snapchat or news sites, such as the Wall Street Journal. While some might sound like a good fit on the surface, they may not be suited for your target audience. For example, if you are in the skin care industry, it would not serve you well to advertise on a serious-toned news site such as the Economist. Aim to choose a platform that fits organically with your brand and the customers you serve.
- Identify the right media channels
Your campaigns can reach more consumers by creating sponsored content that relates to the platform it’s living on. Adjust your content for different audiences to make it successful. Let’s take the case of a skin care brand, you may tweak your content for a younger generation by delivering a new beauty trend. In comparison, an older demographic would be more interested in anti-aging products. Read the publication yourself, get familiar with the content so you understand what they’re all about, or even talk with the editor or publisher to learn more.
- Know your audience
Be helpful. Be entertaining. Be humble. Your native ad must add value to the reader. So whether you are interviewing an interesting person, giving a different perspective on a topic or giving advice, make it relevant and informative.
- Create valuable content
A/B testing can be a persuasive tool in enhancing and understanding placement for optimal performance. Test with one variable at a time, such as font size, image placement and ad size. Even a minor tweak can make a huge difference. Use the results to optimize ads so that they’re performing as well as possible.
- Test and test again
Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and be creative! Try a new platform, a creative solution or a new format. This is a chance to go beyond the norm and make a long-form piece of engaging content targeted at your specific audience.
Maybe you already have some tips of your own and if you don’t, now you’re armed with 5 solid ones to get you creating compelling native ads that your audience will read.
- Think outside the box
In 2018, it is projected that native advertising spend will rise to a whopping $22.5 billion in North America. According to Business Insider, native advertising will propel 74% of all ad revenue by 2021. Those are some astounding figures. So why are advertisers spending so much on native ads? Because it works!
Let’s dive into why, but before we do that, let’s discuss exactly what a native ad is.
What is native advertising?
Native advertising is a type of paid media where the ad takes the form and function in which it is placed. They take on the visual design of the platform (like LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, etc) and have the look and feel like natural content.
Here’s why you need to add native advertising to your toolbox of digital marketing tactics.
A good native ad is an ad that doesn’t read like one. Native advertising works because it seamlessly blends into the platform or site and is not disruptive to the user. They are not overlooked in the way traditional display ads are, making readers more likely to be engaged. It’s a win-win: consumers get to enjoy high-value content and advertisers have a chance to engage and target their buyers. And because it looks like editorial, interest is created right away and the trust level is higher.
- They look like editorials
Native ads meet people where they are specifically seeking out information. This allows for the message to be very specific to the reader and in turn makes people want to view them. Research states that 25% more consumers looked at in-feed native ad placements than standard display banner ads. Combining an ad with editorial content and fully integrating the two makes it extremely relevant to the viewer’s search.
- People view them
As mentioned earlier, advertisers can tailor their ads, making them as natural as possible to increase click through rates. A study done by Sharethrough found that native advertisements registered 9% higher lift for brand affinity and 18% higher lift purchase intent over banner ads. And, once a user engages with your native ad experience, you can retarget them with relevant display ads that can have a much better chance at effectiveness.
Native ads can be a very powerful marketing tactic. If you haven’t already, going native should be considered for your next campaign to help you reach a quality audience and acquire new customers.
- Drive purchases
When I first read the CNN article about you calling on Facebook and Google to clean up the ad “swamp” they’ve allowed to develop on their platforms, I was completely shocked. It’s not everyday you see someone of your esteem hold two of the largest advertising platforms in the world accountable for something as flagrant as contributing to the heightened state of consumer distrust in our society. As the father of two young, impressionable children who are exposed to objectionable content online everyday, and as the CEO of an affiliate ad network that touches the lives of tens of millions consumers each month, I felt compelled to write you a letter.
For starters, I admire your courage to speak with such conviction in an era where tech giants are held in high regard simply for creating a monopoly. An executive like you with decision-making authority over billions of dollars on digital ads has obvious influence, and you’re using that influence to cultivate change. Big change. Change that will impact people worldwide and shape advertising standards for years to come.
I’ve always had the mindset to think globally and act locally. I remember a few years back when electronic cigarettes were the hot new retail trend. Our network has the ability to deliver ads to millions of people in a short period of time and we had the opportunity to generate significant revenue by promoting the product via email campaigns. However, when we considered the implications of advertising a brand with questionable health standards and a proclivity to target addicts and children, it was an immediate no for us.
We don’t always come across people who understand our dilemma. After all, “business is business,” right? Not for me. Not for Madrivo’s employees and their families and friends who are affected by our business decisions. Since the inception of our network, we’ve lived by a rule: if we’re presented with ads or strategies that we’d be ashamed to show our grandmothers, we don’t run the campaign. This hasn’t made my job easy. There are countless opportunities that we have had to pass on and a lot of money left on the table as a result. Nevertheless, our executive board decided long ago that, while it’s hard to say no to a lucrative deal, it’s even harder to be at peace with yourself if you’re contributing to the harm of humanity.
We work every day to promote our clients’ brands in ways that are not only effective, but responsible and ethical. Our mission statement guides us: Madrivo exists to connect consumers to respected brands through valuable ads that improve quality of life. On that note, I want to pledge my solidarity to help make this year “the year that we start rebuilding trust.” The Madrivo family is committed to helping brands with products and services that truly improve the lives of consumers and promoting their offers through ethical and compliant means.
Thank you for shedding light on an issue that faces so many business owners on a daily basis. We are fighting this fight together and my hope is that decision makers, regardless of company size and market share, will realize the need for transparency in advertising and the altruistic benefit of rebuilding consumer trust.