It can sometimes be difficult to understand the digital marketing jargon so, if you are confused, read on…
Confusing fact *1: One of the first misconceptions surrounding display advertising is that it is all considered display. Well, it’s not.
Confusing fact *2: Native advertising can sometimes be content marketing and sometimes display ads.
So, what is a display ad?
Display ads are normally located in “boxes” along the top of web pages…Like a traditional banner advert or video. They appear on parts on the site that are committed to paid advertising and aimed at creating a rapid conversion.
These traditional display ads are very different from native ads. These are created to blend in with their surroundings, they are a continuation of the environment that they are placed in, which means: less disruption.
Display ads are very straight forward to track and measure and are widely used for this reason. This is also why they are widely ignored.
It is an important time for advertising: never has it been accessible to so many people. There has never been less control over what is distributed generally. To think back at a time when a publisher decided whether to accept all of someone’s budget based on whether their readers were actually engaging with their print ad is ridiculous… But that is exactly how things work today digitally. With the enforcement of GDPR legislation, advertisers have even less control.
A lot of the consumers are now more vocal than ever about not wanting to be exposed to marketing. Ads are being ignored. The first banner ad came out 25 years ago which in internet years is around 100 years for every human year (!). Perhaps what was at one time disinterest has quickly turned into displeasure and to be honest most advertising is just making it worse!
Native advertising presents the consumer with an alternative that is creative, non intrusive and that actually makes sense to their journeys as customers.
I heard someone say the other day, ”Sometimes, I don’t even know what it is I need but I log on to my instagram account or read an article and the “right” ads come up with things that I wanted to get anyway!”.
This is because native ads respect peoples’ boundaries and look nice… This may seem like a strange thing to say but it is also equally as important for the ads not to give you a sore eye!
1) Are you aligned with the native user’s mindset?
Users of native advertising are a little bit different: when they click they are after new content or exploring a website because they’re ready to discover something new. That’s why, successful content in native advertising often explores new concepts, entertains, or is informative.
2) Are you using enough pictures and videos?
These are the only type of content that look like they have a future in native.
Consumers are becoming increasingly visual and native ads have the ability to cater to that perfectly.
3) Are you segmenting your audience?
This allows the ads to go to the right place and at the right time! It qualifies consumers according to what they are actually interested in. Know your audience and optimise the results that data gives you. That way when you narrow down the focus you are pinpointing the right segments.
4) Have you aligned your headline and keywords…
…To the content in the ad? In this way you are sure fit in seamlessly with the context you are placed in. Like everything advertising- and content-related, performance will depend on your content and your audience.
5) How are you targeting?
Geo-location is the way forward. Local is key when it comes to certain types of business where geographical relevance is everything when it comes to the success of an advert.
Native advertising: the non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.
What is Native Advertising? To explain what Native Advertising is let’s start off with a couple of contrasting examples: imagine that you are browsing the web, having a look at some of the websites you normally like to view and suddenly coming out at you are advertising banners left, right, and centre!
So, you change websites and start to read a really great blog post and once you’re done the site itself provides a link to related content made by a different brand. Which one do you prefer? The last example? Welcome to native advertising! The non-intrusive way of connecting with your ideal audience.
Native Advertising- how do you recognise it?
Content advertising seamlessly integrates online advertising into webpages by using relevant content as support.
Native advertising’s success is directly proportional to the utility and relevance of its content. It should “blend in” with the rest of the articles that are there. Content like this, increases the likelihood that your readers will recognise and remember your brand.
In order to engage, offer content tells the story of where your customer can journey to next. It’s all about gaining their attention with valuable information that is so valuable they will want to share it.
Take a look at this example of a native advertising campaign we developed.
Why is Native Advertising great? Unlike other more traditional formats such as banners or pop-ups which are disruptive, native advertising has the potential to attract more attention from the readers. Why? Because native advertising retains the look and feel of the digital content to promote a certain content or product. Since it contains information which is useful and productive to the users, it is more likely to be shared on social media, enabling the information to reach as many potential clients as possible.
As Marco Piscitelli, co-founder of Vertis Media states: “Native Advertising offers top quality information to the users, which means we are all winners: the targeted audiences and the advertisers”.
Native ads can be both a source of knowledge and sell a product or build a brand.
The chances are that, though you may not have realized, you are often viewing native advertising. In fact, these days, native advertising is everywhere and it is getting more and more difficult to spot. To put it simply, native advertising is paid content published on platforms that can distribute it.
So, what’s the difference between native advertising and “traditional” advertising? To be considered really native the content must take on the look and feel of the editorial style of the publication it is in. It is precisely this that makes native advertising difficult to spot, though as they “become one” with the “organic” content.
This can be a reason for criticism, since the fact that they look like normal content feels like an attempt to trick users. We do not believe this is possible, however… It is very difficult to be “fooled” in that way by an advert of any kind. It’s all about experience and native advertising wins every time as does not require the user to divert from the “mode” that they are in.
If done well, native ads can be both a source of knowledge and sell a product or build a brand. It’s a balance that is not easy to get right, though and if you get it wrong you can turn users against you! Here are some great examples of native adverts by Vertis Media.
“We believe digital video advertisers should have their ads delivered in a manner that is viewable to their target audience.” IAB, 2018.
