6 Proven Strategies for Your Next Native Advertising Campaign

In an era where ad blocking has become the norm, and where consumers suffer from “banner blindness,” it’s become clear that advertisers can no longer creating the same old ads they always have.

While it’s taken years to come up with new advertising solutions that better engage consumers, we at RadiumOne are really excited about one particular strategy: native advertising. While a native ad looks more like a blog post or video, it is in fact, promoting a brand or product, albeit in a much subtler manner than its predecessors.

The main difference between old-school ads and native ads is in the delivery: because consumers are more inclined to engage with a blog post or video, they’re 20-60% more willing to pay attention to native advertising than they are banner ads. This is a huge boon in a marketplace with so many marketing messages being thrown at consumers.

All that being said, how can you effectively implement native ad campaigns into your marketing strategy?

  1. Provide Deeply-Useful Content

Marketers first have to let go of the concept that advertising is all about the hard sell. Native advertising takes the opposite approach: it provides information. It helps people solve problems. It answers questions.

If your branded content looks like a blog post or a video, it will inform or entertain your audience, who won’t even realize that they’re reading or viewing an advertisement. A well-written article will be clicked, shared, and commented on, just like any other blog post. A funny video will reach thousands or millions of views.The difference between native content and other content is that you pay for the privilege of getting it in front of as many members of your target audience as possible on a relevant channel like social media or a well-respected publication site.

  1. Keep Brand Mention to a Minimum

Today’s consumers are savvy, and there’s no need to pound your brand name into their heads. Focus on delivering value in the content you create, and let your brand or product name take a back seat. Less is more here.

Do link back to the most relevant page on your site. Consider creating a landing page specific to the content that you develop for the native ad so that people who engage with your ad aren’t jarred when they click to land on a page promoting your product in a way that is disjointed from the message your ad imparted.

  1. Invest in Native Video Ads

Written content isn’t the only option you have in terms of effectively reaching your audience through advertising. Native video ads, when engaging and entertaining, can see clickthrough rates as high as 5-8%.

We’re seeing greater numbers of types of video advertising, from Connected TV ad opportunities to pre-roll video ads shown before other videos on YouTube. As long as the video is lighthearted and intriguing, this is a fantastic way to get your audience’s attention.

  1. Play with Ad Formats

Publishers that offer native advertising have some pretty innovative solutions you should consider, including:

  • Recommendation widgets
  • In-feed units
  • Paid search units

Depending on the channel, you might test out different format options. For example, native ads on Facebook blend with the rest of the content in a user’s newsfeed so they appear to be just another social update (though they are marked “Suggested Post” to differentiate). On Mashable, articles are followed by a “You May Like” section that contains links to native ad articles (also marked as “Sponsored).

  1. Pay Attention to Your Content Metrics

If you have a successful content marketing strategy, you can leverage that to shape your native advertising campaigns. Simply look at which articles or topics are resonating with your audience (clicks and shares will tell you this), and craft your native content strategy accordingly.

Let’s say you sell tabletop food composters and want to set up a native ad campaign. You see that you blog post series on “zero waste” have been successful, so you could craft video and article native ad campaigns on the subject, injecting the suggestion that your composters are a beneficial component of the zero waste lifestyle.

  1. Tell a Story

People respond positively to stories, so let them guide your native ad strategy. Rather than talking about your products, talk about the stories behind them, or about the need for them in your industry. But tell those stories in an engaging way that removes your brand from being the center of attention. Instead, make your target customer the lead character.

Native advertising campaigns can complement the other marketing and advertising campaigns you’re already running. They can help you reach new consumers, provide value to them, and engage them in a way that you couldn’t with more traditional styles of advertising. Just keep your goal of providing relevant content to your audience at the core of all your efforts.