The rise of native advertising

Written on 07 September, 2015 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories: Marketing, Social Media | Tags: advertising, native advertising, social media

With increasing proof that banner ads don’t work, the rise of digital platforms and increasing demand for digital advertising solutions, native advertising is quickly becoming the popular choice in the land of digital marketing.

If you’re wondering what native advertising is, and whether it’s a good fit for your business, here’s what you need to know.

What is native advertising?

A subset of content marketing, native advertising is online advertising which matches the format, style and tone of a platform or digital publication - think sponsored posts, a sponsored tweet or Instagram post, or sponsored videos.

The most common denominator is that the content of a native ad matches both the editorial quality of a platform, and is in line with what users expect to see when they land on the page (in other words, no talking about dog-grooming products on a platform for technology enthusiasts).

Why should I use it?

While native advertising is costlier than traditional banner advertising - mainly due to the effort associated with producing content - the rewards are certainly greater. On average, native ads receive a click-through rate (CTR) of 0.15% on desktop and 1% on mobile and, when done correctly, native advertising is generally received quite well by clients.

Native advertising is perfect for businesses who want to engage current and potential clients in a trustworthy, relevant and engaging way. However, it’s all about the platform you choose and the content you create. If your business doesn’t have the budget to do native well, it’s better to avoid it altogether than to execute a poor native ad campaign and risk losing credibility and trust from clients.

How much does native advertising cost?

While there is no set figure, there are a few things you need to account for when thinking about a native advertising campaign. When it comes to native ads, it’s crucial to allow more budget than for regular advertising campaigns. Not only will you be paying for the ad space on a platform, but you may also need to hire professional writers and creatives to work alongside the publisher to create suitable content, although many platforms offer content creation as an additional service or a value add.

Also, to fully reap the rewards of native advertising, it’s best to put budget behind a campaign to support the content as well from your own earned platforms (such as social media channels, email newsletters and search campaigns).

Getting started with native ads

Itching to go? The easiest way to get started in native advertising is to look at publications or platforms that might share a similar audience to you, and look at previous advertising campaigns they’ve run on their sites, such as sponsored posts, studies or videos. If the content is high quality, trustworthy and has good engagement from users, it might be worth contacting the publisher or platform for a media kit to learn more about the different packages available.

And, if you don’t have the budget for a full-blown native campaign with sponsored posts, videos and social media support, you can still explore native advertising through platforms such as Outbrain, Yahoo and Nativo.

Interested in advertising on social media, but don’t have the time or the knowledge to manage it yourself? Speak to a WebCentral consultant today about our managed social media plans.