Native advertising has been around for a long time, and essentially one might consider something like Facebook or Twitter Ads native to their platforms as well – because the advertisement is placed among the organic content in the users feed – and thus native to the platform.
However, in Online Marketing Lingo we refer to Native Advertisement as, for instance, an “recommended for you” post at the bottom of a news article. Unlike display or banner ads – native ads don’t really look like ads, but rather like articles that are part of the editorial flow. This part is crucial for understanding the strategy behind running native ads. The key to a successful native advertisement is that it must be non-disruptive to what the user is trying to do on the platform, i.e consume high-quality content.
Understanding The Mindset of The User
Nobody goes to MSN or CNN to get bombarded with ads from a million different companies promoting their latest sale. Rather, they are looking to read and engage with interesting and value-adding articles
Therefore, that is exactly what you want to provide them with.
The Native Advertising Funnel
It comes without saying that after the user clicks on your advertisement, you will have to redirect them to an advertorial of yours – and NOT your brand page. Again, the users of these platforms are not interested in seeing your fancy branded landing page.
Now that we have cleared that, let’s move on to touch upon the strategies you can use on your advertorial.
Endorsements & Reviews
Every brand can scream and shout loudly about how great their brand and product is. However, in the mind of the consumer – everybody (without a strong brand) looks approximately the same, because they shout more or less the same things.
Therefore, instead of screaming about how great your product is, let others do the talking instead through endorsements and testimonials. This will enable the user, i.e your ideal customers, to trust your brand more – because other people have given it good reviews and endorsed it. For customer testimonials, you can showcase your reviews and score from review sites such as Trustpilot, Feefo, or Yotpo.
Calling Out The Problems and Needs of Your Audience
If your product or service solves a specific problem for your customers – be sure to call it out, both in the advertorial but also in the headline of your native ad if possible.
An example of this can be seen in the image beneath. The problem which Santander solves for their audience here is finding the money for home improvement projects – and the way they do it is to guide and teach their audience how they can get the best financing options.
Compare Your Product to Other Products in The Same Category, and Show Your Weaknesses
Showing where your product features fall short compared to the competition is not necessarily a bad thing to do in an advertorial. Instead, it will increase the trustworthiness of the advertorial (and publisher) as it shows that the advertorial is not biased and is trying to give a real and fair comparison to the user.
Likewise, you may include a section called “What our editorial team thinks about these products” as a way to give “expert-testimonials” about different products and where their respective strength and weaknesses are.
It goes without saying that both expert testimonials and rankings in product comparisons must stem from actual organic articles and real expert testimonials.
The Important Aspects of The Native Ad Itself
Before you twist, turn, and tweak your advertorial, you must first consider what the best approach is for getting users to actually visit the advertorial in the first place.
Here, you must have a strong focus on the copywriting in your ad and make sure that both the headline and the caption is “newsworthy”. Otherwise, what will end up happening, is that close to nobody will visit your advertorial in the first place.
Therefore, just as journalists spend a lot of time trying to come up with the best possible headline to capture eyeballs and get people to click, so shall you when making your ad.
Likewise, as there exists no such thing as a silver bullet in marketing – one shall keep testing different variations of creatives, headlines, descriptions, etc – until the best possible combination have been found. Luckily the advertising platforms provide A/B testing tools to help you in this process.
Remember, once again, that the placement of your ad is together with countless other articles and news, and thus your ad must blend in with the content of the platform.
For an overview of other types of marketing channels, I recommend that you visit the following page.