Embedding your message in value-added content can make all the difference.
With social media all the buzz and digital marketing in full swing, native advertising is garnering a lot of attention these days. As well it should. Native advertising matches the form and function of the online platform on which it appears, making it a more “natural” fit for site visitors. It works by weaving in a seamless mix of relevant vendor ads or content and editorial content.
Where It All Began
A look at the genesis of the native advertising phenomenon helps shed some light on the subject. Back in the days when print advertising ruled the roost, advertorials were a highly popular and effective means of nurturing prospects along the purchase process journey.
The very best advertorials succeeded by providing compelling stories designed to educate and inform readers. Ultimately advertisers would get around to presenting their own solutions, but not until an “objective” discussion of the macro environment had been offered up.
Blending In: The Art of the Soft Sell
Now that print advertorials are a thing of the past for B2B, marketers need to adapt their mix of assets to different kinds of content consumption. This is where native advertising comes in. Native ads work because they naturally blend into surrounding editorial content—in the process providing its own useful content, and leading site visitors to new and valuable sources of related information.
Brand awareness and recognition comes as a byproduct. Our research at UBM has consistently shown that IT buyers become easily turned off by an overtly sales-oriented message from the get go. But provide them with context, nurture their understanding of the technology landscape, and it becomes much easier to ultimately sell your product or solution at the end of the buying journey.
Less Intrusive. And More Potent.
Really good native advertising is not intrusive and paves the way for brands to be associated with positive online experiences.
As such, native advertising compels the reader to focus more on the context of the discussion and the value-added information it provides. It also teaches the advertiser to stop thinking about advertising and start thinking more about engagement. As always, content connects – quality content ultimately delivers quality results.