The term “native advertising” is a common term within marketing language, but the implementation of this type of advertising often raises question marks. Native advertising, which refers to ads placed in line with other content on a platform — a sponsored post that reads much more similarly to the rest of the content on the website than just an advertisement would be one example — has shown strong results and authentic interactions with users who see the content. How can native advertising be properly leveraged so that a business can benefit from the tactic?
We’ve talked at great length about the importance of authenticity in marketing and advertising, especially today. Consumers don’t want to feel fleeced or taken advantage of, and nothing is worse than finding out that a business has over promised and vastly under delivered on its overtures on what good it can do for the customer. This is a dangerous pit to fall into, causing public relations and reputation fallout and mistrust from consumers that’s difficult to repair.
Therefore, taking on a native advertising strategy requires some thought and creativity. For example, a business could sponsor content on a prominent publisher that encourages users to shop for its goods using a list format. Similar to a shopping post that platforms such as Buzzfeed publishes, a sponsoring brand could partner with the platform to promote their own products in a more conversational way that matches the tone of the publisher.
Another way to integrate native advertising is through mediums such as video or social media. Native advertising simply means that the advertiser is doing more than simply putting up an ad or running a commercial. Things such as product placement, sponsorship of content, or standalone content designed to promote the brand without coming across as overly advertorial could all be considered to be forms of native advertising.
How does this methodology help brands increase conversions? Well, think like a consumer for a moment. Buzzfeed hasn’t seen massive amounts of affiliate success through its shopping and product posts for no reason. The platform’s ability to integrate and promote products from its partners is seamless, and it engages the user far more than a simple banner ad would. In this form of advertising, brands are engaging in more “pull” marketing rather than relying solely on “push” marketing.
Of course, native advertising must be done with tact. The flip side of the coin is that a piece of content is not clearly labeled or otherwise designated as sponsored content — this can come across as misleading, which returns us to the earlier idea of losing consumer trust and how difficult that can be to repair.
With this in mind, then, it’s important for brands to properly label any native advertising as such — advertisements — in order to stave off both customer suspicions as well as regulatory issues. Native advertising can be wildly helpful for a brand, but it must meet the appropriate requirements for advertising at the same time.
Finding new ways to increase conversions and keep new customers coming in the door is an important area of focus for every business. Exploring native advertising can be helpful for a business seeking more creative ways to entice users to come to them, rather than chasing after them constantly.