The most popular kid on the block these days is native advertising. And for good reason. These days, due to oversaturation, a lot of ads get the cold shoulder. So how can you reach today's savvy consumer? The answer is native advertising.
In a nutshell, native ads are designed to emulate the editorial content on a trusted media site. This allows you to capitalize on your host's reputation, offer more helpful and engaging content, and build trust with potential customers. Adding native into your mix can be very rewarding, but it requires a new kind of strategy.
Deliver Quality Content
According to data reported in the Harvard Business Review, 70 percent of people want to learn about products through content. If you want to convert readers into customers, use native advertising to bypass the hard sell and focus on delivering quality, relevant content. Engage your reader in a conversation that offers them a clear value proposition.
Make sure your content is sophisticated. If you took your logo or "sponsored" label off your native ad, would your content still be able to hold its own with the organic content on the publisher's page? If not, work on making it more engaging and equal to the quality of the site you're publishing on.
Match Your Content With Their Coverage
The beauty of native is that it engages the reader with relevant content that flows seamlessly with the organic content on the host website, but placement is king to avoid disruption. You might remember the furor about The Atlantic breaking the internet back in the early days of native advertising (here's a Bloomberg article from that week, in case you don't), when they positioned an article on Scientology as a lead; people took notice, and they were not pleased.
Build Social Media Audiences
Native ads vary greatly, from sponsored content on Facebook, to sponsored articles in Forbes, The Huffington Post or The New York Times. For example, if you are a hotel or restaurant in the Bahamas, posting an informative article in the New York Times' travel section is a good way to go. Then, think about how you can maximize your ad's shareability. Who is your audience? Would they appreciate a list of tips for efficient packing, or a quiz that will tell them what the ideal beach book is for them? If they have fun with your content, they'll want to share it. As Social Media Examiner notes, one of native ads' greatest benefits is that it can perform well on social media.
With research and planning, you can capitalize on your publisher's credibility to build trust, present an authentic voice, inspire readers to evangelize on your behalf and ultimately convert readers to customers by offering relevant content that adds value to their lives.