From Content Creation to A/B Testing: 5 Native Advertising Tips to Brands

5 tips that take you through the native advertising process: From content creation to A/B testing.
native advertising tips to brands

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By Nate Vickery
Marketing Consultant
Sidney, Australia
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In just one minute, Facebook posts are liked 4.166.666 times, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, and 347.222 Tweets are shared. Even though these figures may be fascinating to you right now, they’re bringing another burning issue to the table – the problem of content distribution and consumption. Namely, there aren’t enough people to read and share all the content that has been created on a daily basis.

So, what does all this tell you? Today, delivering quality content is not enough. To ensure that your content reaches your target audience, you need to find the most effective ways to promote it. And, that’s exactly where native advertising steps in.

When executed properly, this strategy can help you boost the exposure of your content, drive a great volume of traffic, connect with your customers, and get them to engage with your brand.

In this post, I’ll give you tips to combine content marketing with native advertising.

You should always go the extra mile in doing your own research so that you know precisely what type of content to create and how to create it.

Do your homework

The tone, style, and theme of your content need to fit the publisher’s site perfectly. And, the only way to achieve this is to understand the publisher inside and out. Ask yourself who their target audience is, what type of content they respond to, what editorial styles a publisher uses, and what type of content they usually cover.

RELATED: How Brands and Publishers Can Create a Sustainable Native Ecosystem

Of course, the native advertising platform you will choose will probably have a creative team of experts, providing you with all the details needed. Still, you should always go the extra mile in doing your own research so that you know precisely what type of content to create and how to create it. The more you know, the greater your chances to succeed will be.

 To make the most of your native ads, you need to adapt them to the publisher’s site.

Tailor your native ads to the publisher’s site

Once you’ve done your research, you need to create relevant content based on what you’ve found out. Always bear in mind that today’s internet users easily detect and successfully avoid promotional content. That’s exactly why native ads have become so popular, driving much higher CTR than standard display ads. According to Marketing Land, an average CTR for display ads have plummeted to 0.17%, while the average CTR for native ads is about 1.5%.

So, to make the most of your native ads, you need to adapt them to the publisher’s site. Base your content and style of writing on a topic their average follower is interested in. Even though this is a type of paid content, it should be as relevant and authoritative as your regular guest posts.

RELATED: 5 Things Marketing Managers Need to Consider When Doing Native Advertising in 2018

A perfect example of what I’m talking about is Dell’s native advertising. Namely, they wrote an article in The New York Times, regarding Millennials and their attitudes towards the 9 to 5 office culture. The article uses the same style and tone as pretty much everything you can read in The New York Times, making it practically impossible for a layman to notice that this is an ad.

So, what we conclude from the examples like this one is that the ultimate goal of native advertising is to market to your target audience, without them even realizing that they are looking at an ad (except that it is, of course, clearly labelled). The only difference between an ordinary guest article and a native advertisement is that this time, you’re paying to have your content featured on a publisher’s website.

When choosing what type of content to feature in your native advertising efforts, you should go with the one that is engaging and that resonates well with your target audience.

Don’t limit yourself to articles

When considering what sort of content format to feature on a publisher’s site, probably the first thing that comes to your mind is good-old articles. As one of the safest choices, they are definitely the best solution for you if you’re just entering the uncharted waters of native advertising. However, you should always keep in mind that gaining traction from a practice everyone else is doing is extremely difficult.

RELATED: Native Advertising That Works? 3 Takeaways from Award-Winning Examples

That’s why you should never limit yourself to writing articles only. There are a plethora of other options you may take into consideration. Namely, some of the most popular B2B content marketing tactics are social media content, newsletters, videos, illustrations, infographics, webinars, etc.

When choosing what type of content to feature in your native advertising efforts, you should go with the one that is engaging and that resonates well with your target audience. For example, people’s preferences change with their age. For example, if you’re trying to reach out to Millennials, you should go with videos and infographics, while to market to Xers, you should focus on articles and email marketing.

 If the landing page is not optimized to deliver the utmost user experience, you’re simply throwing your money away.

Don’t forget to optimize your landing pages

Even when you figure out what type of paid content will work for both the publisher’s site and your target audience and create stellar content, your job is not done yet.

You need to make sure that your leads are arriving at a visually appealing and user-friendly landing page. If the landing page is not optimized to deliver the utmost user experience, you’re simply throwing your money away. Here are a few tips you should take into consideration when optimizing your landing pages:

  • Target your keywords carefully. Don’t be afraid of long-tail keywords, as people searching for them are usually closer to converting. Most importantly, long-tail keywords are more transparent, organic, and natural.
  • Use geographic targeting to narrow down your target audience.
  • Optimize your web page elements (URLs, meta descriptions, images, title tags and the body of the text) for the most prominent keywords.
  • Make your landing pages mobile-friendly.
  • Boost your page loading time by eliminating redirects, resizing images, reducing JavaScript, CSS and HTML, boosting server response time, and using browser caching.
  • Invest in building your brand’s visual image by using the same logo, typography, colors, patents, and images all over your site.

If you’re doing native advertising for the first time, it wouldn’t be realistic to nail it from the very beginning.

Take Advantage of A/B Testing

Similarly to any other area of marketing, you need to implement A/B testing into your native advertising, as well. There are several different elements you should test, including the type of your content, positioning on the publisher’s site, headlines, and images.

RELATED: Using Data Is a Good Way to Win Awards

If you’re doing native advertising for the first time, it wouldn’t be realistic to nail it from the very beginning. You will have to invest a lot of your time and effort into it and test a wide range of layouts before you achieve the results you’ve been waiting for. With the help of A/B testing, you will be able to effectively optimize your efforts and go with the solutions that resonate well with your audience.

Back to You

If you’ve just started building your brand and you’ve been facing content distribution problems, you should definitely consider implementing native advertising. This digital marketing practice will not only help you speed up the process of reaching out to your target audience, but also drive a plenty of targeted traffic to your website, boost your CTR, and generate higher ROI.  

Get inspired by award-winning native advertising campaigns 

DOWNLOAD THEM RIGHT HERE:

AwardWinningNativeAdvertisingExamples_2017

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