When carried out effectively, native advertising can be an effective means of connecting with any given audience. By their very nature, native ads are more educational and compelling than your run-of-the-mill ads whose purpose is purely the promotion of a service or a product. On the flip-side, native advertising campaigns that are not supported by sufficient research can be utterly detrimental not just to the results of the campaign, but also to your entire brand image. Finding this equilibrium is no easy feat, and calls for the advertiser to conduct ample research into their target audience to avoid missing the mark in terms of the content and delivery of the ads. Effective native advertising involves putting the right content in front of the right audience, which means choosing the right sites on which to advertise.
One example of what not to do when carrying out a native advertising campaign is choosing the wrong publisher. For example, let’s say your business manages a well-respected magazine whose readers are characterised by their interest in the economy; it would make no sense to choose a publisher whose readers are interested in pornography. While this is perhaps an extreme example, it demonstrates the importance of integrating your native ads into the most relevant sites. Not only will unlikely coupling hinder the results of the campaign, both in terms of engagement and sales, but it may also destroy the relationship you had with the particular publisher, as it may also be damaging to their brand by associating with the wrong advertiser.
What could be even more damaging than pairing up with the wrong publisher? One common mistake that some advertisers make is sacrificing high-value content that is legitimately relevant to the site’s readers, and making their native ads appear relevant, only to be revealed as a traditional ad once clicked. This approach is known as the ‘bait-and-switch’ model. An add-on to the caveat against tricking your consumers is the importance in properly labelling native ads as ads. Following Oreo’s controversial YouTube ad that was insufficiently labelled, native advertising transparency has again become a hot topic, as online browsers demand more clarity as what content is “Sponsored” and what is editorial.
The IAB now offers guidance on what labels are acceptable, the main labels including:
The presence of native advertising in today’s marketing landscape is indicative of continued growth and popularity. Native advertising offers brands the ability to build a deeper connection with their audiences and creates additional opportunities for both publishers and brands that traditional display ads cannot bring.
When running a native advertising campaign, your ads need to be identifiable as ads. Not just because the IAB requires them to be, but also because of the damage advertisers can do to their brand by tricking users into engaging with their content. Instead of banking of higher click-through rates that unclear labelling might yield, invest more into planning an intelligent campaign that can connect with your market.
If you need assistance in running a Native Advertising campaign, get in touch with Benchmarketing today. Our experts know all the tricks of the trade, including which ones to avoid. If you want advice on the best ways to carry out your native advertising campaign, give us a call today on 1300 049 498.