Back in the “old days” when sitting down to read a good old fashioned magazine, did you ever find yourself reading a few pages that, though sounding a bit sales-oriented, matched the general look and theme of your magazine and were just as interesting? If so, perhaps you’d get about halfway through the story only to glance at the very bottom of the page and discover you were reading a paid advertisement meant to look like a regular magazine article. This genius advertising strategy is called native advertising.

Now that social media and search engines have dramatically changed our ways of being, native advertising has also evolved. Understanding its form is key to adopting its effective use for your own company.

What is Native Advertising? It’s essentially online advertising that matches its surroundings, like a chameleon! In other words, native advertising on Google appears in the same format as a standard Google search result, and native advertising on Twitter looks just like a regular Twitter post. The only difference is the small, often ignored text indicating it as a promoted, or paid, advertisement.

Why Use Native Advertising? Given that our world is driven by consumerism and advertising, many Internet users automatically filter advertising out of their view, only focusing on the content that they find useful. Native advertising side-steps this problem by bringing your company’s ad into focus, since it fits into the landscape of whatever platform the consumers use. This “blending” effect combats the avoidance and skepticism that advertising so frequently faces.

The Keys to Successful Native Advertising. Though native advertising can help your company’s ads achieve more views, it’s important to always be clear that they are paid advertisements in order to avoid misusing your customers’ trust. You also need to include relevant content within the ad so that viewers find it useful while simultaneously understanding a commercial goal exists. It’s a delicate balance of transparency and relevancy.

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