Category: Native Advertising


What Kind of Content Do Customers Seek in Native Advertising?

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The idea that consumers, particularly younger ones, are less susceptible to traditional promotions from brands was the consensus opinion—and concern—among digital marketers attending a recent conference of the American Advertising Agency Association (4 As).

“People don’t want to be sold to,” said Leo Burnett’s Mark Renshaw, a panelist in a session on content marketing. Approaches that seem less like selling and more like informing or educating are rapidly growing as the format of choice by many consumer and business-to-business marketers.

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The Key to Success in a Native Ad

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The best native advertising leverages both the strength of traditional advertising and the strength of the medium in which it appears. For business-to-business marketers, the ability to expand your marketing messaging beyond the constraints of early Web formats such as banner ads not only provides new ways to communicate with customers, but also adds strengths to those traditional formats.

Indeed, recent research by BNP Solutions reveals that the use of native advertising appearing adjacent to conventional banner ad formats enhances the recognition of the native advertising and its sponsoring brand. Such findings indicate that the real power of native ads comes from using them in the way that readers expect editorial content to work: by providing insight, understanding, and the hows and whys of the topic being covered.

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Native Advertising Guidelines: Why They Benefit Both Advertiser and Audience

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Some critics argue that the use of native advertising violates a journalism doctrine called “church and state”—the idea that advertising and news should be on opposite sides of a metaphorical (or real) wall. Yet, this separation is a relatively recent concept, since one of broadcast TV’s first news programs in the late 1940s was NBC’s “The Camel News Caravan.” (And yes, that camel referred to the cigarette brand.)

“The goal of native advertising is not to fool readers, but to present content in a format that helps readers understand the products and solutions a marketer provides,” says John Schrei, BNP Media’s Publishing Director. “The best native advertising clearly indicates to the reader what is content from the publisher and what is content from the advertiser.”

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Steps in Creating a Successful Native Advertising Campaign

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Unlike traditional advertising produced by an ad agency or by an in-house marketing team, native advertising is a collaborative effort between publisher and advertiser. This strategy helps the advertiser get the maximum impact from the ad, ensuring the customer is served in a positive, helpful way.

For instance, while native advertising benefits from the conventions of the medium in which it is presented, it’s important for many reasons—including Federal Trade Commission regulations—for the reader to understand that such an ad is sponsored. The publisher’s involvement early in the creation process can help provide specific guidelines on how to maximize the native ad’s effectiveness.

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How Native Advertising Can Improve the Effectiveness of Traditional Ads

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Some people are calling native advertising an alternative to display advertising—or banner ads. New web media models such as BuzzFeed don’t run anything but native advertising. However, research by BNP Solutions on the effectiveness of native advertising used by business-to-business marketers suggests that banner ads appearing alongside the native ad can increase readers’ awareness of the native ad’s source.

When presented with content sponsored and prepared by an advertiser on a web page that included banner ads from the same advertiser, almost 75 percent of the research participants could identify and recall the native advertising. And of those who noticed, 30 percent were likely to click through.

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