Native advertising is the natural evolution of content marketing. It is a way to promote the content that brands should already be creating and an innovative way to reach consumers online where they congregate, without intruding on them in the way many other online ad units do.
Consumers are turned off by intrusive banner advertising formats. These old formats don’t really work on mobile devices. This is a fact. And this is why native advertising offers such great opportunities.
This popular 1956 quote from David Ogilvy perhaps sums up why native advertising works;
“It has been found that the less an advertisement looks like an advertisement, and the more it looks like an editorial, the more readers stop, look and read. Therefore, study the graphics used by editors and imitate them. Study the graphics used in advertisements, and avoid them.”
Here’s a quick summary about why native advertising works and why brands big and small should invest in it:
The growth of brand content: publishing branded content is now at the heart of what most major brands do, certainly those that want to achieve any semblance of success online. Brands publishing and creating good content need ways to share this content. Native provides a way for them to do this, while monitoring and analysing the results.
Banner blindness: Traditional online advertising is no longer as effective as it once was. At best users ignore banner ads these days, at worst they find them an interruption that causes them to react negatively towards the brand in question. Marketers are looking for different ways to reach their customers; Native advertising allows this in a format and style that consumers find acceptable.
Performance of Native vs Banners: Compared to banner advertising the performance of Native ads is very impressive. Typically, based on findings from the US where Native advertising has grown substantially in the last two years you can expect results ranging from 5-20 times improved response rates, a deep level of engagement averaging around 45 seconds per interaction, as well as a 40% higher brand lift and 50% increase in higher purchase intent.
Mobile: Native advertising works on mobile. Whether a text link, hosted editorial or promoted video, native is the number one ad unit for mobile. In fact because native promoted content sits within the main content areas of the host website, it is experienced and consumed in the exact same way as any other content viewed via mobile. Native promoted content is displayed full screen and is not platform dependent; they can be deployed across any technological platform – desktop, tablet, mobile – with no need to change creative or make platform specific changes.
Innovation: Native advertising means that brands can now innovate like never before. They are no longer constrained by the small text requirements and limited graphics of banner ads; or merely restricted to create a 20 second video ad: most brands will continue to do these things too of course, as they should, but native advertising does allow for a far deeper and richer level of engagement and innovation from brands when it comes to their marketing.
With native advertising there is an opportunity to cover all of the areas around a specific campaign, brand or product launch so customers can fully interact and understand the brand story.
A key take-away: be innovative and different and you are likely to attract inquisitive consumer to your brand message.