The Dos & Don’ts of Native Advertising
Native advertising has become an indisputable force in strategic marketing. Why? Because today’s online consumers are ad-blind, which means you need to gain their attention in new and different ways. Native ads accomplish that by offering a less-obtrusive experience. And that is very appealing to consumers and marketers alike.
But in order to be as effective as its potential, native advertising demands well-crafted, creatively placed content. It necessitates thoughtful research and purposeful targeting.
Here, we’ve outlined a few key Dos and Don’ts to help you achieve desired results.
Cater to Your Audience
Get to know your consumer on a deeper level. Make an effort to create content that speaks directly to their needs. Consumers will be more likely to read something that addresses their specific interests than something that comes across as self-serving or off-topic.
Put Quality First
For native ads to work, the content needs to provide value. It’s important to be authentic, timely, and straightforward just like the stories surrounding the content, but simultaneously crafted in a way that benefits the sponsor. You’ll know you’ve hit the sweet spot when your content seamlessly draws consumers’ attention away from other headlines.
Use Proper Voice
Readers can smell pushy advertisements from a mile away. If your topic, product, or idea doesn’t match the quality of content on a particular website, the outlet’s readers will see it and defect. And you’ll run the risk of alienating or offending people who trust the publisher. Instead, do your research on what online readers want, so that you can develop dynamic, topically aligned content that fosters collaboration and growth.
Transparency is key in building trust with consumers. Be honest about the nature of your content and explicitly label it as sponsored. Do NOT make the mistake of trying to parade native content around in editorial clothing. If you do, you can do more than just damage the effectiveness of the ad itself; you could cause significant and long-term damage to the brand as a whole.
Be Afraid of Slow Conversions
Native content shouldn’t be written with the intention of selling something. It’s okay to include your brand logo and/or links that point back to your site (where appropriate), but don’t let it turn into heavy sales content. Remember, native ads aren’t supposed to be vehicles for self-promotion; they’re supposed to actually BE desirable, interesting pieces of content that influence consumer behaviors long before any tangible actions are taken. Give your native campaigns time to penetrate and proliferate. Be patient, and you’ll see real results.
We live in a content-heavy world, and consumers have attention spans shorter than a nanosecond. Don’t try to write a full-on whitepaper every time you have the chance. Native ads should break through the noise, so keep it concise.
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