These days, the term “Native Advertising” might seem like just another buzzword. It’s tossed around by marketers, tech gurus, and media people alike.
Though the concept has been around for a while, native advertising is really breaking through as an up-and-coming way to build your brand and become a trusted resource.
Native advertising is content that appears and behaves just like any other content on a site, but is branded or sponsored. It can be an article on your favorite pop-news site, written by a major foods company, or a fun image on a social media network, sponsored by a major clothing retailer.
Native advertising can come in all shapes and sizes, both online and off:
The idea is to create content that offers something to your customers, whether it’s industry news, valuable information, or pure entertainment, that is tied back to your business in some way. This content – articles and images – shows up like any other content for viewers to peruse and provides the same value as an article or image generated by any other source.
In short, native advertising is a form of content marketing. It’s the technique of using great, quality, unique content to build brand awareness, generate buzz, and get noticed. And putting fun, informative, or interesting content on sites where your customers are looking is a sure-fire way to get noticed.
There’s a subtlety to native advertising that makes it truly work. In studies, native advertising has been shown to generate 82% engagement, recorded as brand lift — more than three times as much as for either pre-roll ads or no campaign exposure! In Nielsen’s study, 100% of ad campaigns experienced brand lift with native advertising.
Customers resonate with great content, and then notice the branding. It’s not tricking your consumer into reading something they think is by someone else, or sneaking your brand in when they aren’t looking. In fact, that would completely defeat the purpose of native advertising. You want your brand to be clearly associated with the content, but through providing relevant, useful information that people choose to engage with.
In recent years, a range of websites have ditched traditional display ads and banners in favor of hosting sponsored content written by brands. And native ad content abounds on social sites like Pinterest and Facebook.
Sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable have taken the web by storm, featuring native advertising articles from Target, Wheat Thins, Virgin Mobile and more. With their wild success, even traditionalist media giants like Forbes and the Wall Street Journal have jumped on the native advertising bandwagon.
Native Advertising isn’t new (in truth, it’s been around for over 100 years), but the rise of the Internet and social media have given it new life, taking it to new heights in recent years.