Native advertising is a form of content marketing conducted with a seamlessly fitting method within a selected medium. Different types of ad blockers are being increasingly used, making native advertising a good way of engaging consumers. Native content is as interesting, addictive and attractive as any other content form, and it takes advantage of journalistic methods and approaches. Native advertising is open and transparent, which is why it is always labelled as “sponsored” or “advertisement” to distinguish it from journalistic content.
Native advertising can take various forms: the content may be an online article, print advertorial, video, podcast or even a WhatsApp drama, a.k.a. chat fiction. What matters is that the content addresses your intended target audience in the right way through the appropriate medium, and conveys your company’s message in a compelling way. See our 3 tips for native advertising!
Native advertising can help strengthen your brand and illustrate your strengths and competitive edge. Native narratives can be used to make new brand arguments that might be unfamiliar to consumers but which you would like your brand to be remembered by.
Furthermore, native advertising allows you to tell your company’s engaging story using journalistic means: consumers will no longer make a distinction between commercial and journalistic content if the former is equally well constructed. A company story of growing from a small workshop into a global operator is guaranteed to not leave the reader cold. Or why not explain how your products are handmade by skilled experts whilst simultaneously signalling your company's responsibilty as a local employer?
Instead of promoting that your company has been granted an eco-label, you can use native adverts to give concrete examples of your company’s efforts in combating climate change.
An activating native ad helps you engage, entertain and commit consumers. Such ads include interactive articles, tests and competitions.
For example, you can invite consumers to participate in a test group to try out your new product. In addition to gaining valuable information for product development from the group’s feedback, you will acquire genuine experiences to use in future advertising. The power of recommendations is undeniable.
Tests, polls and competitions can help you steer consumers towards your products or services in an entertaining way. Interactive articles allow readers to decide for themselves how the story continues. With activating native ads, readers spend more time with the content, and at best, move on to the client’s website to continue learning more about the brand.
At its best, native advertising is long-term and well planned and follows the company’s marketing strategy. The success of native content is measured in terms of the number of readers, the number of times a page is loaded and the time spent on a page.
One of the most important indicators is the number of clicks leading to the client’s website, i.e. how many customers can be directed to your company’s website through a native ad. Continuous monitoring helps you learn what works and what does not. If the content is working in terms of numbers and seems to be sparking an interest, it should be utilised to the fullest and distributed further.
In addition to numerical indicators, it is also important to measure the development of brand image. This can be done with a multichannel cross-media study, which provides information about the amount of attention and interest the advertising campaign is attracting and how good it is in terms of quality. Studies like this also provide information about consumers’ mental images created by the adverts. A positive impression of the advertiser, product or brand creates a memory that has an impact on people's behaviour in the consideration and decision-making phase of buying. The best-case scenario is that these memories turn into profit through a purchase.
Consumers will no longer make a distinction between commercial and journalistic content, as long as they find the content interesting. Competing for consumers’ time is tough due to the vast amount of information available and only interesting content earns clicks. In native advertising – like in journalism too – the only limiting factor is the extent of our imagination.