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Promoted content: What are the benefits of native advertising?

Promoted content distributed by native advertising can work for almost any business, across nearly any performance criteria, customer journey or sales cycle.

Discover how promoting your content with native ads can be a winning content marketing strategy to follow.

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP), the voice of premium publishers in the UK, published research in March, 2015, finding that nearly two-thirds (59%) of consumers find native advertising interesting and informative.

Whether you are a marketing manager concentrating on what your promoted content strategy should be, or looking to up-skill on all things native advertising; or perhaps a small business owner looking for more exposure for your B2B content marketing, or even a start-up operating on a limited budget, it is possible to harness native ads for your needs – without it costing you lots of money in the process.

WHY Promoted CONTENT MARKETING NEEDS NATIVE ADVERTISING?

Whether a big or small business, there are some key reasons why native advertising works. We’ve listed some of them below:

  • Better engagement with native advertising: native advertising generally outperforms other types of digital advertising, particularly on mobile. Standard click through rates for native advertisements continually hover around one percent; but are often two to three percent on mobile devices, depending on the campaign. Compare this to the average banner ad click through rate, of 0.05% and you can see why native advertising is so popular.
  • Better formats for native advertising: native advertising formats – that sit, look and feel like the surrounding content of the page – are generally far better received by consumers than other forms of digital advertising such as banner ads, pop-ups, or pre-roll video. They are non-interruptive, which means that as a format they do not anger consumers; so brands that advertise with this format, naturally do not generate as much animosity.
  • Multi-Asset Execution: Brands as publishers has been a common phrase in marketing for many years. All big brands, no matter what their industry, recognize the need to create relevant content as part of their marketing messages. This can involve the creation of reams and reams of content: short news stories, blogs, long form editorial, interviews, infographics, quizzes, memes, photo-galleries, white papers, PDF guides, interactive charts, videos, YouTube playlists, 360 photos, Instagram pages, Pinterest profiles, LinkedIn articles, 360 video, Live streams are just some of the types of content that big name brands continually produce on a scale that few publishers, let alone smaller brand competitors, could hope to compete against.

But all too often a lot of this content is created – and used once, for one specific purpose (such as to promote an event on Facebook, or a sale, for example) and then not used again. Brands are literally sitting on treasure troves of great content that could be used for native advertising purposes. Which is yet another great benefit of native advertising: you are not restricted by the type of content you run. All of the above mentioned examples could be repurposed and packaged to run as native advertising campaigns across platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, as well as infeed across publisher platforms and content recommendation units.

It’s just as easy to run an advert promoting a great video story, as it is to promote a native advert promoting a detailed industry white-paper. What you run is not dictated to by the format, as it is with other forms of digital advertising. 

PROMOTED CONTENT DISTRIBUTION: CONVEY COMPLEX INFORMATION EASILY

For many brands, explaining in detail what their product does and how it can help, can be complex. Take financial services, for example. If you want to extol the virtues of your pension product to a specific audience, it’s incredibly hard to do that just in a banner. But with native advertising you can. You might want to promote some long form video content that explains the product, warts and all; or you might want to work in conjunction with a specific publisher to create a bespoke piece of native content – written in the publication’s style and tone of voice – that conveys the information you want to get across accurately. Or you could do both – and twenty other variations of the same – and split test what content, and what delivery mechanism works for the best results.

BUILD YOUR BRAND WITH PROMOTED CONTENT & NATIVE ADVERTISING

As mentioned above one of the key benefits of native advertising is the ability to distribute different types of content, at scale. But another key benefit of native advertising is the ability to experiment and cultivate your brand tone of voice. For example, if you want to share the story of how your business was founded, or feature a personal story behind one of your team members: native advertising is the natural format to use to distribute this content – to reach and engage with your target audience. In the past brands would have had to try to reach audiences with this sort of content via banner ads – where engagement and click through rates are minimal – and more often than not the criteria for success was sales or leads. But with native advertising offering up an effective distribution platform for these more personable stories – the behind-the-scenes-look if you will behind brand businesses – the reasons for not creating more of these stories diminishes for brands. As a brand looking to interrupt the feed of busy people going about their daily lives you have to act personably – almost like a person – and as we’ve already outlined in this book; that has to include a story. If you don’t, you are just a commodity, interrupting their day.  Get it right and your brand could be viewed as a trusted, valued ‘friend’.

NATIVE ADVERTISING: EXPERIMENT AT SCALE

One of the truly great things about native advertising is that as well as being able to run any sort of asset that you might have at your disposal in terms of content; the scale and reach you can achieve with native advertising as a medium is largely unequalled.

You can experiment at scale using native advertising like no other ad format. Facebook, which pioneered many native advertising formats and only runs native ad formats across it’s platform, had 1.18 billion daily active users on average in September 2016; Outbrain, a leading content recommendation provider reaches a global audience of 557 million plus, each month.

The ability to run billions and billions of adverts – targeting millions of consumers (if you so desire) – is easily achieved with native advertising.

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