If you haven’t heard of native advertising, don’t feel like you’re out of the loop. This term really didn’t come into use until 2012. Although it’s actually one of quite a few buzzwords related to online advertising, it’s probably one of the most significant. The reason why, is that it refers to a trend that continues to gain momentum throughout the digital world.
What Exactly is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a fairly broad term that is generally used to refer to the use of unique and specific ad formats. The key criteria for determining that a format falls into this category is that it needs to be strongly integrated into a publisher’s editorial environment. As a result of its format, native advertising serves as an extension to editorial content. When done correctly, native advertising not only enhances a visitor’s experience, but can actually complete it.
Now that you know the basic definition of native advertising, you can probably think of some examples that you’ve seen around the Internet. Sponsored stories on Facebook, ads in captcha boxes and promoted tweets are some of the most common examples that come to mind.
If you think about each of those formats, you can see that unlike traditional banner ads, they’re actually integrated into a site’s design. One important note to make is that even though they’re integrated, that doesn’t mean they’re misleading. A big part of native advertising is clearly labeling those sections of a site so that visitors are aware that what they’re seeing is a complement to editorial content.
How are Businesses Using Native Advertising?
A big part of being successful online is keeping an eye on what marketing strategies other businesses are utilizing. Although it can be difficult to determine what strategies are just trends and which ones have real staying power, one factor that helps is to see how widely something is being adopted. Given the fact that a recent survey found close to 75% of US publishers utilizing some form of native advertising, it’s safe to say this format is going to be around for awhile.
What’s the Best Way for Your Business to Take Advantage of Native Advertising?
If you’re interested in trying out this form of digital advertising, the best way to get started is by utilizing existing platforms. While you may ultimately decide to integrate native advertising into your own site, the big advantage of using an established platform is they already have marketing efficiency tools in place that can make it easier for you to get up and running. Google, Solve Media, YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, BuzzFeed, Tumblr, StumbleUpon and Twitter are all avenues you can explore for native advertising.
As with any type of advertising or marketing, not every platform is going to be a perfect fit for your business. However, since native advertising has already proven itself to be effective, it’s worth spending some time researching and experimenting to find at least one native advertising option that is the ideal fit for your business and its goals.