What is “native advertising” and how can you use it?
For those of us involved in digital marketing, you’ll no doubt be aware of the phenomenal rise of native advertising over the past year or so. But is it just a passing trend or one of the many buzzwords we never really understand or use in our daily jobs? Our Marketing Manager Hannah says it’s a useful tool, that’s here to stay.
What is native advertising?
More than a fad or the latest buzzword, native advertising is part of content marketing, which has grown in popularity in recent years with its ability for companies to turn themselves into “brand publishers” of informative, educational and relevant content to their target audiences.
The term actually originated from publishers and how they integrate their advertising within the content of their magazine, newspaper or website. Instead of the lines between ads and editorial content being clear, native advertising actually blurs those lines so that the relevance of the advert is seamlessly integrated with the editorial. It can be likened to the traditional print term “advertorial” which is a sponsored editorial piece, advertising a particular brand/product – which is designed to not look like an ad. Instead, it looks like the rest of the editorial content in the publication.
“Native ads are sponsored content, but have more impact than display ads or banner ads, and can therefore be used as a great way to promote a brand’s products or services through online content”
– Ciaran Reen, Creative Emporium Digital
However, it’s a medium that’s incredibly diverse. It can be used in the form of:
- Online editorial content as part of articles, blogs, text, video and audio;
- Social media whereby your “advert” is developed to sit alongside the other social interactions that people undertake on these networks (i.e. a sponsored tweet, sponsored Facebook post)
“What makes its potential so huge is the chance for your sponsored content to go ‘viral’ – catapulting your potential audience reach to the tens of thousands, if not millions!”
– Rob Heald, Creative Emporium Digital
How to use native advertising as part of your content marketing mix
“For many of our clients, online advertising plays a big part in their marketing and promotions strategy”, explains Darren Cohen, Creative Emporium’s MD. As online banner ads are said to be ineffective and their use diminishing, native advertising can be used in place of these, where you’re trying to reach a specific audience with a marketing message. Research by Hexagram in 2013, revealed that blogging is the most popular form of native advertising, with blog posts and articles accounting for 65% and 63%; and Facebook follows closely behind at 56%.
“With an exciting opportunity for your brand to access new and already engaged audiences, and increase your reach through your content going viral – there is more potential to ‘convert’ people through continual exposure to relevant, interesting, branded content”, added Darren.
And it appears to be working, with research suggesting that native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content, and 32% of readers say they would share native content.
Brands that are doing it well
As with any relatively new tool, it can take time to get it right. I came across a great post by eConsultancy with 12 examples of native advertising good and bad practice – Harper Collins is my favourite, I’d love to know what’s yours?
Native advertising is here to stay
When done right, native advertising is an integrated part of your content, and fulfils a need of your audience. It’s not about publishing content for content’s sake; it’s about understanding your audience, and creating content that is relevant, timely and engaging for them. Then it’s finding the right medium for your ad. Most publishers of online magazines now offer native advertising as part of their media services, so the next time you’re planning on buying some ad space in a magazine , why not opt for the native route to increase your potential reach and gain greater coverage?
Can we help?
Native advertising and branded content are great ways to integrate your wider marketing and promotional messages to target the right audience. Another great way to reach and engage with your customers and prospects is through branded merchandise. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give us a call on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email – we’d be happy to help.
More about the author:
Hi I’m Hannah and I’m the Marketing Manager here at Creative Emporium. I’m known by my teammates as the ‘organised one’, as I’m always on the ball chasing updates and ensuring everything gets finished around here! I’m a Cheshire native, but I’ve been in Yorkshire for over 10 years now, as I studied marketing at Huddersfield University and loved it here. My day job includes sharing my marketing support between our lovely clients and the marketing of the company. When I’m not writing blog posts or reading The Drum or Marketing Week, I’m also involved with managing all CO3 projects and writing tender submissions. Out of work, I’m a bit of a film and movie buff, so people love having me on their team at a pub quiz!