What's the big deal with native advertising?
Native advertising is being hailed as the new frontier of advertising revenue for media companies. In fact, according to Business Insider, native advertising is expected to grow from $4.7 billion to a whopping $21 billion between 2013 and 2018.
$21 billion – That's definitely not a number publishers can afford to ignore.
So, with all this buzz, you've probably heard of native advertising. Maybe you've read some blogs or heard it thrown around in advertising meetings – but how much do you actually know about native ads?
Here are five things every media publisher, from newspapers to TV stations, needs to know about native advertising.
1. What is native advertising?
In a nutshell, native advertising is an original piece of content that's created with two purposes – to entertain/educate readers and to promote an advertiser.
The term "native" refers to the format. The content should look at home with other pieces of published content, whether that's online or in print. This differs from a traditional print ad or banner ad because they don't interrupt the reader's experience.
"We approach native advertising like we would any other content – it should be engaging for readers and provide helpful, accurate information," says Paul Camp, evangelist for Content That Works , a premier provider of native advertising. "The main difference is, we work directly with the advertiser and often quote them as an expert in the topic area."
2. What can native advertising do for my advertisers?
Native ads are all about building the profile and reputation of an advertiser, especially in the local market.
According to a survey conducted by Content Marketing Institute and sponsored by Advance Ohio, 43 percent of content marketers used native advertising last year. Of those who used native ads, 63 percent used them to create brand awareness and 90 percent agreed they can be used to build audiences.
3. Are native ads effective?
Native ads are can be utilized in a multitude of platforms from print to tablet. But they are most effective on mobile devices. In fact compared to traditional display ads, native ads have a 20-60 percent higher engagement rate according to a study by Facebook and IHS Inc.
Native ads are also specifically designed with social media in mind. Readers are encouraged to like, share and comment on posts – something you can't do with a traditional ad. Plus, publishers can share native ads with their followers, giving advertisers access to a much larger audience than they would typically reach.
Another bonus: native ads help advertisers get around ad blockers, which have become a big obstacle in recent years for online marketers.
4. Won't readers feel misled by native ads?
This is one of the biggest questions publishers have about native ads – will readers be able to tell the difference between editorial content and native advertising?
The key to preserving reader trust – in both the advertiser and the publication - is to clearly label native ads.
"We recommend that clients create some kind of marker for native ads, whether it's a big banner or the words 'sponsored content' in bright colors," says Camp. "It's also a best practice to include a message that tells readers who paid for the content and that it was created outside of the editorial department."
5. How do we get started with native advertising?
For many publishers, there just isn't enough bandwidth to create native ads in house, no matter how great of a revenue opportunity it is.
That's where companies like Content That Works come in. For more than three years, the CTW team has been working with publishers and advertising to produce hundreds of native ads.
"We work directly with your advertisers to create high-quality and engaging native content," says Camp. "That way, your team can spend more time selling and less time coordinating the campaigns."
If native advertising sounds like an opportunity your media company can't miss out on, check out Content That Works' native advertising ebook – available for FREE download here.