Native advertising is a promotion without explicit or implicit calls to purchase a product. Its task is to tell about the product from a practical point of view, to show its strengths and benefits.
The most popular format of native advertising is an expert article, in which the promoted product will be considered a solution to the target audience’s problem. However, this is not the only method, and there are equally effective ways to present your product unobtrusively.
The essence of native advertising
Native advertising affects the reader of the content very gently, without explicit calls for purchase and bright slogans about what and when to buy. It merges in writing style and presentation with the content chosen for posting on the site or in the community. A direct link to the advertiser may flash in the text only once, and the main part of the material will contain the necessary advice and interesting stories.
An example of native advertising is the cover of an advertising publication on the Knife portal. The “affiliate material” plate is the only advertising sign. In all other respects, the cover does not differ from the author’s material on the site.
Native advertising can be confused with jeans. Jeans is a deliberate publication of hidden advertising, where the advertising platform intentionally hides commercial material. According to the FAS definition, jeans affect the consumer in such a way that he does not perceive and is not aware of the advertising content of the material.
Native advertising includes information about the customer, and its content does not have controversial content and does not have a manipulative effect on the reader. In most cases, the materials are marked with a small plate, “sponsored material, ” “Promotion,” and the like.
Advertising that is embedded in a work will not be considered hidden. In general, direct exposure and focus on a product or an advertising-based scene do not violate the law. An example is the advertisement of the Aviasales service in the TV series “Inside Lapenko.”
When using native advertising in films and TV shows, it is better to indicate that this is advertising material. The FAS may consider that the scene has an unconscious effect on the viewer since the advertisement is integrated into the content and not just stylized for the shooting format.
Sponsoring publications by a brand without promoting its products and services are also not considered hidden advertising. There is no formal sale of the product.
The secret to the success of native advertising
The native format differs from all others in its presentation of advertising information. Here are three unique distinguishing features of the native:
- A harmonious fusion of material with an advertising platform. The style and editorial policy must be consistent with the resource on which the advertisement is placed. Content should be natural and answer user questions. It should be perceived as part of the visited site, publication, or channel. When placing, everything should be taken into account: from format, content, and design to structure and tone.
- Favorable presentation of information, unlike other known types of advertising. The native does not irritate the audience due to the natural presentation of the material and the absence of aggression, an obsessive tone, and calls to action in the content.
- Content that contains ads is useful to the audience. The presented information answers the questions of the user of the resource and contains only information about the advertised product.
The increase in spending on the native format speaks of its good productivity. This is facilitated by naturalness and useful placement on sites without direct signs of advertising.
Research conducted in 2016 by eMarketer showed that spending on native advertising among the rest is 48.2%. By 2019, the figure had grown to 62.7% and has maintained its momentum.
AdYOULIKE, a company specializing in native ad formats, predicted an increase in native ad spending until 2025:
- in the US, spending will increase by $109.96 billion – from $29.56 to $139.52 billion;
- in Europe by $72.8 billion – from $19.57 to $92.37 billion;
- Russia by $7.03 billion – from $1.89 to $18.36 billion.
Here are a few factors that answer the question of the effectiveness of native advertising:
- no blocking by special programs and permissions;
- does not cause the effect of banner blindness in the user;
- does not cause rejection due to the absence of aggression, persuasion, obsessive tone, and calls to action in the content;
- Provides useful content that meets the desires of the audience;
- forms a positive attitude towards the advertised product on a subconscious level
The promotional product, service, or brand must be consistent with the general direction of the site and not run counter to its values and goals. This is an important point for the successful use of native advertising.
An unsuccessful example of placing materials in a native format can be an advertisement for alcohol or a manufacturer of smoking mixtures on a site with a sports bias.
Pros and cons of native advertising
Pros of native advertising:
- Not covered by AdBlock
Google Chrome has a free AdBlock extension that removes banner ads. The native is part of the site page’s content, so it will not be possible to hide it.
- Native advertising is not afraid of banner blindness.
