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Oct 05, 2015

A Touch of Native Advertising

A Touch of Native Advertising

In the words of Howard Gossage, the iconoclastic innovator of advertising in his era-

“Nobody reads ads, people read what interests them. Sometimes, it’s an ad.”

These words, and the notions expressed by it, lead to the creation of native advertising. In the mind of Gossage, whatever a person wants to read, they’ll read, everything else will be thrown away and forgotten. The principle of this truth set marketing down a path that defines it today- engaging consumer’s attention in a more natural, palatable manner.

The definition of native advertising can be put simply as, “an ad that fits in with the context in which it is set upon.” For example, a native ad on a cooking website would undeniably focus on some aspect of food. It would visually resemble other food posts surrounding it in aesthetic; the same size, similar text font, and an extremely similar image. But most importantly, the content of the post itself would be distinctly comparable to the content of any other post. This is key, because with this resemblance the advertisement becomes tailored to the precise interests of the people reading. Native ads are used when a company wants to optimize their digital brand awareness in a way that takes minimal effort from the viewer to expose themselves to the ad unit.

Although there are many forms of native advertising, the most effective and closest to the native

concept is “branded content”. The main reason for wanting to fit in with the rest of the content on a site is to give the user a seamless, pleasant experience.

After the initial click on the ad, branded content keeps that seamless experience rolling. It does not interrupt a user who wants to learn more about making cheesecake by sending him to an electric cake mixer ad. Instead, it takes the user to an article about “7 Amazing New Toppings to Add to Your Cheesecake” (Presented by an electric mixer brand), thereby maintaining an enjoyable user experience throughout the process. People don’t want to be exposed to sales tactics. It’s a pest to have to see banner ads on the sides of a website or to go through a dish soap commercial at the beginning of a Youtube video.

But with native advertising, companies can avoid pestering the user while still getting in front of the people by targeting the audiences that are truly interested in the company’s goal. A brand’s Screenshot 2015-04-10 11.23.07main priority should be building a relationship with these target audiences. Providing articles, videos, or advertorials to inspire, educate, entertain, or enrich their market will build that relationship faster than any hard sale tactic ever will. A young mom is more likely to buy the electric mixer from the brand that recommended using eucalyptus caramel on her cheesecake than from any other random brand with nothing to say but “BUY NOW!”

According to a survey conducted by Business Insider, consumers hold a generally positive attitude toward native advertising. In keeping this positive attitude and maintaining a trust with the consumer, it is important that native ads still be labeled as advertisements so consumers can differentiate between an editorial article and branded content. Ultimately, the natural relationship between branded content and native advertising exist simply because of a shared intent- natural engagement, and respect for the audience’s experience. After all, the consumer is always the most important part of any marketing campaign.

To learn more about how your business can leverage the power of native advertising, connect with us today!

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