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Harmonize and Capitalize

W4 | W4 / April 20, 2018

Native advertising has created a lot of buzz recently as a welcome and more effective alternative to banner ads. Publishers have a new source of income that does not disrupt the user experience and companies finally get click rates unattainable through most other online advertising methods.

What is native advertising?

Advertising content that adapts the design of its environment is called native advertising. It is advertising that looks as if it belongs to the publisher, not an external company. In most cases, native advertising can be found in online magazines. The ad is placed among the editorial content of the magazine and is usually thematically relevant to the readers of said magazine. This already points towards the great benefit of native advertising: it adapts to the expected user experiences. Still, it is advertising and has to be identified as such. Most online magazines or social networks that feature native advertising usually tag the ad as “sponsored post”.

Native ads can be considered the evolution of advertorials, i.e. texts that appear to be editorial and can often be found in free newspapers and magazines. The difference: advertorials are placed on advertising space, not directly among the editorial content. Moreover, advertorials usually differ from the layout of the magazine. Apart from the tag “sponsored post”, native ads hardly differ from the other content on a website or in a magazine. This also included sponsored posts that appear in users' social feeds on Facebook or Twitter.

In order to be successful, native ads should meet a few criteria: they should not disrupt the expected user experience; they should entertain, inform and be shareable. You have heard it many times before: quality content is the key to success.

Still, native advertising should not be confused with content marketing. Content marketing is content that is made to be published on your own platforms. Distribution in turn is essential in native advertising. Content is created to appear on paid media. The publishers are paid to distribute your content on their platform.

Get all the facts: we have created a free infographic with additional insights on the subject. Click on the image for download!



Why native advertising?

Ideally, native advertising is done with appealing content that hardly differs in quality and style from the content of the distributing publication. Whether you want to make people aware of a new product or service or you simply want to showcase your competence is completely up to you and your strategic goals.

The benefit of native advertising is that it circumvents banner blindness. People got used to ignoring banner ads or use ad blockers. This is largely due to the fact that banner ads are disruptive. They do not match the experience users expect from visiting a site. Moreover, banner ads usually do not offer any added value.

Native advertising does not have these weaknesses: native ads perfectly blend in with their surroundings and therefore do not disrupt the user experience. Furthermore, they feature interesting content that matches the thematic scope of the publisher. When done the right way, they might even be shared on social networks.

Things to consider

Native advertising can be rewarding. Consider the following 4 steps for your native advertising campaign:

1. Define goal: What do you want to achieve with your native ad? Do you want to increase traffic on your site or are you rather interested in strengthening your brand image?

2. Define target group: Both content and publisher depend on your target group. Make sure your get this right!

3. Choose medium: Do you want to boost engagement for a blog post you have written? Then Facebook might be a good platform for your native ad. The possibilities are manifold: In B2B, for example, companies may benefit from sponsored posts in journals. Companies targeting young, visual consumers will find Instagram very helpful.

4. Produce content: Once your strategy has been worked out, you can create content that matches the publication platform in style and thematic scope. The distribution mechanisms differ from one publisher to the next, so do your research in advance.

The benefits of native advertising:

✓ Reach your target group where they like to spend their time

✓ Native ads are non-disruptive

✓ Success can be easily measured

✓ Native ads are usually mobile optimized (compared to banner ads)

Our Service: From consulting to content creation: our competent and creative team will realize a native advertising campaign that suits your needs. Get in touch!

Read more: Content Marketing.

Tags: Content Marketing

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Sarah Wilhelm
Sarah Wilhelm
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