The ability to tell stories is a talent that serves advertising as well as journalism. Between one thing and the other, there is a gray area in which it is not exactly known whether the material is journalistic or propaganda with content. This kind of story is not new, but its adoption by large vehicles is fairly recent, and the results are eye catching. Native ads are clearly marked as advertisements, but they can ‘cheat’ those who see them, as they use language, style of writing, and design very similar to editorial content. When advertisers think of native ads, they think of something that refers to content discovery campaigns, where content appears programmatically under similar articles in a related content tool.
Through content platforms such as Taboola, for example, you pay to promote your content on trusted publisher sites. In exchange for your investment, you gain access to the publisher’s audience and can merge your content with the user experience of the publisher’s site. These native ads are also known as content syndication. Syndication and content syndication refers to the system of sales (distribution) of programs and series for different channels, whether for live or recorded broadcast, on both radio and television. It is a common system in countries where television is composed of chains with local affiliated broadcasters, such as the United States and the Netherlands. On the internet, content syndication is the act of presenting your brands information on news or other websites catching the user when he is not exactly looking for you.
More and more, advertising has been mixing and confusing with content. That’s the idea of native advertising! It corresponds to a type of paid media. And it works almost like a common advertisement, however, there is a very significant difference! These native ads make sense in the context of the content that the user is seeing.
If you are on a large portal, reading more about entrepreneurship, for example, you click on the link for an article very similar to the list of articles on that portal. And often, he only discovers that it was a native ad when he realizes he was taken to another site! The only certainty I have left in this respect is that the ability to tell a good story is increasingly valuable. Generally, the link from these ads directs the user to a subject or content that deals with subjects related to what they were already consuming previously.
My tip is for brands to use both Taboola and Outbrain in your sales funnel strategy, exploring at the moment the top of the funnel. In other words, use these channels to deliver more content to the person. Well, it is probable that at this moment she does not want to buy anything and is just looking for more information.
Native advertising has several advantages. However, as you saw above, using it or not, depends, first of all, on your goal. If your goal is to increase visibility and engagement with your brand, this option pays off! In addition, there is another very important detail, as native advertising allows you to publish on large sites, you start to compete with the big brands and those companies already established in your niche.
Today, the most popular platforms for native ads are Taboola, Outbrain, Adnow and other more recent platforms. This possibility of the native propaganda of reaching a much larger audience, without a doubt, is a huge advantage!
How to get results with native media
If you have a YouTube channel, check which of your videos have had the most engagement and most views, and create ads on Taboola or Outbrain, with a direct link to that YouTube video. That way, more people will see the content and have the opportunity to view more of your videos. The same holds true for your blog articles. Choose which are your 5 or 10 content that have had better acceptance and promote these contents in the mentioned channels.
The important thing is that you always test what works in your market, because in some cases it is better to explore the strategy of the e-book, while in other cases, direct links to a YouTube video or a blog post, work best. There are even cases where a direct link to a sales page generates results. But to let you know what works or does not work, you need to test.
Below are some quick tips to get results for your brand from a native ads campaign:
- Create content that helps the user
- Create ads and titles that catch their attention but don’t go overboard
- Avoid lies and exageration as that has been used too much on fake news lately
- Define which sites you want to be shown on. On the configuration panel of most content synducation networks you can define that. This is important to avoid spending money on gaming apps for example where the user is there to play a game, not to see ads. By the way, advertising on apps is a way to waste your budget quite fast. Make sure to pick correctly where you want your ad to be shown.
- Bid lower than then indicated by the platform. These platforms make money from you and they will tell you to bid high to get more visibility. Truth is, specially if you are just starting, you will get that visibility anyways by being present on News sites and larges sites that you are not present before. Start slow and then go adjusting for better results.
Native ads networks
These are some native ads networks that can help your content seen and bring traffic and customers to your website.
- Google has launched its native ads present on the Google Marketing platform. https://nativeads.withgoogle.com
The fact that Google entered the native ad market is an incredible testament to the level of performance native advertising can deliver for a brand as well as the level of engagement it garners from the average human being reading the web.
- Sharethrough: great new platform that came to rival giants Outbraina and Taboola. Sharethrough works with enhanced ads that take the format and design of the page the ad sits on.
- Taboola and Outbrain are the largest native ads networks and by advertising on them you can have your content present on the largest websites online. They are easy and not expensive to start.
Native Advertising should not be invasive or empty
It makes sense within the context in which it is inserted, unlike the banners that keep flashing at the sides of the sites. Although, as a new concept, there are still companies that share content that is not so contextualized. But the tendency is that this will end overtime because a person will not click on a native ad if the content presented has no relation to what the person looking for at that moment.
And this is important to note. Native ads are embedded in content channels. So, to be effectively native, that is, to look like it was supposed to “live there”, it must have content! It makes no sense to put an ad that speaks specifically of its content if the intention is to dialogue with context in a harmonious way.
The direct goal of an advertising #banner is to generate immediate sales. If you click on it, it’s because you had interest in buying or reading something that was offered. But the goal of a native ad is to generate engagement.
That is: people interested in what you have to say, value that your company is transmitting through content, which can or can not talk about your product. The client’s journey is extremely varied, so be sure that in reality a combination of paid advertising and other organic channels is probably the best way to attract potential customers into the funnel.
As long as you understand the importance of building trust and delivering value first without asking anything in return, you will get results from these paid traffic sources. And do not get too involved, waiting for people to lower the funnel the way you want it. In fact, it looks nothing like a funnel but rather like a maze.