When it comes to Native advertising, performance is about a lot more than simply having your eyeballs on the ad.
Without doubt, ad viewability is an important parameter of success for some campaigns, the link to performance depends on targets. There is audience delivery to consider, but also other measurable metrics exist.
In fact, here at Vertis Media, it’s been proven the percentage of ad viewability is actually rarely the best indicator of performance success for campaigns. Instead, sales are the focus of our campaigns. We have never attached KPIs to our ad viewability rates- rather we consider content engagement and the cost attached to them as being metrics that make much more sense.
When it comes down to it, it’s not only about the viewability rates, but it’s also about the cost.
Native ads, because of the pre-programmable optimisation process they rely on, make it possible to allocate less financial resources for campaigns that are still effective. For brand and performance campaigns alike, today’s programmatic native buying environment enables businesses’ budgets to be allocated to real-time to sources that deliver the lowest cost per action — sources that may not always have the highest ad viewability rates.
Combining programmatic with native advertising will help to create the perfect combination that will ensure a rise in sales for your business.
What is Programmatic advertising?
It is an automated process that involves an auction, where the winner is the one willing to bid the most on a web page. The top price each advertising company is willing to bid for the impression is fixed which means that these mini auctions are be completed within the time it takes for a page to load.
Programmatic advertising allows you to target the right audience– the once actually interested and more likely to have an interest in your brand.
Vertis Media combines programmatic with native advertising creating that perfect combination that will ensure a rise in sales for your business.
This report shows that native advertising, with its tailor made created format, will be responsible for 63.2 % of all mobile display advertising by 2020. The combination to programmatic means we can gear audiences to your brand message in a way that is guaranteed to generate the results you need to hit your targets.
Native and programmatic together lead to ads are delivered contextually to consumers who are most likely to be interested in what you are promoting, which for your company means a more efficient use of your advertising budget. It is a match made in heaven: the native side ensuring that the information you are transmitting adapts to the look&feel of where it is positioned and the programmatic side, able to extend your reach to the right audience.
Programmatic marketing is seen as the future of advertising on the web, with Google targeting 60% of digital advertising budgets spent on Programmatic by next year. According to these stats, programmatic will see a constant and steady rise over the next few years and to take this a step further this other report predicts that by the end of 2019 it will be 50% of all advertising.
Programmatic and native have partnered us in order to involve individuals in advertising campaigns in both a more relevant and respectful way, ensuring that the information they see is engaging as it is pertinent to their existing horizon.
Brand authority goes hand in hand with the respect a brand has managed to gain among customers. But what generates authority?
Here at Vertis Media we think interesting information and an active online presence is a good starting point. But there is more…Enter Native Advertising!
Native Advertising can contribute to your brand being seen as an authority in your field through connecting with customers within contexts that are trustworthy. Why is trust so important, anyway? Trust is absolutely critical to acquiring and keeping customers. Having brand authority means consumers will feel confident that you know what you’re doing, and that their budget is being well spent.
It’s also a matter of “feeling”, in many ways, as customers go with one brand rather than another on an instinct based on whether or not a particular brand is considered to be the ‘expert’ within a particular industry.
Native advertising helps to build a reputation that cannot be self-designated. It assists in creating an environment where the public feels safe to form a judgment on whether you have any authority in your field. How? Through the ability native advertising has to tell a story.
Vertis Media’s step by step recipe to creating brand authority
Narrow your focus on something your company excels at and aim at your target audience.
Create content, high quality and regular to generate interesting debates. Focus on what the trends are and compare to what is happening elsewhere in the world. This will make the conversation relevant. Ultimately people want to know that when they read what your company has to say there is always something new they can take away with them.
Share knowledge online through social media and relevant sites. These platforms are now our “new” community and they are where networks and links are formed that can ensure your brand is admired and trusted in a respected environment.
No-one is denying that paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Google, for instance, can be effective as part of a wider media campaign. But, if what you are aiming for is to actually get results in how a brand is perceived, what you need is a native contextual campaign strategy.
Social Ads vs Contextual Advertising
So, what is the difference between advertising solely on social media and contextual advertising more generally?
Both cases require a financial commitment, however these two different modes of advertising couldn’t be more different in the results they obtain. It’s all a question of, what Vertis Media defines as, tuning into the “user mindset”, capturing your ideal customers when they are fully engaged in relevant content.
Advertising on social media appears to offer more control over what is said about a brand but is actually giving less power over content positioning. When and where an advert appears is just as important as what appears. If the only time your advert comes up is on social media then your targeted user’s mindset is probably not tuned in to what your goals are at those moments in time. The reason they are on social media is probably to check out what their friends are doing or look at cute dog pics. If, on the other hand, they are online already engaging in content that has links and shares relevance with your brand then it will be more effective because they will be of more interest at that moment in time- they will have the right mindset to embrace and welcome the information you are providing.
The real impact of Contextual Advertising
Contextual advertising also offers the greatest variety in terms of formats by including microsites, infographics, videos, web series, blog style articles written in first person or traditional articles, interviews and much more. It tells a larger story where brands play a contextual role that involves a client passing on some control to the publisher purely because a publisher can more readily contribute to creating content that blends seamlessly within the publishing platform’s environment. The end result is contextual and impactful content, and the start of new modalities in terms of formats to play with that capture users when they are in the right frame of mind.