The Rise of Native Advertising
Native advertising has emerged as one of the most popular forms of advertising in recent years, with thousands of brands including it in their marketing strategies. According to a study conducted by eMarketer, native advertising is expected to make up 62% of all digital advertising spending by 2020, making it clear that this advertising format is here to stay.
Native advertising can be defined as branded content that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. In simpler terms, native advertising is an advertisement that looks and feels like the content that surrounds it, thus seamlessly integrating with the user’s online experience. In this way, native advertising differs from traditional banner ads or pop-up ads that are often intrusive and disruptive to the user experience.
Native Advertising’s Benefits
1. Increased Engagement
Native advertising allows for a much higher level of engagement with users. Since it doesn’t look like an ad at first glance, users are more likely to interact with it, and it can feel more like a conversation than a sales pitch. This format also allows for more substantial content and storytelling, which can create a deeper connection with the consumers.
2. Improved Reach
Native advertising is versatile and can appear on various platforms and devices, including social media, mobile devices, and even print media. It can offer a chance to reach a new audience without having to spend as much money on traditional advertising.
3. Better ROI
Native advertising has the potential to deliver better ROI by providing brands with the opportunity to engage with customers on a different level, especially if a story is entertaining, educational or useful in some way.
4. New Possibilities
Lastly, native advertising can present a solution to ad-blockers who disable ads across the web, and who are becoming an increasing problem for digital advertisers. Ad-blockers can also help reduce annoying pop-up and display ads, leaving more space for content.
Successful Examples of Native Advertising
Below are some of the most successful native advertising campaigns launched in recent years:
1. Airbnb and The New York Times’ “The Great Displacement” Campaign
Airbnb partnered with The New York Times and presented an extensive research article on the growing housing crisis. The article, titled “The Great Displacement,” included a look into different cities and neighborhoods around the world and featured interactive maps and videos. Airbnb was placed in both the headlines and the top banner of the article for users to detect the sponsorship quickly.
2. GE and The Economist’s “Innovation at Work” Campaign
General Electric worked with The Economist and launched a seven-part series titled “Innovation at Work.” The series explored various technical aspects of GE’s products and services and how they impact our culture and daily life. The articles were engrossing and rich, presenting intriguing data points and compelling visuals that provided significant value to readers.
3. The New York Times’ T Brand Studio “Women Inmates” Campaign
The New York Times’ T Brand Studio partnered with Netflix to promote the show “Orange Is the New Black” and created a multi-part series on women in prison. The article, which was presented as an investigation into women’s incarceration in the US, was both objective and informative.
Tips for Brands Creating Native Advertising
1. Know Your Audience
It is crucial to know your audience and to deliver a message that resonates with them. Studies indicate that native advertising works best when it feels tailored, relevant, and genuinely useful.
2. Be Honest
Native advertising campaigns must be transparent about their sponsorships. Sponsored content that is honest, informative, and engaging increases the overall credibility of the brand and leaves a better impression on the consumers.
3. Keep the Content Authentic
The key to a successful native advertising campaign is to create content that is in line with the brand’s image, service, and values. It is crucial to keep the content authentic, relevant and aligned with the values and interests of the brand.
4. Collaborate with Content Creators
Brands can benefit from partnering with established content creators like journalists, bloggers, and influencers who have built trust in the eyes of the audience. Collaborating with content creators with dedicated followings can improve credibility and expand the reach of the content.
The Future of Native Advertising
As the world of advertising continues to evolve, brands are consistently searching for new ways to connect with consumers. Native advertising presents an opportunity for brands to reach a broader audience by providing compelling content that resonates with users.
However, native advertising advances raise some ethical issues, particularly around disclosure and editorial independence. As such, governing bodies are currently taking measures to regulate native advertising campaigns further.
Despite ongoing ethical challenges, the rise of native advertising is a force in the digital marketing world. Brands who can master the subtleties of this format will be able to deliver engaging storytelling content that connects with their target audience, resulting in increased brand awareness, higher ROIs, and a better user experience online.
In summary, native advertising offers brands the opportunity to add value to the consumer experience by providing innovative, non-traditional ways of telling their brand story.
Native advertising offers an opportunity for brands to increase their reach and audience engagement across various platforms. Brands should ensure they know their audience, remain transparent about sponsorships, create authentic content, and collaborate with content creators.
As the world of digital marketing continues to evolve, native advertising is set to become a prevalent and lasting part of the industry, presenting brands with the opportunity to connect with users through interesting and useful content that seamlessly integrates with their online experience.
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