How do you do effective native advertising? Our guide explains what native advertising is, how it works, and how to ensure it is effective.
In times of operational blindness and ad blockers, it is becoming increasingly difficult for advertisers to place ads so that prospective customers like to see and click them. Native advertising can change that. It enables online ads to be placed subtly and elegantly in the relevant advertising environment.
You read and hear it again and again: conventional advertising is failing. This claim is no accident. Consumers are exposed to tons of stimuli both online and offline. In order to be able to process them, they have to distinguish important from less important. And as a rule, this is not in favor of advertising content. The opposite is the case: advertisements either fall victim to advertising blindness, which means consumers do not even notice advertising content, or they elude them entirely by using ad blockers.
The question arises: What can companies do to still get the attention they need? Advertising has no acceptance problem per se. As a rule, unsuitable forms of presentation and poor quality content make ads unattractive. Against this background, the days of online banners that pretend to advertise services and products are over.
The key to success is: effective native advertising. It opens up a much more subtle and, above all, more elegant way for companies to reach potential customers with relevant advertising content.
What is native advertising?
Native advertising is a method with which media content can be placed in the editorial environment. The aim is to adapt the content to the design and style of the respective media platform. Since the content fits so perfectly into the reading flow, the reader does not initially perceive advertisements as such. The probability is much higher that he deals with the corresponding article. It is only at second glance that information such as “advertisement”, “sponsored post” or “in cooperation with” becomes apparent.
If the switched content is highly relevant to the reader, it develops – at best – even a viral reach. This means that the recipient sends it to colleagues, for example – which enables the advertising company to reach more potential customers. Examples of native advertising are video ads on Facebook, sponsored articles on news websites and content on hybrid platforms such as online marketplaces, which give brands a platform for self-expression, but at the same time enable other providers to advertise.
Precisely because native advertising is so powerful and at the same time very efficient, it is perfect for content seeding. The aim is to provide relevant content for the target group.
What formats are there?
Native advertising opens up several options for placing advertising content – in a subtle and effective way – in the editorial environment.
Native ads : This ad format, often also called text ad or teaser, is the most common format in native advertising. Native ads usually consist of a title and a brief description, optionally enhanced by a graphic. Inconspicuous information texts such as “advertisement” mark them as advertising. Native ads are not only to be found below articles or in columns next to them, but are increasingly gracing the feed areas. They blend elegantly between other editorial article teasers or are represented directly on the homepage and in the sections. Native ads are now also part of the fixed repertoire on social networks. They always pursue the same goal: they want to encourage the reader to click.
Advertorials: They represent the native advertising classic. Advertorials are paid items that can be booked for a fixed price in the desired medium. Advertorials are a good way to demonstrate your own thematic competence with a high-quality article. They are also characterized by small information such as “advertisement”, “sponsored post” or “special publication” as advertising content. Ideally, the publishing medium proactively pushes an advertorial in the social networks. Since the editors maintain this ad format in their content management system, it falls through the grid of ad blockers. Companies benefit from an advertorial in two ways: Does the publishing medium enjoy a good image and a high level of trust? Is the branding effective?
Why does native advertising have to meet expectations?
Through their visual adaptation to the editorial environment and headings, such as “You may also like this”, native ads are the same as editorial article recommendations and advertorials editorial articles. This appearance in turn arouses a certain expectation among the reader. If the native ads and advertorials cannot meet expectations, this leads to high bounce rates and an inefficient campaign performance.
It is particularly critical if this occurs in combination with a media break, i.e. the user leaves the website of the online offer originally visited. As is so often the case, the devil is in the details when it comes to native advertising. With content that is adapted to the platform in terms of design and style but does not offer any added value, native advertising has hardly achieved any success. Rather, it is about offering users solutions to their challenges and problems.
It is therefore essential for native advertising that the pain points are of the respective target group and that the triggers set in the form of native ads and advertorials correspond to the respective information needs – and in the best case even exceed them.
What are the advantages of native advertising?
Native advertising can be a real performance miracle, especially in B2B. The often complex B2B products and services can rarely be summarized in just a few words. Native advertising creates the necessary scope for communication. And can do so much more:
Be present earlier in the buying decision process: Native advertising is an effective marketing tool for B2B customers in the course of their customer journey. To address early – provided you have a little flair and can convince with high quality content. Native advertising can start at the very beginning of the customer journey (awareness phase) as well as at a more advanced point in time (consideration phase). While native ads are primarily intended to generate attention for an online presence and bring users to the website, advertorials can be used to satisfy users’ in-depth information needs. But it is not only in this way that native advertising enables you to be present earlier in the purchase decision process. Print media are still very much in vogue with B2B decision-makers. They represent a trustworthy source of information that is in demand especially in the early phase of the purchase decision.
Strengthen your own branding: Whether offline or online: Trade media are the first point of contact for B2B decision-makers to find out more. This fact can be used to advantage by companies specifically booking native advertising formats in the relevant environment. There they will not only reach their target group, but also benefit from the trust that the user places in the medium. If companies place native ads and advertorials in a high quality and reputable environment, they make their brand shine. Because: The good reputation of a media brand inevitably radiates on the advertiser.
Support the lead generation: It’s true. Native ads and advertorials are real eye-catchers – precisely because they are not. Your packaging is so sophisticated that it attracts attention. As a first step, native advertising ensures that users recognize advertising content that is relevant to them. If the ad formats then have added value for the readers, native advertising becomes an unbeatable lead generation machine. Specifically, the following options are available to support lead generation:
Native-Ad leads to an advertorial within the editorial offer: In this case, the user remains on the same website and is offered additional information in the form of an article. At the end of the article there is again a note that guides the reader to a landing page that contains a contact form for further information.
Native ad refers to its own editorial offer: In this variant, clicking on a native ad leads the user directly to their own website. Even if there is a media break here, this procedure is well suited for companies that can already offer a wide range of content that is adapted to the information needs of prospective customers along their customer journey.
Native-Ad leads directly to an inbound landing page with a form: This is probably the most aggressive option on how to use native advertising for lead generation. For this approach to be successful, the content must immediately convince. Otherwise, the user is not ready to provide his personal data in order to receive further information.