Due to the abundance of advertising on websites, Internet users have learned to ignore it. This is called banner blindness. The native format adapts to users’ needs of the resource chosen for advertising and satisfies the reader’s interest in a particular topic.
- Not always the material perceived as advertising.
Only some users will notice and identify advertising. For example, while listening to the morning radio, some users will miss the native information, and some will perceive it as useful advice.
- Has a good credibility
Responsibility for published native advertising lies with the site where it is placed. Reputation is very important for websites and blogs, so reputable resources conduct a fact check before posting information.
A fact check is a quality check of a service, product, or service. Platforms with high authority and trust among users place native ads for a certain price. Therefore, a permanent audience does not perceive such advertising information as jeans.
- A flexible format and a large number of channels for placement
Social networks, websites, blogs, and apps are great for native advertising. The submission format differs from a regular article to infographics or instructions.
Disadvantages of native advertising
- Requires unique content to post
The same format is not suitable for publication on different resources. If banner advertising can be launched on hundreds of sites in the same form, then for native advertising, it will be necessary to develop unique content that will correspond to the site’s theme, blog, etc. In addition, the submission format should also be different. All this requires a considerable amount of time for development by specialists.
- High price
It follows from the previous point. Each site requires the placement of unique content in a specific format. This requires a specialist who will deal only with native advertising and create posts and photos for social networks, videos for YouTube, and write articles for blogs.
Native ad formats
Due to the wide range of applications on various sites, there are many types of native advertising. Consider accommodation options in more detail.
The object of advertising appears in the frame of the conditional video. It can be either a full-length film or one of the publications of a famous vlogger. The advertised product should be barely noticeably woven into the content and not just appear in the video. It is also important not to focus on the product. A good example would be a video blogger broadcasting in a T-shirt with your logo.
The advertiser gets a profit as recognition, and if the blogger is popular, then the desired fans purchase the same T-shirt or any other thing with your logo.
The video format can also contain a more direct native ad context. In the film The Thurman Show, the person in the frame spoke when he ordered his perfume and dictated the phone number of the store where he bought it. It is this rough format that we have in mind. It also has its target audience.
This submission method is different from the video format. The bottom line is this: you provide a third-party blog with an article with useful information that matches the subject of the advertising platform. The information may have nothing to do with your activity. The advertiser marks the article as sponsored content and places your banner or link to the source of information on the page with the publication.
The paragraph is similar to the previous one but differs because it will be about your product, service, or company. Such materials can be marked as promotional articles. Consider the example of a site for motorsports enthusiasts, where there is a section with articles and a forum for communicating and posting personal content.
The site hosts high-quality content in the format of an article about car repairs. It is no different from the rest, written by an expert in this field, and will be useful to many resource users. However, the article is marked as promotional material, and you can repeatedly see the name of the same online store in its content.
Advertising on social networks
Social media is a huge space for creativity. Native advertising in Google Yandex Taboola, VK, and other social networks may not even be regarded by the user as advertising content. If a site visitor’s news feed consists only of posts about Internet marketing, he will not even pay attention to the fact that every fifth post is advertising material.
A good result is the promotion of the product through posts. It is worth noting that there is no need to apply for such advertising specifically to celebrities. Usually, people know that the stars will not post material “thank you.” This post is ordered if a famous person flashes such a record. Often this causes negative emotions in the audience, and discussions about the commercialism of a celebrity will certainly begin in the comments, which is not entirely bad, as it is additional PR and attention to the brand.
A separate area of native advertising in social networks can be called placement with microbloggers. Popularity here is much less than that of movie stars or show business. However, the audience of microbloggers is distinguished by loyalty. A blogger can have about 1000 subscribers, and all of them are somehow familiar with him. This greatly affects the credibility of the published content.
The West has been using the services of the owners of such accounts for a long time because of the high level of reader loyalty. A page visitor sometimes cannot even think that an ordinary acquaintance can advertise.
But in fact, he can do it. Would a local barber be trusted when he talked about the superior properties of beard oil he recently purchased? Of course, they will. This is a great example of using native social media advertising.
