Why It's Time To Go Native: Native Advertising Best Practices
Native advertising is the way to go, and right now is the best time to do it. If you've never heard of native advertising, you're not alone. It's the practice of making an ad look like it belongs as part of the website or social media platform. It's important to note that a native ad isn't a dishonest ad that tries to lure in unsuspecting victims. It's simply an ad that matches the layout/format of the place that houses it.
You can have editorial, social media, and image-based native ads. Have you noticed them on social media? Browse Pinterest or look at your Facebook feed and you'll see them. You can clearly see the sponsored post/content label, but they are unobtrusive. Editorial, social media, and image-based native ads follow the same guidelines. The must clearly state they are sponsored content, must blend in with the other regular content, and always provide value.
Here are some best practices to get you started:
Make sure the native ad blends in with your website. Whether you do this through an image-based ad or editorial content, you want the ad to be seamless.
Transparent advertising is a must. It should be relevant to the current content, not flicker or flash, include your logo, and display the words "Sponsored Advertising Content" or "Sponsored By." If your audience feels as though you're being dishonest, you'll lose credibility. Keep in mind, as well, that this a law governed by the FTC Guidance. An added bonus to using your logo is recall. The more often a person sees it, the more accepting they'll become of your placement in their viewing line.
Your content should reflect your audience. Their lifestyle, convictions, moral guidance, and more are excellent ways to connect. It should also give a single message. A cooking site that has a recipe for ten-layer chocolate cake shouldn't have an ad for quick weight loss options. Keep your message consistent. Use keyword reports and audience interests to help you focus your content.
Use language that resonates with your audience.
Always provide value. Your content should help them with something.
Reward engagement, especially for those native ads that lead to landing pages. You want the content on those landing pages to match the ad the drove them there. Consistency, again, is key to trust.
Pay attention to where the ad is placed. In-feed ads for both social media and editorial content show great results.
Consider video ads that have a strong call to action where you provide benefit to the consumer.
Make sure your ads provide an easy-to-navigate mobile experience. The last thing you want is for your consumer to drain the life of their cell battery waiting for your video ad to load. Over 85% of internet browsers use mobile devices to search. That's a large audience to ignore with native ads.
Be prepared to change things up depending on your click-through rates.
Native advertising is a great way to connect with new clients and customers. If done correctly, it can be a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.