Blog Insight

Native Advertising

Overcome Resistance with Relevance

People tend to avoid advertising. Close to 60 percent of US households have a digital video recorder. The click-through average for paid search is under 2 percent while the average click-through rate for banner ads is less than 0.2 percent.

Though it would be incorrect to say that people hate advertising. Well, some do. People do hate irrelevant advertising. Irrelevance can be either that the message is wrong for the audience or that it is wrongly placed. Native advertising is the strategy of wrapping paid messages in the camouflage of editorial to work around the filters that people have naturally created to strain the thousands of ads vying for their attention each day.

Catching up with Display Advertising

Native advertising is not a new idea, but it may come to rival display advertising spending. We’ve all seen infomercials staged as newscasts, or seen sponsored advertorial sections in magazines, or heard radio commercials featuring the local DJ. What makes native advertising new again is how people consume scrolling or streaming information on their social networks and the power of the smartphone as a leading device of choice. Ads just don’t fit as well on phones as does the natural flow of editorial or visual content.

The user’s mobile experience is helping marketers rethink what ads should say, and where they should say it, irrespective of platform. If typical banner ads were inserted into an editorial stream, they would interrupt the consumption of the content, and readers would engage at ever-dropping levels, or worse, flee. Publishers who use native advertising content can make marketers happy by encouraging a compatible communication style to reach an engaged audience, and at the same time, providing an improved experience to the reader with a marketing message that mimics the editorial style with a higher perceived information value.

So, for native advertising to work, you must have something relevant to say and a compatible forum in which to say it. This means you have to know your customers thoroughly, and you have to know what medium to engage them in. We are big believers in using social media monitoring to get a real-world, real-time assessment of what a specific audience is talking about, and in using robust qualitative and quantitative tools, like Iconoculture or GfK MRI, to identify key insights and trends.

In addition to knowing what to say, you need to know where to say it. Native advertising is most widely available on social networks: Facebook’s News Feed ads, Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, and Yahoo’s Stream Ads.

Native Is Not Always Social

Social is not always the right environment for every marketer. Native units can also exist in traditional media properties like The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Atlantic, or in newer digital properties like BuzzFeed, CollegeHumor, and The Huffington Post. Sometimes, native advertising opportunities can emerge from one-on-one conversations with publishers who might already attract the right audience but may not yet have a fully baked native advertising option. At GLG, we’ll create the right environment, bringing the publisher and marketer together to build an experience that did not previously exist.

The right marketing partner should help you create a message with a specific audience and outlet in mind. After all, when you break down the elements of native advertising, right person, right message, and right place are the right ingredients for any kind of marketing.