Starting an online business is an extremely popular trend that is now easier than ever. There are tons of low-investment business ideas and easy-to-use e-commerce platforms that make the process of getting up and running quick and simple. However, just because it is easy to get started DOES NOT mean it’s easy to succeed.
Launching an online store is only the beginning; attracting customers is a completely different beast – one that many online businesses fail at. There is a ton of competition online, and as a small business, chances are that your marketing budget is not very big.
Plus, with so many other brands pushing their name and products on customers through social media advertising and PPC ads, it can be a waste of time and money to spend your budget on strategies that will just get you lost among the noise.
The good news is that native advertising can be the perfect marketing option for smaller online entities because it delivers a higher ROI than many other strategies.
According to a report from AppNexus, native ads have 8.8 times higher click-through rates than traditional advertising displays online. Plus, this kind of advertising works for nearly every type of brand category, too.
So, why exactly does native advertising make sense for small online businesses? Let’s discuss.
Consumers viewed native ads 52% more often than banner ads and 26% more than editorial content.
It builds higher engagement with your audience
In general, most customers dislike being bombarded with aggressive advertising and often ignore traditional ads unless something really catches their eye.
Since native ads are designed to appear like regular content, customers are more willing to thoroughly read, watch, or experience it because they don’t view it as a straight-forward marketing tool. In fact, Sharethrough’s report found that consumers viewed native ads 52% more often than banner ads and 26% more than editorial content.
Native ads are far more engaging than traditional display marketing because they are often telling a story or discussing something interesting that is related to the product or industry. This provides your audience with the content they are looking for without it being overly promotional, which results in meaningful engagement that leads to higher conversions and brand loyalty.
In fact, Sharethrough’s study also found that when a customer visited a website via native ad, they were 18% more likely to make a purchase.
Most consumers these days prefer to watch videos about a product or brand than read an ad or blog post, so using video is a smart way to boost engagement as well.
Video marketing and native ads go hand-in-hand
Video marketing is a huge trend currently because of how effective it is in terms of grabbing customer’s attention. Most consumers these days prefer to watch videos about a product or brand than read an ad or blog post, so using video is a smart way to boost engagement as well.
Microsoft’s Child of the 90s video ad shows that creative advertising that engages your audience doesn’t need to be overly promotional. Their video uses nineties nostalgia to attract an important consumer segment by showing clips of products that Generation Y and Millennials would instantly remember, such as floppy disks and Lisa Frank folders.
It tells a story by comparing things in the past to the things of today, mentioning how much our world has changed since the only thing that buzzed in your pocket was a Tamagotchi. Viewers get sucked into the story so much that you don’t even realize that it is an ad until the very end when the Internet Explorer logo pops up on the screen.
This creates a story that is truly engaging with the audience – after all, this video has over 50 million views on YouTube. It is easy for small businesses to get wrapped up in promoting their brand or product with traditional, sales-heavy tactics.
However, by making meaningful content that resonates on a personal level, your audience will actually enjoy viewing your ad while still learning about your product. This will make your content more memorable and engaging – leading to higher conversions.
Popups are frustrating and side banner ads can either be distracting or completely ignored.
It’s a way to get around ad blocks
Let’s be honest – online advertisements can be annoying. Popups are frustrating and side banner ads can either be distracting or completely ignored.
Nowadays, nearly a third of internet users have an ad-block enabled that filters out this type of marketing. As a small business, that means money is going down the drain if you are investing in online ads.
However, these ad-blockers are actually less likely to remove native ads since they are not blatantly promotional, which allows you to reach your audience more effectively.
While there is no absolute guarantee that your native ads will get bypassed depending on the program a user has, your visibility chances are far greater than a traditional ad’s would be.
Native ads also typically shift the focus off of the business and to the consumer, which also tends to evoke some sort of strong emotion.
Native ads build a brand persona
It’s important that new online businesses create a brand personality that customers can identify with if they are going to attract new audiences. Since customers these days have virtually endless options when it comes to shopping online, smaller brands must focus on establishing recognition through memorable branding.
Native advertising is a great way to establish a brand persona through effective content. Since you don’t need to focus on just the product or business as a whole, it allows your marketing more flexibility and room for creativity.
Native ads also typically shift the focus off of the business and to the consumer, which also tends to evoke some sort of strong emotion. This is what builds a connection to your customers.
Sharethrough’s previously mentioned report proves this, as native ads resulted in 9% higher brand favorability than traditional ads. Furthermore, customers reported that native ads helped them to personally identify with a brand.
E-commerce brands can increase the ROI of their efforts by growing ad engagement and conversion rates.
Running an online business makes a lot of sense for smaller entities. However, the mistake that many online companies make is to funnel their small marketing budgets towards promotional advertising, ignoring native ads in the process. This can lead to significantly lower ROIs and lots of missed opportunities to attract customers.
Native advertising is the perfect solution because, in many ways, it levels the playing field for smaller online companies to stand out and start to build relationships with customers.
By using this kind of strategy, e-commerce brands can increase the ROI of their efforts by growing ad engagement and conversion rates.
Stay up to date on the latest industry trends by downloading our most recent ebook: “39 Predictions for Native Advertising 2019”