Native advertising on the Internet has a wide range of applications. However, due to its flexibility, it can be used wherever possible. Offline channels are another way to host native content. Here are some examples:
- Advertising through conferences and seminars. The speaker leads a conference on targeting and Internet marketing or talks about dog training at home. In his speech, the names of different brands may sound, one way or another, related to the topic of broadcasting.
- Advertising banners. The main product or service on the shield may be accompanied by information about current sponsors. And it’s also native advertising.
- Cultural and entertainment mass events. Such advertising works especially well at the local level, where the performer thanks his sponsor directly from the stage. Or you can place a logo on transport if it is a motorsport competition. All viewers will see and remember him. And this is also a great example of a native.
Native advertising in Internet blogs
It is not perceived as advertising and has a high response at the output. For example, they posted an interview about a certain company on a blog. For the reader, this is an informational post that will awaken the attention and interest of the public in the brand.
Requirements for native advertising
Recall that native advertising should mostly consist of high-quality useful content that meets the needs and interests of the audience. It takes a lot of effort to create it. The customer should consider all the steps to realize the conceived idea.
Basic rules for a successful advertising campaign:
- Study the audience. Which users visit the platform chosen for advertising, and what are their needs and interests? It will be a success if you present the expected content of the public, which will correspond to the theme of the selected resource and the activities of the company itself.
- Keep your balance. Many advertising elements can negatively affect the audience’s response, and their absence goes against the main purpose of posting the material. To evoke an association with a brand, try to present information naturally, following the ideology of the site, its style, and its visual design. Pictures should blend in with the content.
- Respect the boundary between the obsessive and natural presentation of material. The main message of the text should look like a recommendation, not a laudatory ode to the advertised product. Fresh ideas will help to fulfill the idea using indirect techniques in advertising.
- Work on the details. The intrigue in the title, a captivating introduction, and high-quality graphics of the material will warm up the interest. It is better to turn to professionals.
- Formulate competent messages. Avoid disappointing the user if they click on a link to your company.
- Pay special attention to the choice of format. Depending on the resource and the audience’s interests, it may differ. An effective result will bring text and somewhere – an image or audio.
- Take a systematic approach. You should not wait for a huge flow of interested customers with a one-time publication of native material. There should be a lot of ideas for a variety of platforms ready for cooperation.
Analysis of the effectiveness of native advertising
The effectiveness of native advertising is difficult to track, unlike other marketing channels. In addition, you need to proceed from the advertiser’s desire, whether he wants to sell a product or show his brand. There are no clear indicators here.
There are certain metrics to calculate. So, the percentage of readings determines the number of users who have read the entire article. Engagement measures the time a visitor spends on a page with published content. On some sites, there is a backlash from the audience. These are comments and reposts, likes and dislikes.
Useful tools for calculating the effectiveness of a third-party resource are a UTM tag (which allows you to collect statistics), a promo code, or a pre-landing page (a laying page when you go to your site). You can also ask the advertiser to provide guest access to Google Analytics data or Yandex.Metrica.
An important point will be the configured end-to-end analytics and goals. With their help, it is possible to trace the role of material on the Internet along the digital trail.
Before the control collection of performance data, you need to let native advertising “ripen.” The page must be indexed by search engines and have the required views and clicks from paid channels.
The effectiveness of investments (ROI) is better evaluated before two months. Good native material can show results even after several months or years. For example, videos on YouTube.
Although the material is selected based on users’ interests, native advertising does not bring sales and leads immediately. However, some are in a hurry to measure effectiveness without waiting for time, as in contextual advertising.
The context aims to attract hot customers ready to buy the product. Native, on the other hand, warms up the user and generates demand. Native advertising can be part of an entire advertising campaign, where both target, context, and other marketing channels to promote the product will be involved. Each of them has its purpose.
Examples of native advertising
Preparing high-quality content for native advertising requires great professionalism. A creative approach to creating material without obtrusiveness and aggression is the golden rule of success. Remember that the main task is to accurately introduce the brand rather than show the product from all sides. The brand should only occasionally flash in the context. For inspiration, we have selected several vivid examples of natives.
