Native Advertising: A Lively Introduction

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a tiny fish in a huge sea, just start advertising your small business. For context, Facebook alone has over 8 million active advertisers, with most of them coming from small- to medium-sized businesses like yours. Worse, if you’re like most internet users, you tend to ignore traditional ads when you’re browsing, or even to remove them entirely with an ad-blocking plugin. 

How do you get your ad to stand out from the crowd, especially when very few people want to bother with ad content these days? Native advertising!

Native advertising is a cost-effective way to get your content in front of your audience—without making them want to look away. If you’re considering this tactic, here’s what you should know about why it’s so powerful.

What Does “Native Advertising” Mean?

Lying somewhere in the niche between advertising and organic content, “native advertising” refers to ads designed to match the look and feel of a website’s normal content.

Chances are, you’ve seen native advertising many times while browsing online. When you venture onto Facebook, for example, you’re likely to see advertisements—called “sponsored posts” there—that look much the same as posts from friends and people you follow. As you skim through your favorite blogs, you might stumble across helpful native ad posts that offer valuable content, just like the content of the posts you normally read.

This isn’t an accident: native advertising is meant to blend in, allowing advertisers to promote products and services without the sales-focused, overly promotional feel of regular advertising.  

Why Use Native Advertising?

If you aren’t already incorporating native advertising as part of your overall marketing strategy, now is a good time to start! There are a few huge benefits to this tactic:

  • You’re more likely to capture users’ attention. Banner blindness, or our tendency to skim right past ads without reading them, is a very real problem in the marketing world. Native advertising, on the other hand, tends to be more visible and earn more engagement than promotion-heavy advertisements.
  • You’ll build brand trust. We talk about it often: content is key these days. Native advertising focuses on offering valuable content related to a product or service you offer. They’re a great way to build up a solid reputation via content marketing. What’s more, because native ads are often branded with some variation of the words “sponsored content,” you provide transparency and ensure that viewers feel they’re choosing to engage, not being tricked.
  • You’ll get more conversions. Display ads convert, but not as well as native ads: research found that consumers look at native ads 53% more often than traditional ads. This means more clicks and more conversions overall!
  • You won’t deal with ad-blocking. Ad-blocking software tends to block display ads, but native advertising isn’t disruptive—which means most browser plug-ins won’t recognize it as an ad or block it. 

With so much new ad content popping up online these days, it’s more important than ever to use the hallmarks of content marketing to slip your ads in front of your target audience. Native advertising allows you all of the tools of traditional display ads—from targeting the right audience to affordable pricing—without generating another over-the-top ad that your viewers will want to ignore.  

Like all ad strategies, of course, it’s important to create the right content for the job and to understand the tactics you’ll need to succeed. Don’t hesitate to partner with us for expert strategies, and check out our other posts for tips on advertising and more!

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