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How to become a Native Advertising Hero

More content is being produced than ever before to meet the demands of media-savvy, connected audiences. Yet with such a variety of platforms and channels, it can be easy for advertisers to feel like their messages are lost in a swamp of information. That’s where native advertising can succeed. It’s one of the best ways that digital advertisers can provide audiences with valuable content while getting to the connections needed for better returns.

A native ad follows the format of the channel in which it is placed, to blend in seamlessly with editorial or organic content. Native advertising has been around for a long time, in the form of advertorials, sponsored shows and infomercials – but they have been really paying off with the rise of social media. From a promoted article on a news site to an influencer paid to mention a product in a social media post, good native ads match the look and feel of the platform so well that at first glance, viewers might not recognize the content as advertisements.

Why go native?

Unlike traditional banner or display ads that stand out from the channel’s content, native ads don’t disrupt the user experience. So not only are native ads tolerated by audiences, but since these ads provide real content, they are more likely to be read and shared by viewers. For advertisers, this results in much higher engagement with viewers and better click-through rates over traditional display ads.

What’s more, native ads are better at building trust with viewers, as audiences come to rely on brands to provide them with valuable advice and content. No one likes the feeling that they’re getting a sales pitch, so give your audience something that entertains or educates instead, and you build loyalty around shared ideas.

How to get native ads right

Native advertising offers real benefits for both advertisers and audiences as long as it is developed and used correctly. Here’s how to create native ads that succeed:

1.     Do your homework

Identify that right channels and platforms that are a natural fit for you company and the viewers you want to serve. Study what your audiences find shareable in those spaces and try to create content that is similar.

2.     Be transparent

People don’t like to feel tricked, so don’t use inaccurate or misleading ads that encourage accidental clicks. Don’t use overly sensational ad copy or “too good to be true” headlines for click bait. Properly label your content as advertising – be honest and your viewers will thank you for it.

3.     Create compelling content

Don’t think of native advertising as “pretending to be a real post”, it has to offer the same value as the rest of the content in the feed. So don’t oversell or focus only on yourself. Instead, tell a story that captures viewers’ interest. Think of drawing audiences in for a conversation, rather than shouting them down.

4.     Keep it simple

Just as with any other type of advertising, don’t try to do too much. Make one point, expand on it, then finish with a solid ending.

Get with the program

With new ways to generate and share content, it is only fitting that the way media content and ad space is bought and sold has been changing too. The latest system, programmatic advertising, uses algorithms to buy and sell advertising space in real time.

Programmatic ads eliminate the need for proposals, tenders, quotes human negotiation. Instead, software automates the buying, placement and optimization of media inventory through a bidding system. This process makes it possible for advertisers to deliver a tailored message to the right person at the right time in the right context. It creates a personalized, relevant ad experience for viewers while giving marketers and publishers more precise campaigns with a greater return on investment.

For advertisers, programmatic ads are cost effective – all you have to do is provide information about your campaign and your key performance indicators and the algorithm determines where and when your ad money is best spent. And it’s also a more efficient use of time, since programmatic ads mean that you can better plan, optimize and target your ads with no more “hit or miss” campaigns.

Bringing native and programmatic ads together

Combining native content with programmatic ads and you get the best of both: advertising that recreates the natural way we communicate, with the automation that reflects the latest from today’s digital world. Your message is seen by more of the right prospects, with more time for you to focus on what you do best: running your business.