Native Marketing/Advertising Decoded

Okay, you’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it, but you may be confused as to what it actually is. You’re not alone. One survey recently taken estimated that close to 50% of marketing professionals didn’t have a clue about what native marketing actually is. And if truth be told, odds are that half of the other 50% were probably lying!

Let’s take a look at native marketing and see if we can’t make sense of what it actually is.

Native marketing is a new digital media traffic strategy to drive customers to your door.

It’s all about click through rates, or rather, trying to reverse the downward, death-spiral click through rates that have been heading for the tank in recent years. They just aren’t what they used to be. Sorry! Hate to tell you, but nobody’s buying traditional advertising anymore. In fact, one study suggested that millennials actually dissect traditional ads to determine how you’re trying to trick them into buying your product/service. And they sure as hell aren’t buying it!

Traditional ads vs. native ads

Traditional ad heads and copy basically center around a simple concept: Buy our product/service, buy it right now, and if you’re buying something else, switch immediately (click here now!) It relies on tried and true sales pitches. And you know something? It worked for decades. First in print, then radio, then TV. But the internet came along and set traditional advertising on its tail in a big way. As Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” The new medium is the internet, and native marketing has been developed to reach a totally new generation of consumers.

How?

Glad you asked.

Okay, so David Ogilvy is turning over in his grave.

Actually, maybe not. Since he was one of the greatest innovators in marketing/advertising history, he’d probably be one of the first to latch on to this new marketing tool. And what is the foundation of native marketing? Behold:

  • Sponsored content … Articles and videos that tell a story. They’re clever, often heartwarming, poignant, and, if done right, hook and reel you in. You don’t look at them, you get involved with them. They hold your attention, and when the sales pitch comes, it flows naturally. They’re selling you something, but you won’t mind it.
  • In-feed ads … Take your Facebook home page as an example. You’ve got your basic information on there, but how about an inset directing viewers directly to a video site. If you’re an Italian restaurant, it could lead to a site on “Food in Southern Italy”. Think you customers will spend some extra time on your site? You bet!
  • Tie-ins/piggy-backs … Let’s say you’re a seller of automobile parts, and want to get added exposure from a reputable on-line car magazine. And let’s say that on their home page, the car magazine has a section for click-through articles on car care. Wouldn’t it be great if one of those click-throughs brought readers to an article you’d written about car maintenance … prominently mentioning your own company? You bet it would, and there are firms out there that specialize in doing just that.

It comes down to involvement.

That’s the real difference between native marketing and traditional marketing. Native marketing gets your customers involved on a higher level than traditional marketing. It keeps your customers looking and listening to your message far longer than a traditional ad ever could. It’s here now, and you’d better take advantage of it before your competitors do!

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