By Nir Elharar
Head of Online Acquisition
This is a sponsored post by Outbrain.
In an internet-saturated world, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that just 20 years ago, the world wide web was a mere fraction of the size it is today. Back then only 41% of adults went online. It seems positively antiquated, but in 1998, 57% of non-internet users stated that they were “not at all worried” about missing out on something because they were not online.
Fast forward to today, and FOMO (fear of missing out) has its own (online) dictionary entry. As the internet has risen up to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, so online advertising has evolved in keeping with fast-moving digital trends. Which brings us to the form of advertising that’s currently overtaking the internet: Native Advertising.
Unless you’re stuck in a 1990s timewarp, you know that native advertising is a more subtle, soft-sell approach to online advertising. Instead of bombarding readers with display ads, which they barely even notice, native ads provide the reader with useful, entertaining and informative content that helps build brand awareness.
And native advertising works. Average brand recall with native ads is 2x that of display ads. And, reading a native ad headline yields a staggering 308x more time of consumer attention than processing an image and banner.
Are you ready for native advertising in your business? Take this quiz to find out.
Everything old is new again, including native advertising
Although the term ‘native advertising’ was first coined in 2011, the principles behind native advertising have been around for over 100 years. Advertorials are a form of native advertising because they adhere to one of the key characteristics of native ads – the ad fits into the style and function of the page in which it is displayed.
Even the earliest advertorials were a form of paid (advertising) content that aimed to inform and entertain the reader, creating an opportunity to strengthen the connection between the consumer and the brand. If you’re a history buff, you might like to check out the snappy infographic below about the history of native advertising.
But if you prefer to get straight down to business, read on to learn how native advertising can be a good fit for your online strategy.
Click on the infographic to see full-screen version.
How native advertising can help your business
It’s the best way to target your true audience
Native advertising is a great way to create soft conversions, so you can lead targeted traffic down the funnel and get higher quality conversions. If your readers click on native ads promoting specific topics, then you know that these topics are of interest to them. You can then retarget them with ads that match their true interests. The key is creating rich, content, and making it engaging with great headlines and eye-catching graphics.
It’s a seamless fit with your social media activity
Social media networks offer high level targeting features that let you improve your campaigns with advanced, precise audience targeting. Facebook’s Insights tool, for instance, can help brands define their target audience through behavioural lists.
When used in conjunction with a native advertising platform, marketers can leverage similar features to produce even more valuable data, which leads to better results for native ad campaigns. What’s more, native platforms that offer a Lookalike Audience feature work extremely well with LinkedIn.
By creating a lookalike audience based on Linkedin visitors from your paid or social campaigns (such as utm_source=linkedin), marketers can drive premium traffic beyond the actual click.
It gives you instant A/B results
Performance marketers often have to wait weeks to determine if their tested web assets are successful based on web traffic analysis. Obviously, the sooner they can get results, the better.
By working with a native advertising network, marketers can generate lots of traffic quickly—and then use a tool such as Hotjar to analyze the data and gain insights into campaign success rates.
It’s a great boost for your PR strategy
When a public relations crisis strikes, performance marketers must act quickly to compensate for negative press or reviews. Working with a native advertising platform, brands can control their story by promoting positive earned media stories.
You can start advertising straight away, on a daily budget of your choice, so you’ll get fast, cost-effective results. The pendulum will soon swing back into an affirmative territory to help restore your brand image.
You just can’t argue with ROI
Native advertising is not just good for brand awareness; it’s good for your bottom line too. Business owners and performance marketers already using native advertising say that native ads lead to more clicks and a higher conversion rate.
The stats speak for themselves. Video-based native ads have brought a 5% higher conversion rate for one marketer, while podcasts bring an amazing 37% increase in conversions for another.
Go where the growth is
2017 was the year that native surpassed other types of display advertising to claim a 52.9% share of all digital advertising spend in the US. And the forecast is growth, growth and more growth. Why? It’s the combination of consumer demand for less intrusive, more useful online ads, and publisher demand for higher quality, mobile-friendly ad content to keep their readers (and SEO ranking) happy.
As it turns out, the question is not whether native advertising is a good fit for your business, but how to take the world’s leading online advertising format and make it work best for your business.
This is a sponsored post by Outbrain.
If your business is ready and you’d like to know much more about native advertising, join us in Berlin for the world’s foremost conference on native advertising, Native Advertising DAYS