NATIVE ADVERTISING IS HERE TO STAY

Savannah Teague
Account Executive
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We’ve all heard it – native advertising, sponsored content, advertorials. In marketing today, we see sponsored articles, blurred lines between paid and editorial and high social media engagement. All of these trends support why native advertising can be highly effective at increasing brand awareness and consumer engagement, especially compared to traditional advertising.

Native advertising is a paid placement where the ad or user experience follows the natural form and function of media experience it is placed. So, what’s so great about this? Because it does blend in with the content in its true media form, most viewers don’t even realize it is an ad. Think about it – how many times have you exed out of an intrusive pencil ad or skipped that pre-roll as simply because you knew it was an ad? Consumers’ attention spans these days are so slim and no wonder since we are exposed to thousands of brand messages on a given day. We are becoming immune to traditional means, so brands have used native to tie their messages in a unique way. Not to mention, it is estimated that more than 86 million Americans will use ad blockers this year.

Research proves that there is preference to natural content compared to traditional advertising.  In fact, according to a recent Copyblogger.com consumer study, only 3 percent of consumers surveyed were very knowledgeable of what native advertising is. Not surprisingly, according to Ad Week, 70 percent of consumers say they’d rather learn about products through content than traditional advertising.

What is great about native advertising is it can take any form of media. Whether it is interactive like landing pages, video, Snapchat filters or more traditional like print ads, any platform that serves content can be adopted to a brand’s message. Content sponsored by a major brand is likely to be of high quality given the sponsoring brand’s willingness to be associated with it. Top publishers like Times Inc., Forbes, Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed are getting on board with it to offer brands this form of advertising.

Given the number and magnitude of brands that have seen success in showing native ads, it is a tactic that is here to say. Air Bnb found remarkable success with their partnership with the New York Times which dedicated an interactive landing page to Ellis Island to showcase the way immigrants used to travel. Other notable native campaigns include Netflix’s promotion of Narcos via Wall Street Journal and Newcastle’s “Not a Super Bowl commercial” by Gawker.

Studies estimate that native advertising revenues are going to reach almost three-quarters of the U.S. ad market by 2021.

In the case of DEVENEY’s clients, this form of advertising can especially be effective in branding campaigns or clients where we can position them as an industry expert in a certain category where we have specific content to promote. Native is also ideal after a damaging brand crisis since we can elevate the brand associated with content.

Can you tell a native ad from a traditional ad? What are your thoughts on native advertising, have they proved effective for your brand? Tweet us your thoughts @DEVENEYMKTG

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