Understanding Native Advertising
The term native advertising has become a Buzz word in the digital media space with the rise of online advertising. But do you really know what exactly is Native Advertising ?
Copyblogger.com conducted a survey on marketers to see their understanding on the topic. You will be amazed to know the results based on the responses from 2028 marketers :-
- 49 % of respondents did not know what native advertising was.
- 24 % were hardly familiar with it.
- Another 24 % were somewhat familiar.
- Only 3 % were very knowledgeable.
Native advertising are ad formats developed by each platform which are customised to gel in with the rest of the platform, be it the content or the features available on it. From an advertiser's perspective, it is the placement of the brand or a product in a manner that appears natural, or 'native' with the rest of the content of the platform on which it appears. For example, a listicle written on BuzzFeed by their editorial team on a topic such as "10 Reasons to visit India" and mentioning a activity at a luxury hotel in the listicle. Buzzfeed will ensure user experience is not compromised while ensuring a high quality placement for the advertiser.
Today, many internet companies are hugely successful because they have been able to monetise their traffic using native ad formats. It all started probably with Google and adwords. Google ads are amalgamated in the native experience of search. They appear natural to the user who visit Google.com to search the internet. Earlier, these ads were highlighted with a background color that differentiated them from organic results. Now only a small "ad" icon appears next to the ads which makes it look more native. Do you know that you see native ads even when you browse your Facebook or Twitter feed, I am referring to Sponsored posts in Facebook feed and the promoted Tweets in Twitter feed. These are one of the most effective forms of native advertising. You see ads that are targeted to you, the basis of which can be anything from your location to your interests. Facebook and mobile ads are a recent runaway success story. Soon you might hear of Whatsapp launching native ads on their platform.
Users have become smart enough to overlook the banners at the top or bottom of the website/app. It is this reason Google, Facebook, Twitter and BuzzFeed stay away from simply putting up banners anywhere and everywhere. The theory behind these avoidances is that users will be happier with advertising or forms of revenue generation that fit into the context. And if users are happier, the platform will continue to flourish as outlined by Jon Steinberg, Ex-president, BuzzFeed. If done right, you too can generate revenues from your website.
What are the biggest challenges with native advertising and how to overcome them?
Some digital marketers are not able to find the perfect balance between brand's message and the editorial content. Another challenge with these form of ads is that the marketers try to deceive the user that they are not selling anything but presenting them with the unbiased content. To overcome these challenges it is important to disclose any paid content as such and not to make the content completely promotional. The purpose of such ad forms is not to hoodwink the user but to deliver a smooth user experience.
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