What Is Native Advertising and Why Does It Work So Well for Brands?

When it comes to getting your message in front of readers and potential customers, you have a lot of options at your disposal, not to mention a lot of online “noise” to compete with. So how can taking advantage of native advertising help your brand stand out from the crowd even while you’re blending in? At first glance, native advertising seems pretty straightforward, but, when used properly, it can be a powerful addition to your digital marketing toolkit.

To the casual eye, native advertising may not look like advertising at all. That’s intentional. Native advertising is meant to blend in with the normal content of the online publication or host site where it is running. In fact, a reader shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between native advertising and native content. This very anonymity is what makes native advertising so powerful, especially when it comes to building your brand. Because it looks and sounds just like the regular content of a website that the end user already reads, it can play a big role in building consumer confidence and brand loyalty and converting readers into consumers.

But how exactly does it work? You may have seen “advertorials” in print newspapers in the past; an advertisement for a product or service that looks and reads just like an editorial in the newspaper. Native advertising is similar, but is designed around the needs, challenges, and opportunities presented by digital content. Native ads are “pay to post,” meaning that you pay for their placement on websites that you don’t own. You can find native advertising in the wild as sponsored content on popular websites like CNN, ESPN, Washington Post, FOX News, and The New York Post, to name just a few. You can also get creative with native advertising, placing it on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter as a sponsored post or promoted tweet. Wherever your native advertising goes, it should be someplace where the consumers you’re looking for already go for information they rely on.

Whatever form native advertising takes, the key to making it work is to not just make it look and sound like native content, but to make it act like native content, too. That means that good native advertising needs to always be aimed at meeting or exceeding a reader’s expectations. Whatever the reader normally comes to that site looking for, they should find that and more in your native advertising. That can be a pretty tall order, so why go to all that trouble?

Simple: native advertising brings in the eyeballs. Research has shown that readers will view native ads in excess of 50% more than traditional ads. And that’s just measuring the first impressions. When it comes to building brand recognition, creating purchase intent, and generating conversion, native advertising works even better! The trick is to make sure that your native advertising really feels native, and for that you need a good content developer. Fortunately, a good content developer is always just a click or phone call away at iFocus Marketing in Kansas City.

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