One result of the digital revolution is that the line between traditional publishing and advertising has blurred. That’s changed what consumers want from an ad. Savvy browsers are more receptive than ever to marketing copy that reads like the content it’s surrounded by. In a landscape of endless pop-up ads, flashing banners, and auto-play videos, readers frequently want something more seamless. Enter native advertising. Native advertising might sound exotic, but it’s a simple premise — writing and designing ads that feel like the articles and videos around them. Consumers are more sophisticated than ever when it comes to marketing, and a heavy-handed approach doesn’t appeal the way it did in decades past. Instead, think like a magazine writer, integrating advertising with well-written copy and visuals that appeal to your audience’s tastes and their own sensibility about their personal brands. Rather than sticking out like a sore thumb, native advertising tactfully inserts the product or service that’s advertised into the flow of the content being enjoyed by the reader. Statistics show that as many as 85% of consumers are so tired of traditional advertising that they simply tune it out — or would rather complete annoying appointments like going to the dentist than face another pop-up window. Part of that comes from the way native advertising is written — often in article form rather than made up of catchy slogans and brief bursts of information. A large part of why native advertising appeals to readers, though, is the way it’s designed. Webpages, especially those on mobile devices, can easily become cluttered. Rather than facing a simple two page or newspaper layout, consumers now face multiple windows layered on top of one another and loading at different times. And that effect can be multiplied depending on how many tabs they have open. Having as little visual interruption as possible reduces reader stress. Native advertising is designed to blend in with its surroundings. That makes it even easier to engage readers before they even realize you’re promoting a product or service. Rather than skimming over your sales pitch, they’ll spend as much time reading your content as the story they logged on to read, even if they have to click through to get to your native ad. You can even think beyond blocks of text to dream up video and social media campaigns that operate on native advertising principles. Think of Snapchat filters, for example, that users enjoy interacting with and sharing, but might share a brand logo, pop song, or a film or TV tie-in. These filters work the same way as non-branded content, applying silly or eye-catching graphics to users’ selfies, making them a great example of visual native advertising. You can even create maps, travel guides, “listicles”, or super-short documentaries that align your brand with trending topics like hot destinations or suddenly popular culinary dishes, drinks, or decor themes. If you provide compelling information that the reader finds interesting, you can come across not as the pushy brand getting in the consumer’s face, but as the helpful resource that offered up their next cocktail party factoid or anecdote. Think of the viral ad for the Squatty Potty — a device that many might find embarrassing to think about, much less purchase and use. But the ad offered useful information, creative imagery, and appealing humor that was memorable and explained to the viewer how the product could improve their health. It was entertaining, educational, and shareable. And that led to big sales. To pull off native advertising, you’ll want to make sure you hit the right note. First, does this style of advertising work for your brand? Second, how can you provide added value for the consumer? Those are the first questions to ask. Next, brainstorm some information your target audience might be interested in. Don’t think in terms of your advertising goals yet. Try to get in the mind of your ideal reader or viewer. Consider where you will be publishing the ad, and what might have gotten the consumer to that site or platform in the first place. Then begin to develop concepts that blend your ideal viewer’s interests with your product message, keeping in mind the tone and style of the publication so you can blend right in. Soon you’ll move from a native advertising tourist, to putting together native campaigns like a local. Some of the most successful forms of advertising are those that listen to the consumer the most and approach the web from their point of view. 6 TYPES OF NATIVE ADVERTISING1 Recommended Content These ads suggest content that is related to media on the page which entice users to click the advertiser’s content. Promoted Listings These ads feature sponsored products, services, or companies ahead of others on a category page or other relevant section where there are interested viewers. Paid Search Ads These ads feature sponsored products, services, or companies ahead of others on a search results page, giving them prominence. In-Feed Units Promote sponsored content among other content. Usually is marked as “sponsored” but looks much like native content. In-Ad with Native Elements Looks like a regular ad, but has strongly related content to its context, making it particularly relevant to viewers. Custom Ads (Other) Highly customized ads may take on a variety of forms while staying strictly relevant to other content being actively consumed by users. 1.Taken from “6 Types Of Native Advertising And How Each Can Benefit Your Business” by Steve Olenski via Forbes.com. https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/11/12/6- types-of-native-advertising-and-how-each-can-benefit-your-business/
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