Have you ever seen a recipe in a cooking magazine that names the brand of a particular product in an ingredients list? If so, you’ve seen traditional native advertising. In fact, native advertising examples are so common you often don’t realise you’re seeing them. That’s kinda the point.
Native advertising has been around for over a hundred years, and was first introduced in the earliest magazines. It’s managed to still be effective simply because it worksーas long as you get it right.
Native advertising is one tool in your content production toolbox. It has one goal—to steal audience from someone else.
The concept involves offering an audience a useful glimpse into your business by buying a piece of content to advertise in a more subtle way. In a fast-paced digital age, native advertising is evolving and is more difficult than ever.
How native advertising works
Gaining the attention of your audience with this type of ad is often difficult. Done poorly, native advertising is just clickbait. Firstly, a business should buy the native advertisement on a channel that they know their customers interact with so that the right people are seeing the ad.
Each click on the native advertising examples should then redirect users to a story with quality content, a great accompanying photo and an intriguing headline to entice the persona. By linking to a story rather than leading straight to sale, you can also help the individual through the buyer’s journey.
The hardest aspect of native advertising is competing against real journalists on their channel. In order to get the attention of readers, you have to have an extremely strong piece of content and essentially steal their audience.
Native advertising examples in the wild
Native advertising is different to just producing a guest column or article. As a guest columnist or a writer you’re writing as part of a team who publishes the magazine. Your primary goal is helping the audience of that publication or website.
A business’s goal for a native piece would be to steal that audience. For instance, if a business purchases a native ad on the New York Times website, their aim is to get that person to leave the New York Times website. They want the reader to come to their own website, engage with a piece their content and find it that useful enough that the reader will provide their email address and ask for more content.
To achieve that goal, you have to present a really strong piece of content and fully understand the reader you’re targeting. Furthermore, developing a clever and interesting call to action that catches a reader’s attention is important to redirecting those people to your site. It can be done and can be effective, but having the perfect balance of appeal and value is vital.
Is it better to steal or make your own audience?
Native advertising should be viewed as a way to grow your own audience. You want to steal a someone else’s readership so that eventually you won’t have to be paying for an ad. You’ll already have your audience.
However, you can’t earn your audience without a definitive understanding of the channel that you have placed your native ad on. And realise that your native ad is no longer just competing against other advertisers. Readers of a magazine or website have already been presented with a whole range of stories that match what they were looking for. The challenge of native advertising is you’ve got to beat the publisher at publishing. On their own turf.
It can be done. But it’s harder than you think.