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Native Advertising 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Modern businesses have to walk a fine line regarding online advertising. On the one hand, it's vital to capture consumer attention to the fullest extent possible; on the other hand, companies should be mindful that their ads aren't irritating the target audience by disrupting the user's browsing experience. 

One of the most effective ways to strike a balance is to invest in native advertising. In the information below, we'll discuss the answers to these key questions: 

  • What is native advertising? 
  • What are the benefits of native advertising? 
  • What basic steps do you need to take to launch a native ad campaign? 

Have Questions? Contact Us!

What are Native Ads? 

First things first: what exactly are native ads, and how do they work? According to Microsoft, "native ads are...more contextual than the traditional display and banner ads used in the space." In other words, native ads feel like they "belong" in a certain context instead of display ads that are often relegated to a sidebar or pop-up window on the screen. 

There are several types of native ads, including: 

In-Feed Ads 

These ads are part of a particular web page's "feed" or layout. For instance, these ads may have the same look and feel as the article that contains them and may even seem like they're part of the article at first glance. 

Sponsored Recommendations 

As the name suggests, these are marketing messages endorsed or sponsored by a company, website, or influencer. Many podcast ads fall into this category, with the podcast host(s) reading ad copy to their audience and even talking about their experience with the featured product or service. 

Branded Articles 

Branded articles are informational pieces created by a company to develop connections with interested prospects. They're not considered advertising in the traditional sense of the word; instead, they're designed to deliver value to consumers while encouraging them to take further steps to interact with the brand. 

The Benefits of Native Advertising 

Native advertising offers several advantages to companies that decide to invest in it. For instance: 

  • Native advertising helps brands connect with people during routine parts of their day when they browse content or consume media.  
  • Since native ads are often hosted by companies that target similar demographics, they can help companies to reach potential customers in a context where they're interested. 
  • Native ads tend to be unobtrusive compared to display and banner ads — meaning they don't detract from the overall user experience. As a result, brands that use native ads are much less likely to irritate or alienate their consumer base.  

With these and other benefits to consider, it's no wonder many brands gladly allocate some of their marketing resources to developing and distributing native ads! 

Launching Native Ad Campaigns 

Of course, native ads sound great in theory; but the real question is, how can you launch an effective native ad campaign in practice?  While there are undoubtedly many technical components included in any well-designed campaign, here are a few basic steps that you can take in preparation for any upcoming initiative: 

  1. Determine your goal. Ensure you have a clear objective for your native ad campaign. It's usually best to use SMART goals (Specific, Achievable, Measurable, Realistic, Timely) when determining this objective. 
  2. Narrow down your target audience. Your native ads will only be effective if they reach the right people — the consumers who are most likely to purchase from your brand. Create one or more buyer personas to help you focus your marketing and sales efforts toward demographics with the highest potential. 
  3. Decide on the platforms you'll use. A big part of "reaching the right people" is knowing where to find them. In other words, you'll need to identify which websites and platforms are frequented by your target consumers and then work on publishing your native ads on these. 
  4. Create content for your audience and platform. Now comes the fun part: creating exceptional content for your native ads! If you don't know where to start, consider partnering with content creation experts to get the ball rolling. 
  5. Nurture relationships with publishers. Partnering with the right ad publishers will play a pivotal role in the success of your native advertising campaign. Continue proactively identifying partnership opportunities and nurture established relationships with your publishers. 

Native Advertising Success with Mid-West Family 

Native advertising can be a highly impactful form of marketing. Whether in the form of in-feed ads, sponsored recommendations, or branded articles, it can engage prospects in ways that traditional display and banner ads can't. If you'd like to learn more about how native advertising works or want to know where to start, reach out to a reputable media partner today to start the conversation. You won't regret doing so! 

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