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Native advertising is the fastest growing form of digital advertising. However, any marketing domain, getting your content right can be the difference between success and failure — and NativeAds are no exception.
The best native advertising works by catching your audience when they are looking for news and information already. By providing valuable and compelling content, your ads can become the primary source of research your prospective customers go to when they’re trying to solve a particular problem.
Ad placement and advertising budgets will always be essential factors in any campaign. Still, by understanding what your customers want and delivering material that understands their pain points and offers them a solution, you can take your ads to the next level.
Here are five excellent tips to help you choose the type of content that will engage your target market and get the most from your native advertising campaigns.
Each piece of digital content needs to be informed by a deliberate goal. The buying cycle or customer journey has different stages, and each step has its own considerations. The best, most effective marketing campaigns have a purpose. And to achieve that purpose, the content needs to be tailored towards that goal.
One of the most common goals for content marketing strategies is to improve brand awareness. This early stage is about familiarising your target audience with your product or service. It’s not a time for hard sales. It’s about making valuable content that acknowledges and empathises with your audience's pain points and positions your brand as a knowledgeable, helpful and trustworthy authority in your niche.
By demonstrating your expertise in your area and providing engaging and valuable content, you can gain trust and connect with an audience. When consumers need a solution to a problem, they want to come to someone who can provide them with the insights they need to help them on their journey. Great content is the perfect way to do this.
Another common goal for marketing is lead generation. While brand awareness asks for your audience’s attention, lead generation needs both their attention and their action.
So, the questions marketers need to ask is: How do you get your audience to download your whitepaper or ebook so you can get their email address?
The answer is by creating compelling, relevant and valuable content! For this, you need product pages with complete descriptions, detailed specifications, a call to action that uses powerful action verbs, and eye-catching graphics and colours.
Generating good quality leads requires an exchange of information. If you want your prospects email address, you need to earn them by giving them something valuable in return. Know your goal and use it to inform the kind of content you create.
The first rule of native advertising is not to be too brand-centric. How you and your colleagues talk about your product between yourselves might not translate to your target audience. Your job is to analyse your target audience and focus on topics that are important to them. You need to understand their expectations, preferences, needs, and beliefs.
When designing a content marketing strategy, you should address your audience’s needs, preferences and challenges. Much of this comes down to the prior research you have done for your product or service already. By understanding what current solutions are out there already — and what your target market doesn’t like about these solutions — you should already have an idea of how to pitch your articles and headlines.
Focus your content on what value your product delivers. Is it cheaper than the other solutions? Will it make their life easier or free up their time? Is it the only solution available on the market? Make sure that after reading your content, your target audience understands why your product or service will help them.
Again, a lot of this is built off the base of your prior product research. To generate content that connects with your audience, you need to draw upon what motivates you.
What inspired you to make your product and start a business? What are your brand’s values? Never lose sight of this. Be genuine and use your story to connect with your audience. Every brand has a story, so try and use yours.
Nowadays, a large portion of your audience will spend a great deal of their time at home or working remotely. This decline in physical interactions means that messaging that is more human and empathetic will stand out to a greater degree. Messaging is important, so think deeply about how to communicate with your target audience in ways that they will respond to.
Create content that people want to share and read. Copy that is informative, educational and entertaining is vital. Consumers want value, so give it to them.
For content marketing to thrive in a saturated market, it needs to be valuable and entertaining to your reader. Infographics are a great way of sharing information in an easy to read and highly visible way. By incorporating infographics into your marketing strategy, you can communicate your message faster and far more effectively.
Consumers are wary of large blocks of text. Breaking up paragraphs, using lists and good headings all help, but to truly stand out and grab your readers attention, nothing beats infographics.
Your consumers want information, but they don’t always want to trawl through long-form content to get it. To meet this need, find and research an in-demand topic and display the relevant data with infographics. Even the most complex data sets can be turned into attractive, engaging, and easy to understand information that can be shared effortlessly.
In native advertising, visual content is crucial. Remember that your content is going to sit between other stories on publications. As your target audience scrolls through, for example, a news site, you need articles that will catch their attention. And nothing is better than visuals for doing this.
However, selecting the right visuals is just the start. The best native advertising positions visuals strategically to fit naturally with the other media and content on the website.
To understand your target market, you need to perform a lot of research. A critical component of this research is getting a feel for the type of media prospective customers consume. By looking at the websites and publications they use, you can get ideas about what kinds of visuals they respond to already and incorporate that into your content.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that visual content is about far more than pretty graphics. It’s a powerful way to communicate information. Pictures and infographics are great, but video can be an even more potent way to get your message across in the digital age.
There is no shortage of different types of visual content that can prove effective. Motion graphics are a great way to tell a story or teach an audience about a product. Data visualisations are excellent for getting across critical points or comparisons.
The big takeaway from this should be that the type of information you communicate can be made clearer and easier to consume by selecting the most suitable format. If your product or service is best shown visually, a short video could be the easiest way to connect with an audience. If hard facts are what is compelling about your product, then an infographic or data visualisation might work. If it needs a deeper explanation, then use text.
The best native ads understand the publishing environment they will be placed inside and select the most effective format for communicating their message.
So these are the top five tips for using the best content for your native ads. To recap:
Of course, we haven’t forgotten that we promised a bonus tip, so here it is:
To get the most out of each of these tips, you should use A/B testing. It’s important to remember that A/B testing is the best way to optimise native ads and optimise your marketing campaign strategy. Instead of spending half your budget on a single ad variation before realising it isn’t working, using 2-3 different variations with a lower initial spend helps you find out what your target market is responding to and how you should focus the rest of your campaign.
A/B testing can be used to judge the effectiveness of different headlines, visuals, copy, or information and more.
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