So let’s start at the beginning, what does the ever-elusive term ‘native advertising’ actually mean? You may have heard the term before or you may have gone so far as to ask the trusty Google, but we are here to crack the code and give you the reasons why you should be incorporating native ads into your marketing strategy.
Say you're on a quest to find a new mattress, you start your hunt online and maybe you spend about 10 minutes searching different blogs about who sells the best mattresses. You see banner ads throughout the site that are directing you to other brands; these are display ads. These ads can feel a little pushy, they feature their logo or offers they have going on now. They stand out from the website, you may even feel a little annoyed by the placement.
Now let’s say you are reading a compare/contrast on the best mattress in the world and you see an ad that looks similar to the site you are reviewing that pitches another article about “the top 5 mattresses that keep you cool all night long.” If you’re a warm sleeper you may be enticed to click through to this new article; this new article just so happens to take you to a local mattress store website. You see they are local and now you might plan to visit them soon. Bam! This is the magic of a native ad.
Native ads don’t seem overly pushy and at first you may not even notice they are there. They may be disguising themselves in your social media feeds or on your everyday blog sites. Love it or hate it, the world of advertising has revolutionized itself so that advertisers can now stealthily place ads based upon your most recent searches, sites you frequently visit, technology or software you tend to use, your location, and so much more. From a consumer perspective, the advertising gods are now able to send you ads about topics and products that you are interested in, thus giving you more options. Plus, it doesn’t feel like you are constantly being pitched by a new brand trying to get your business.
Why do we advertisers choose to do this? Because consumers are inundated with advertising. With over 500 million downloads of ad-blocking software in recent years, consumers are generally annoyed at traditional ad formats, including display ads. Most consumers have become educated about advertising methods. Most now close pop-up ads before they even see them. We have become trained to the ‘typical’ advertising methods and thus advertisers must find a new arena to target.
So why do display ads still exist? Shouldn’t we switch completely to native advertising? Not so fast. While native advertising does tend to increase conversions, it does not offer much in way of brand awareness because the brand is typically non-existent in the ad itself. For typical branding campaigns, it is still recommended to rely on display ads. The two can co-exist and they should, to keep a company top of mind.
Ready to start incorporating native ads in your digital strategy?