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Your 6 Burning Questions About Native Advertising, Answered

An example of non-native advertisingIf you’ve never heard of native advertising, don’t fret – it’s a very new concept and still in its infancy. However, I am willing to bet you already know what it is.

1. What is native advertising?

Native advertising is paid editorial. With that said, the actual definition is a source of fierce debate in the marketing world. Another definition I like is: advertising that people actually want.

2. Examples, please?

Sponsored stories on Facebook, promoted videos on YouTube, and promoted tweets on Twitter.

3. What makes native advertising different from online advertising?

It is distinguished from other forms of paid online advertising – like banner and pop-up ads – for delivering relevant content in an unobtrusive way.

Native advertising focuses on the user experience: A great user experience is probably the hallmark of native advertising. When you’re scrolling down your Facebook News Feed or Twitter stream, paid ads look just like a regular Facebook post or tweet. A pop-up ad, on the other hand, interrupts what you’re doing.

Native advertising delivers valuable content: Secondly, native advertising done well offers the user valuable, relevant, interesting, and useful content. Because of the ad targeting you can do via social media channels, you can better reach your customer segments.

4. What makes native advertising better than online advertising?

Well, it works – and a study conducted by Sharethrough and the IPG Media Lab confirmed that. As part of the study, 4,770 consumers were surveyed on their responses to native ad formats, and 200 of the participants had their eye movements tracked.

The study found that readers are more likely to pay attention to marketing messages that resemble the content around them:

  • Participants were 25% more likely to look at a native ad than they were at a banner.
  • Participants looked at native ads 53% more frequently, checking them out 4.1 times per session on average, versus 2.7% for banners.
  • Participants said they were considerably more likely to share a native ad with others (32% versus 19%) and showed 18% more purchase intent after viewing native ads.

5. What are the most effective forms of content for native advertising?

That really depends on your goals, but in general, offering educational content that teaches your audience something new works the best – think ebooks, webinars, and how-to guides.

6. Are there any common mistakes to avoid?

Yup, there are a few:

  • Don’t promote your company, product or service – that is regular advertising. Focus on keeping the attention on the content.
  • Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach to advertising; tailor ads to reach specific customer segments.
  • Don’t disguise an ad as content. That’s an advertorial.

Have you tried your hand at native advertising on Facebook or Twitter? Was your ad successful?

Image courtesy of Scribewise.com


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