There’s no doubt that native advertising is growing at a breakneck speed; by 2021, it’s expected to account for more than 74 percent of U.S. display ad revenue. But while there may consensus native ads are the future, the same can’t be said for how to make great native content.
Some creators approach native ads like a blind date. The story is written and then shopped around to advertisers for sponsorship. So the advertiser and content don’t really know each other – they’ve simply been pushed together by other parties. This content is completely devoid of the advertiser’s unique message, personality and local perspective.
Luckily, there is a better way. Here’s what a great first date looks like for native advertising.
The purpose of any first date is to, of course, learn about the other person. “Our very first step is to always call the advertiser to get to know their business and needs,” explains Erik Reynolds, Content Sales Manager at Content That Works, creators of local native advertising for more than three years.
Important questions for creating a native ad include:
Hopefully during your first date, you’ll discover some mutual interests like books, football teams or hobbies. For native advertising, this means finding the common ground in creative content that servers both your advertisers and readers.
During the creation process, advertisers approve a topic relevant to their business and ultimately informative for customers. For a local auto repair shop, this could be “How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Summer Road Trip;” Or the resident school district might want to run a story on “5 Ways to Keep Kids Learning During Summer Break.”
No matter the topic, the story should be engaging, informative and present the advertiser as a local expert. This gives readers useful content and allows advertisers to reach audiences in a brand new way.
While salespeople and publishers are kept in the loop throughout the content creation process, they should feel confident their native team is taking care of the client. In fact, with an expert native team, they should feel kind of like a third-wheel.
“By working with an experienced native advertising team, salespeople are free to spend more time doing what they do best – selling,” says Reynolds. “Our native content creators have the skills and know-how to take care of the back and forth with clients so you don’t have to.”
What’s the objective of a first date? To secure a second one. The same goes for native advertising.
Native ads are about brand building. So, the best native ads aren’t one-offs, but part of a multi-month series that keeps advertisers top of mind to readers.
To bring advertisers back for more, they want results. A well-written piece is the first step. The second is engagement. “We consistently see higher times of engagement with native ads than many traditional editorial pieces because they’re helpful stories on topics people need in their day-to-day lives,” explains Reynolds.
Custom native ads also get better results in search. If the piece is completely original with smart, localized key words, it’s more likely to show up higher in organic search results. This means more clicks, better analytics and happier advertisers and readers.
Ready to take your native advertising game to the next level? Or are your looking to kick-start your native advertising program?
Talk to the experts at Content That Works. A pioneer of local native advertising, we’ve created more high-quality local native ads than any other supplier.
Our team collaborates with your advertisers to craft custom stories that effectively capture their brand and message. CTW is the also only native ad creation partner that offers performance tracking to help measure and report results to your advertisers.