There is a reason why native advertising is so popular. It works.
Nowadays, it seems as though digital marketers can’t stop talking about native advertising. Publishers that have become household names have started using digital advertising. These include The New York Times, Forbes, and The Washington Post.
Those companies have the resources to invest in proper analysis of marketing techniques that goes well beyond the simple A/B comparison that most small publishers use. These publishers leverage analytics gleaned from big data to determine which online marketing tactics work and which ones don’t work.
Native advertising, they have concluded, works.
Some people are calling native advertising the “rebirth” of advertising. This is because it cleverly disguises ads as content. It’s easy for the untrained eye to think that a native advertisement is really just content put on the website by the publisher. Even though editorial guidelines, for most publishers, dictate that the ad be labeled as such, it’s still easy to miss the identification.
You’ve almost certainly seen native advertising during your own recent excursions into cyberspace. They appear as advertorials, Facebook sponsored stories, and promoted tweets.
It might seem intuitive that cleverly disguised ads are superior to in-your-face banner ads, but there is also empirical evidence to support the idea. IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough conducted a study that found the following:
- People view native ads 53% more than traditional ads
- People who view native ads have an 18% higher purchase intent than people who view banner ads
- People are 13% more likely to share native ads as compared to banner ads
It’s important to note that success in native advertising isn’t confined to the B2C space. There are B2B native advertising success stories as well.
One of those stories is told by SAP. That company generated 300,000 page views from only five sponsored articles.
Other B2B success stories include gyroVoice’s “Welcome To The Era Of Design” advertorial and NetApp, with sponsored stories that make it on Forbes’ most popular lists one or two times a week.
Overall, research shows that companies that invest in native advertising spend about 2.5 times less that companies that use outbound marketing techniques, such as banner ads.
Given the inherent advantage of native ads (that they look like content) and the studies that demonstrate their effectiveness, it’s no surprise that online marketers jump at the chance to use native advertising. It’s a cost-effective means of self-promotion.
Native advertising also doesn’t appear to be a passing fad. Because websites will always feature content, it’s safe to say that there will always be a place for advertisements that appear to be content.
If your small-to-medium-sized business hasn’t yet adopted a native advertising effort, why not do so today? You’ll find that it’s an economical means of building your brand online.