What Are Native Ads?
Native advertising is one of the fastest growing channels in digital marketing, and has many benefits over other channels. However, as we all know, with any new approach to something it's good to ask yourself a few questions before starting down the road – it's no different with native ads.
Native advertising is a type of ad that matches the form and function of the platform where it appears, and is also called sponsored content, so it looks like it belongs directly on the page where it sits, which draws in page viewers.
When trying to decide on a native ad strategy, or writing ads for your website, there are certain do’s and don’ts you should follow. When executed successfully, these best practices will most likely result in more click throughs, conversions, and ultimately leads.
This checklist of Do’s and Don’ts is designed to help you think through some of the decisions that come into play when creating a campaign using this channel.
Do: Be transparent with your labeling
Along with a title and label that interests the reader, it is crucial to be transparent consistently. Transparency influences a reader and ultimately maintains a positive relationship with consumers.
For instance, if you're running an article about the best ways to integrate a new payroll system, it's important to be transparent about whether or not your article was sponsored by a company that provides that service once the viewer clicks into the article. A great way to structure sponsored content is to educate the reader without being too salesy.
Labeling your native ads clearly results in strengthening a viewer’s impression of a brand when they are able to easily identify the associated brand. This outcome may seem counterintuitive; however, there have been studies that show the ad performance is not hindered by disclosing sponsorship.
Don’t: Be wordy
If you want to grab a reader’s attention as they quickly sift through articles, you need to be brief. Keep your focus on describing the value you are providing for the reader and discard anything that is not essential.
The digital world is a noisy place. Several articles might be promoting similar content and may be directly competing with you for an audience’s attention. By sticking to short strings of text and headlines, you have a greater chance of getting a reader to click on your native ad.
Do: Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)
It is important for readers to feel drawn to click a button that takes them where you want them to go. A clear CTA should have the reader understand what next step they are taking after converting.
Whether it is a link for another blog, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an app, the reader needs to understand the outcome of clicking. One way that may help the reader see the CTA clearer is by placing it in a spot on the website that is easy to see and easy to get to.
Want more info on great CTA’s? Check out this blog!
Don’t: Skip out on metric testing
Keep up to date with the performance of your native ads by keeping an eye on your marketing metrics. Native ads allow you to easily test different copy, headlines, images and more in order to see what resonates with your target audience. For example, you can use A/B testing to see what works best for your product or service.
When using A/B testing, you can see which aspects of your native ads convert better by changing one variable at a time.
- Is your brand messaging hitting the right demographic?
- Is your call-to-action (CTA) clear?
- Are you using the right image?
- Does your copy include appealing colors?
All of these questions can be easily answered through understanding your marketing metrics as you alter these aspects via A/B testing. Just remember to test one element at a time to ensure you’re not mixing up the results. You can find a more in depth blog about digital marketing metrics here and A/B testing here.
To get the most out of your campaign, and keep users engaged, it’s important to remember the little details of native advertising that make all the difference. The guidelines above are meant to provide digital marketers a basic understanding of how to use native ads to your advantage.
Keep in mind that the more effort you put into making a good impression and being creative with your approach, the more likely users are to take your ad seriously, click on it, and have an overall positive experience on your site.
Native advertising is just one aspect of your marketing. Download our “Guide to B2B Marketing Strategy, a Framework You Can Implement” to discover how to build an overall approach.