The Art of Native for Digital Natives

It’s one of the newest and buzziest of buzz phrases: native advertising. Intriguing, yes,but what the heck does that mean? And furthermore, why is everyone talking about it?!

Well, as it turns out, there are as many definitions of native advertising as there are examples of it. I could list them all but I’ll save the glazed over eyes and go with a simple and concise definition.

As Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough puts it, native advertising is “a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.”

Basically, banner ads are out. Though, is that really that big of a surprise considering more and more consumers tend to favor content that is viewed as less of an intrusion? It seems like a no brainer then, right? Engaging with consumers usually leads to more sales. Small caveat; as there are so many definitions of native advertising it seems understanding and then creating these kinds of advertisements may be easier said than done.

Now, some of you might be asking, “isn’t native advertising the same thing as content marketing?” That may be true, and many experts would agree that this buzz word is doing nothing more than cleverly repackaging existing practices in a way that makes it seem like the new bandwagon everyone needs to jump on.

Enter Felix Salmon of Reuters, who attempts to illustrate differences in the seemingly endless array of synonyms with this handy graph:

A major takeaway: no matter the term used to describe it, the goal of native advertising or content marketing or any content in general is to be shared. And how do we do that? By getting the content to places where people are likely to see it.

James O’Brien of Mashable gives a few lessons in the art of creating successful native advertisements.

1.Well-chosen outlets turn well-chosen topics into a win for both the brand and publisher.

This makes sense, if you have a great idea/ad/form of content and you put it in a place where it won’t get seen, what’s the point? Brands have to know their markets and know where those markets are and what sites they’re visiting.

2. A publisher’s audience might accept native advertising, but it also insists upon the continued integrity of its chosen outlet.

Don’t think your content will fit in on any random platform. Again, this comes with knowing your market and your audiences. Targeting, people, targeting.

3. Offer native content that’s as authentic as the editorial side of an operation, and the content will add value for all involved.

Think symbiotic relationships that don’t diminish the integrity of either the brand or the outlet it’s using. And finally

4. “Integration, integration and integration” 

The key to any successful native campaign, according to Roger Wu (founder of Cooperatize).

Ultimately, understanding the market and your consumers media habits are an integral part of being able to engage them in your content. Marketers have to think thoroughly about the outlets they choose for their content otherwise it won’t make sense and won’t get the intended message across.

However…don’t tell this to John Oliver

by Emily Lowe


One response to “The Art of Native for Digital Natives

  1. Pingback: Professional Storytellers | ECSM Digital Marketing Underground·

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