When thinking about native advertising, it is important to recognize that native advertising comes in many formats, and the strategy for each type of native advertising various depending on the respective format.
There will always be tactics you should apply across all of your digital marketing strategies but being mindful of the uniqueness of each type of native advertising format will ensure you adjust your approach where necessary, enabling you to be effective in all of your efforts. In its core, native advertising allows you to connect with an existing audience. The way you connect with that audience needs to feel applicable to them while aligning with the tone of the platform.
No matter the method of your marketing or advertising efforts, there are key tactics that should be translated across all of your strategies to ensure your success. The first tactic is to create campaigns that answer the questions your target audience has – that’s how you will grasp their attention.
Another necessary tactic to build into every type of campaign is following the storyline of the brand. A swift change in a brand’s story could impact the loyalty of their already established customers. More than ever, people are buying a brand’s story just as much as their product or services, so it’s important to clearly articulate a brand’s story consistently.
Social Media Advertising
An extremely effective way to reach a niche target audience through your advertising efforts is with social media. Each social media platform is different, and in turn, your pitch should be adjusted, but it’s important to be mindful of the tone of social media broadly. An advertisement on social media should align with the various platforms’ goals of connecting people.
Your ad needs to come off as relatable, knowledgeable, and casual. Anything that feels too formal won’t be trusted as easily on a social media platform. Within social media, there are a few different ways to approach native advertising:
- Influencer partnerships
Partnering with an influencer with a niche that relates to the brand you are looking to promote is a phenomenal way to leverage their audience in such a way that quickly builds trust in the brand you are promoting.
That audience trusts the influencer, so with the influencer’s “stamp of approval,” you are likely to see a strong conversion from the ad.
2. Sponsored or Promoted Posts
Sponsored/promoted posts can be seen on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok – really any social media platform.
These types of campaigns work well as they appear in-feed to your target audience seamlessly, helping consumers to naturally read and engage with the ad as it is perceived as a post within their social media feed.
3. Publisher Partnerships
With native advertising through publisher partnerships, you can’t use the broad guidance of “be casual” as that does not match the tone of all of the publications you may work with. Think of Buzzfeed versus the New York Times – those are two completely different tones. With a publisher partnership, it is important to align your campaign pitch with the storyline of the publication, bringing us back to our two transferable tactics: answer the audience’s questions and match the brand’s story.
You will need to ensure you deeply understand a publisher’s brand, and therefor audience, to pitch an effective campaign that stands out.
Something else important to note with publisher partnerships is your ownership, as a creative, over the campaign will also look much different than it would with social media advertising, as an example.
With a publisher partnership, the editor of the publication is in charge of building and delivering the creative, so be prepared for them to be extremely involved in the process. They are present to ensure the tone of your advertising aligns with your brand, so take advantage of their expertise.
4. In-Feed Ads
One of the most popular, and commonly used, forms of native advertising are in-feed ads. In-feed ads are an effective way to get your advertising in front of a desired audience in a way that feels organic. Have you ever been scrolling through an article online, and you find yourself reading an advertisement thinking it was the next section of the article?
That’s exactly the point – the advertisement aligns with the format of the feed so well that it appears to be apart of it, drawing a consumer’s eyes to the ad naturally, and in a way that feels like the dots of the article are being connected with the product or services.
One of the most difficult things to do with an advertising campaign is gaining engagement in the campaign. When your advertisement gives the perception that it’s apart of something your consumer was already looking for, they are likely to give the ad their attention without much thought or hesitancy.
5. Programmatic Advertising
There are certain methods that can include a little bit of everything. Programmatic Advertising is software that can buy ad space on targeted websites. This is direct to a different kind of consumer. Often, social media advertisers like to first advertise here for better data for more accurate targeting on social media.
These use your best landing pages or blog posts to promote on websites like Business Insider, Bloomberg, USA Today, Fox and More.
6. Brand Journalism
But here’s the real sauce. That blog post is best when created in a strategy called Brand Journalism. Brand journalism is a random term but it is the way to build a story into your campaign. These don’t look like advertising or marketing but a way the audience can learn more about why your brand exists.
Use this form of article or blog post in your programmatic advertising efforts. This is the beginning to a flawless campaign.
7. Content Recommendations
Another fantastic way to provoke the action you are looking for from consumers is through content recommendations. Similar to the idea behind in-feed ads, content recommendations are a seamless way to pique your consumer’s interest as the recommendation feels directly applicable to them.
Additionally, the recommendation goes back to another one of our two transferrable tactics: answer your target audience’s questions. If you provide a relevant recommendation to something they are already consuming, their likelihood of clicking your link increases ten-fold. The idea is to advertise without looking like you’re advertising, you are simply solving problems and answering questions.
There are many aspects of native advertising that require slightly different approaches dependent on the channel. From a small content recommendation at the bottom of an article, to an influencer promoting a product, or even an ad copy in a publication – there are endless opportunities to promote a brand through native advertising.
The most important differences among the varying channels to be mindful of is their tone, placement, and storyline. If you adjust the pitch for your ad campaign according to those differences, you are bound to land the campaign and help build the company’s brand effectively.