GE project with The Message podcast series, which won the 2016 Webby Award for Best Use of Native Advertising. This is a two-month sci-fi series in which the participants studied strange messages from deep space.
David Ogilvie, the legendary “Father of Advertising,” also had experience creating successful native ads. He released The Guide to Oysters, where he advertised Guinness beer. And sometime later, the world saw the “Guide to Cheese” in a similar format.
Mistakes in native advertising
Due to the incorrectly chosen payment method, you can lose your budget. It will be correct to pay for clicks to your site, not impressions. Volumes provide profitability, and users rarely react to ads.
You can change the model and see how it will behave when changing if the advertising is effective.
One promotion channel
Native advertising is not an independent tool. Often, the audience that gets to the native is still “cold” and responds more out of interest than out of a desire to purchase a product.
Sales will help warm up users. Create pre-landers that will describe the solution to a potential client’s problem, and only then let them on the site. Give the consumer more value.
Form thoughts clearly and concisely. Do not resort to strange wording. Not “To get rid of joint pain, you need to apply ointment to problem areas,” but “Apply cream to problem areas, get rid of the pain.” A big funnel and overly long text push people away. They lose interest and leave.
Another effective way is to make native advertising the start of a multi-channel sales funnel. Site visitors who came from the native are collected in the retargeting database. Then other traffic sources with more direct advertising are set up on them.
Install Google or Yandex for pre-landing and landing (depending on what you plan to use). Turn on the collection of information about visitors and set up advertising on another resource after that. Retargeting shows higher efficiency, as it is aimed at working with a hot audience.
Wrong call to action
There are several rules for writing a call to action. They will help increase the conversion:
- Focus on something other than STA. Paste as a guideline and position towards the end of the staging site. It is allowed to mention STA a couple of times in the text.
- In the call, use examples that are close to the potential client. Not “Buy 40% off, deliver in 2 days”, but “Prepare for the summer season, beat the pain in the joints.”
- Banners do not inspire confidence in the audience. Please talk about the product as little as possible, put pressure on the client’s pain, and give him a solution to the problem. This is how you change your mind.
Campaigns will only bring in potential customers if you use overly bright creatives to achieve high click-through rates.
Please note that this is not a teaser ad. The native should inspire confidence and harmonize with the site’s content. If you do not follow this rule, the ad will look “cheap” and will not lead to the desired success.
Setting high expectations does not mean that the visitor will convert. After visiting a landing or intermediate site, a person will be upset because he will not see the information he cares about.
Be honest in your ad. This will avoid empty clicks.
Not for the audience
If your product or service is for older people, include images of grandparents. For mothers – women with a child. The audience of young girls who want to gain harmony should see beautiful and fit beauties of their age.
When viewed, the user should have an association and a projection of himself. It inspires the client. If this is not considered, you will only get a miss click.
Show that you have already solved such a problem. Tailor your content to your audience.
Increasing the effectiveness of native advertising
Content needs promotion. Relying only on the activity of a real audience is only partially correct.
Define goals and develop a strategy
Develop a strategy based on three points:
- Define the boundaries of the target audience.
- Determine the chain of actions that the audience must complete.
- Understand the cost of action.
Content will only bring results if the audience understands it. Before placing native ads, be clear about what you expect from the client. Visiting a website or showing off your brand and getting likes and comments? Lead form applications? To understand the feasibility of such advertising, calculate the investment and the planned return of funds.
Decide on a concept.
Ask yourself questions:
- What platforms does the target audience use?
- Do you need partners, or can you manage on your own?
- Does your material fit the chosen site?
- What formats are suitable for it?
- What are the placement price and cost structure?
- Do you have a proof of concept?
- How to measure the result?
Make a list of channels for placement.
Make a list of native advertising sites. Define the content and purpose for each.
Make a plan
The plan should include a list of advertising campaigns, a list of sites, a selection of creatives, a budget, and KPIs. Work through each step meticulously. Only launch ads with planning and analysis.
Native advertising is a relatively new product in the marketing world. Be honest with your audience, avoid mistakes, and then it will satisfy you. Great result for you!