Native ads match the visual and user experience in which it renders.
The short answer is that native advertising — sometimes called branded content or sponsored content — is content created expressly for an advertiser and designed to look and feel like a publisher’s editorial content when displayed on a publisher’s website.
The longer answer is more complicated. While some claim native advertising is nothing more than old fashioned advertorial, the fact is native advertising is something new. So new in fact, that native ads look, feel and read differently from site to site, market to market.
The big difference between “advertorial” and native ads is that advertorials often challenged credulity. To work effectively native ads must be credible, accurate, interesting and clearly identified for what it is. Sponsored content often is little more than a series of pictures with captions organized around a theme that complements an advertiser’s marketing goals. Branded content and native advertising usually tell a story — either about the advertiser’s products or services or about trends related to those products and services. These stories are designed to enhance the advertiser’s image as the local opinion leader in their line business and to elevate the advertiser in organic search.
Native Advertising That Works believes that every project needs to be tailored to your local market and your specific needs. However, what follows are some typical sample packages that our clients have offered their advertisers to help you think about your approach.
A LA CARTE: 3 mo. Freq.
One advertiser with ONE implementation per month.
PACKAGE DISCOUNT: 3 mo. Freq.
Fours advertiser with ONE implementation per month.
PACKAGE DISCOUNT: 3 mo. Freq.
Four advertisers with ONE implementation per month.
In each case the advertiser would be quoted in the article or other content piece. Each series might start out with a profile of the advertiser and his/her business or a Q&A with the advertiser. Each new post would have new suggested social media posts with a schedule for the posting.
We know from experience that many business owners do not really know what to say when they are interviewed for something like this. For our Holiday Spotlights, for example, when asked what products they thought were exciting this holiday season many business owners offered answers like: “boots,” or “scarves.” Our writers had to pull out of them what made their boots or scarves special. We believe the same challenge comes into play here and because we know our topical areas, drawing out a subject is precisely what we do.
Native ads are new. They are not advertorials and they are not sponsored content. They give you as advertisers a fresh way to reach and engage customers and put a new arrow in the quiver of honorable media salespeople. We like that.
A native ad appears in a trusted context, telling a new story in an unexpected way. Maybe it’s an image that breaks through. Or a word. Or an idea. The reader response: ‘There’s something new here!’ Click. Engage. Like. Comment. Share. Success!
Native ads put power in your hands. You can look and sound smart, informed, intriguing, authoritative or hilarious. Or all of the above. It’s your story, your way – sharpened and polished by a trusted writer.
A well-crafted native ad attracts the eye and reads snappy. Shouldn’t that say ‘snappily’? Yes, it should. Report us to the AP Stylebook police and keep reading.
Native ads must be identified as content that’s underwritten by a single advertiser. As long as what a native advertiser has to say is truthful, ethical, and useful/entertaining/fun, well, who are you to kick?
Some native ads quote you the advertiser, often the owner of a small business. The boss gets quoted. And guess what? Your boss likes it – a lot. Of course, your boss must have something to useful, interesting or fun to contribute. It’s job of the native ad writer to help find, package and deliver that news.
There are a ton of reasons why native ads are worth more than run-of-the-mill display advertising.
If your advertiser insists on a hard sell, boastful or unsubstantiated claims, steer them to a different kind of advertising opportunity. Dishonest, exaggerated native ads will not work for the advertiser and, worse, could hurt you by undermining your credibility with readers.
1. To produce engaging content
2. To encourage them to do something different, creative or unusual to increase sharing
3. To guide them in how to use social media
4. To establish realistic expectations and goals
Native advertising is not about selling customers,
but about giving them the gift of content they can use and enjoy.
To work effectively native advertising must be: