If you’re a business owner, it’s generally tough to keep up with marketing and advertising trends. You hear talk about the importance of social media and paid advertising online, but you really don’t have the time and sometimes the resources to learn the trends, master them and implement a successful campaign. Many SMBs outsource marketing efforts so they can rely on an expert who can guide them in the latest worthy trends and through successfully implementing them.
The same holds true for native advertising. It’s one of the newer marketing trends on the scene; however, it’s quickly gaining ground for its ability to attract consumers and convert leads, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
What is it?
Experts are at odds over how to define native advertising. Native advertising is “good content and a user experience that’s consistent,” according to CEO of Sharethrough Dan Greenberg. He continues by defining native advertising as “a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.” IAB describes native advertising as “paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.”
There are six generally types of native ads, and any of them may work for your business, dependent upon where your audience spends time. They include:
- In-feed units like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo or Forbes;
- Paid search through sites like Google or Bing;
- Recommendation widgets like Gravity or Outbrain;
- Promoted listings like Amazon, Foursquare or Google;
- In-ad options like Martini Media or Appssavvy; and
- Custom through apps like Tumblr, Spotify, Pandora, or Hearst.
Why should businesses use it?
Getting the word out about your business is becoming more difficult. If you’re in the pet supply industry, it’s likely that your competition is also on Facebook, has a blog and does paid ads. No matter the industry, your business can stand out and benefit from the increased exposure of native ads; however, they hold an additional benefit.
Because native ads as blend into the standard style of the website, app or platform, consumers don’t automatically view them as “ads,” which would otherwise immediately downgrade their trust level in the ad. In effect, native ads appear organic, a type of advertising consumers trust more readily.
The bottom line for businesses looking to increase exposure and attract traffic, native advertising is booming and delivering results. In particular, because of the increased use of mobile devices among consumers, native ads are particularly effective, because they “work best in the content streams that people tend to access on smartphones and tablets.”[iii] Finally, if your business is pursuing native ads as part of a strategy to increase awareness or boost branding and brand affinity, native ads the way to go.