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Native Advertising: Examples of When this Makes Sense for Your Business, and When it Doesn’t

With the rise of native advertising, small business owners are becoming increasingly familiar with the concept. However, there are still times when native advertising doesn’t make sense for your business.

It’s true that businesses of all sizes can benefit from the brand lift and engagement that native ads provide, but sometimes a business has a different marketing objective and native might not fit the bill.

I recently encountered a business owner who would have seen tremendous benefit from native advertising. I spoke to the owner at length about the benefits of native and why our audience would be more likely to read the content and engage with it, but he remained firm in his desire to tout all of the products and services his business offers in the article. Rather than tell a compelling story that people might relate to, his goal was to list all of the things people could buy at his shop. While I could see countless native opportunities for this client, he just wasn’t ready for it yet.

The bottom line is that native advertising needs to meet your business needs. That being said there are native advertising examples of this strategy making sense for your business goals, and when it doesn't. Consider these three points when determining if native advertising makes sense for your next campaign.

1. What Are Your Business Objectives?

Do you want to sell more products? If you sell physical products, the answer will likely always be a yes. But maybe your business goals are deeper than that. Businesses who want to become the most recognizable brand in their industry or city would benefit hugely from native advertising. This content will help you tell the stories that resonate with readers, help you sell an idea rather than a product and make potential customers in the community think of your business as the experts. This goal is accomplished through effective storytelling, not through banner ads or advertorials.

2. Understand Why Native is a Premium Product

In the case of the earlier business example, the owner didn’t like the sound of a native ad because they wanted a more direct response from customers that could be tied back to that specific ad. Remember that in addition to being a business owner, you are also a consumer. How many native ads have you engaged with online, in print or even on your social media accounts? Today, your advertisement has to break through the clutter, and native advertising is a way to get your brands and products seen by targeted readers. According to native advertising experts at Sharethrough, consumers look at native ads 52% more than banner ads, native generates 85% to 93% more clicks than banner ads, and purchase intent is 53% higher for native ads.

3. Remember, Sell an Idea, Not a Product

Consumers don’t want to feel like they’re being told to buy something. They want to gather information and make purchasing decisions on their own. It reminds me of this quote I read by filmmaker Casey Neistat, via the Native Advertising Institute: “I don’t think anyone wants to be sold a product. It’s just not interesting. But people like to be sold ideas. If you look at the really great companies — Nike, Apple Computers — they’re always selling ideas. And when people buy the ideas, they follow and buy the product.”

The audiences who engaged with our products or visit our websites are engaged readers. They’re consumer of news and information. They want to learn, so let’s teach them. Let’s tell them stories that are interesting and informative. Let’s help them become smarter consumers and when they’re ready to make their purchases, we’ll have given them to tools they need in order to find the right products. We're here to help you create the most effective native campaign for your business!


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Lauren Glendenning

Written by Lauren Glendenning

Lauren Glendenning is the director of sponsored and native content at Colorado Mountain News Media. Lauren is a passionate journalist with a love for travel, Formula 1 racing, snow sports and Sunday brunches. With a journalism background and more than a decade of experience in content creation, she loves the challenge in applying her skills to develop strong content marketing campaigns for advertisers in mountain resort markets.

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