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”.
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.
Facebook is leading the way when it comes to paid social media at approximately 2.23 billion monthly active users (source: 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report : Social Media Examiner). Since Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s shift from branded content prioritizing user’s posts, marketers are in agreement that their reach has dropped noticeably. People are now also willing to invest in other platforms, such as Instagram the second most used social media platform, to see what works in terms of engagement.
Paid social is continuing to grow on all platforms. As more marketers realize the importance of meeting customers where they are, they’ll turn to smaller platforms to reach those core audiences.
The shifting dynamics of social media marketing makes it especially challenging to understand which steps to take towards success, but the elevated number of users and levels of activity make it one that cannot be ignored.
It’s undeniable that paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram 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 campaign strategy. With banner blindness on the up the move to a type of advertising that is able to tell a larger story which features a brand contextually is the way forward. In fact, 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. See how Vertis Media can help with your campaigns.
Ads that appear on websites that are directly relevant to what the user is viewing are contextual. They are ads that positioned at the right place and the right time.
What is Contextual Advertising?
If you are viewing a recipe that involves the use of a particular kitchen utensil or brand of food for instance, you will have the opportunity to be presented with an advert for something useful in that context. The idea here is that people who are browsing gluten free food recipes are more likely to appreciate an ad for gluten free pasta than a car ad at that moment. A more captivated consumer usually means more conversions, so contextual advertising is a great way to improve the performance of your display ads.
With the correct targeting, contextual advertising can help you to improve the placement of ads. In order to employ contextual advertising in the right way, you’ll create extremely specific ads for very specific keyword groups or site pages.
Vertis Media shows ads to users who are browsing on sites that are directly relevant to a product or service, and it follows that the audience will probably be more receptive to it.
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.
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.