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The digital advertising space has exploded over the last ten years!
This is thanks in large part to the rise in smartphone ownership, increased access to the internet, and brands placing a strong emphasis on e-commerce stores that allow anyone to purchase their products.
In the early 2010s website, visitors began to see an increase in website banners and pop-ups ads sprawled across their favorite sites.
While this may have worked at first, the constant barrage of ads has become white noise. Most consumers cannot even tell you what ads they saw on the page they were just on. Furthermore, if a reader finds your ad to be intrusive or disrupts their ability to read, they will react negatively by removing your ad from their eyesight as quickly as possible.
For brands, this is a sign that it is time to begin reallocating your digital budget and overall strategy to include native advertising placements.
The official definition of native advertising states that it is a type of advertising that matches the form and function of the platform it appears on.
In simple terms, it is the type of ad that blends into the page you are viewing it on.
For example, if you are scrolling down a list of articles about cars, Audi may purchase a native ad space that looks like one of the articles. If the website you're visiting offers a row of “related articles” at the bottom of a page, the ad placement would have the same look and feel as the other articles it is listed next to.
Native ads placements work to build up your brand awareness amongst your target audience over time. They allow your brand to build up trust by presenting consistent imagery and messaging to your consumers in a non-intrusive way. Even if the reader does not click your ad the first time, your placements are still working to build up a long-term relationship. This persistent type of tactic will lead to a return on investment in the form of increased brand awareness, website traffic, and purchases!
Almost every website you visit has multiple banner ads placed in the same location throughout the page. As a visitor, you are expecting these ads to be there and therefore have trained your mind to ignore them. This mindset and behavior are called “banner blindness” and has led to a sharp decline in click-thru rate.
Banner blindness also makes it increasingly difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your ad.
It becomes unclear if the consumer saw your brand ad and actively decides they were not interested. It is entirely possible that they are exactly who you are trying to target but scrolled right past your ad because of its predictable placement.
This inability to gauge effectiveness and ROI is troublesome for any marketing professional who needs to explain the results of his campaign and where he spent his budget dollars to a client.
This is also combined with the fact that the use of ad blockers are higher than ever.
Essentially, a banner ad is disrupting your target audience's workflow and making your brand the one to blame.
While banner ads disrupt a visitor's flow, native ads fit within it. How Are Native Ads Different?
When a reader scrolls to a native ad, it does not stop them from doing what they came to the website to do. Instead, it presents a version of the ad that looks like the rest of the editorial content on the page. These ads match the rest of the site and present a “soft-sell” type of approach. They fit right in with the rest of the website in a way that makes them look like they belong there.
This type of placement is ideal for several reasons. First, if your native ad follows the look and feel of the news site and therefore the visitor is more likely to observe it. They came to the website to view the editorial content it has to offer. As they scroll, they will view your content ad and consider it as a part of the content offering. Native ads are designed to catch the reader's attention in a smooth and polite way. As opposed to banner ads which are more focused on being “in your face” in an attempt to get you to notice them.
Native ad placements are ideal for a brand that is targeting a specific audience or niche. For example, let’s say you are a company that sells athletic apparel. You can purchase native advertising placements on a website that creates content for athletes. This dramatically increases the odds that the person seeing your ad would be interested in your product. It is unlikely a non-athlete would visit a website that produces content that helps athletes improve their performance.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of consumers viewing content online has exploded. Today’s customer is spending most of their free time scrolling on their phone or visiting their favorite website instead of their normal outdoor activities. This makes native advertising the perfect tactic to include your next marketing campaign. The right native ad placements can take advantage of this latest consumer trend in a way that will result in more clicks, traffic, and sales.
Understanding the upside and long-term return on investment that native advertising can deliver is important. As a brand, your next step is to enlist the help of a tool that has extensive experience in launching, monitoring, and optimizing native advertising campaigns across high-traffic websites.
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