Native Ads: Its High Risk – High Reward Ratio
When exploring the world of online advertising, business owners often resort to using Facebook ads, Google ads, Youtube ads, and even LinkedIn ads. But why aren’t Native ads commonly used to generate sales, leads and traffic?
In this quick guide, we’ll explain why this type of strategy isn’t largely taken advantage of by businesses and why you should try Native ads only when you know how to maximise the benefits it offers and avoid the risks it comes with.
What are Native Ads?
Oftentimes, business owners (and even digital marketers) misunderstand the definition of Native ads. Natives are not only found in news articles, press releases or blogs. It can be found literally anywhere on the web. Native ads are defined as promotions that do not have intrusive behaviours. With that being said, Native ads shouldn’t be pitted against Facebook or Google ads, and instead, at display ads.
The one trait these ads have that makes them stand out from the rest is “camouflage”. Unlike the ones that pop up in the middle of your screen, or those that sit on top of a website, these are positioned in a way that blends with the surroundings of an online platform.
The two definitions that make up Native advertising:
- Those that are specifically posted inside the contents of articles, press releases, breaking news, blogs, etc.
- Those that fit the description of “camouflage”. Whether it’s in the form of articles, Facebook ads, Linkedin ads or Snapchat ads.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll we covering the 2nd definition.
The most powerful aspect that this type of ad has is its counter against “banner blindness”.
Banner blindness is the phenomenon where web consumers would subconsciously ignore ads (along with its key information) when they are looking at their screen.
With this, we can safely say that… well, people naturally hate ads. Meaning, if you can bypass that boundary, expect to see significantly better clickthrough rates and an increase in website traffic.
Native ads, although similar to other types of digital advertising, uses a different method of generating sales and leads. Instead of having a landing page that puts a product or service onto the audience’s face, it lets the consumers read a substantial and relevant article, advertorial or blog that subtly promotes links and mentions within its contents.
This is where we draw the line between Native and others ads. This is also why digital marketers prefer the latter. Because they have more immediate results and can be optimised to scale faster. But what these professionals don’t realise is that Native ads are very powerful when paired with a well-written copy.
A 1000-2000 word advertorial takes a lot of time to prep, write and proofread. But when done right, can far exceed the revenue other paid ads generate.
The Benefits of Native Advertising Over Display Advertising
1. High Clickthrough Rate
There are tons of advantages native advertising can do for your business, but the most prominent one is its impressive clickthrough rate. When compared to display or banner ads, native ads has up to 8x more clicks and it’s not surprising why.
Modern-day digital consumers have adapted to the ever-annoying presence of display ads. Psychologically disregarding its contents entirely through “banner blindness”. Seamlessly implanting an ad on a platform or piece of content gives it a sense of authenticity and credibility. Individuals do not want to be sold, they want to find the solution to their problem of their own volition.
2. Anti-Ad Blocker
Aside from naturally blending in, another advantage of native ads is its immunity or hard counter against ad blockers. This is the main issue for display ads. Since the latter is easy to find, it’s also easy to remove from a website.
On a global scale, 42.7% of internet users use ad blockers. Out of 10 specified reasons, the top 4 involve the ad’s intrusive properties.
Based on a survey by the Collective Bias, 33% of Millennials have purchased from a sponsored post (native ads). It’s been found that these individuals do not immediately dismiss these types of ads and are actually perceived to be helpful and substantial by 37% of the respondents.
How to Create an Effective Native Ad
Setting up a campaign and running a native ad can be easily searched on Google and is found on dozens of websites. So, in this article, we’re not going to do that. Instead, we’re giving you the deciding factors that affect the performance of your native ad.
1. Write to inform — not sell
When consumers get immersed by an article, social platform or blog, they are not looking for a product or service to immediately purchase. So, instead of trying to talk like a salesman, write a copy that supplements the surrounding context and make it helpful for the reader. This gives off a sense of genuinity to the brand and makes it more reputable to their eyes.
2. Associate solutions to the brand’s name
It takes approximately 7 reads before a person fully remembers a name. The same goes for brands. By correlating your brand’s name to the solution, you are essentially imprinting an idea on their heads that your business is where they should go in order to resolve their issue.
3. Have a definite objective
It’s not enough to write an advertorial and just put up a link at the bottom. The importance of planning out your writing direction is vital in enticing a certain action. Do you want them to sign up for your email list? Do you want them to purchase your product or service? Do you want them to join your community? Have your copy written and structured in a way that smoothly sways them into that transition from a cold to a warm/hot audience.
4. Speak like a concerned citizen
As mentioned in #1, don’t talk like a salesman. Talk like someone who discovered a great product for a specific type of problem. Data shows that these “referral” types of content give as high as 70% conversion rate.
5. Don’t forget the CTA
No matter how convincing your written content may be, it’s always a good idea to put in a call-to-action. The extra nudge for consumers to take the next step is vital in generating better results.
The Risks of Native Ads
Although native ads are great mediums to reach business objectives, it can be very dangerous when done wrong.
The most common disasters that could happen when running a bad native ad are:
1. You lost all your budget in a few hours
Native ads, specifically those that are posted on news articles and blogs do not function like those on Facebook or Google. Facebook ads for example uses your budget sparsely throughout the day. Natives on the other hand use all of it in one go. So if you’re still new to this type of ad, it’s best to hire a Native ad Agency first and learn from them before trying it yourself.
2. You ruin your brand’s reputation
Native ads work, very well… only if done right. A piece of content that’s too pushy with selling a product or service will receive backlash from the reader. This, in turn, would leave a bad mark on your brand and will have a negative impact on your future digital promotions.
Here are some things you shouldn’t do when running natives.
1. Don’t Deceive
Deception is the easiest way to veer off readers. Authentic data and opinions are your conversion rate’s best friend, and false information is its worst enemy. Whether you’re lying about your product, service or just general ideas, the consumer will always see this as a negative trait, and will, sure enough, correlate it to your brand’s name.
2. Don’t Oversell
This is the third time I’ve mentioned overselling because it’s just plain bad advertising, especially for native ads. People are more willing to purchase from a brand if they view them as genuine helping citizens. Don’t make consumers think you have an ulterior motive when writing your copy.
3. Don’t Exaggerate Your Headline
Clickbait can be an effective tool in acquiring link clicks. But it should still be inline (or at least at the same intensity) as your content. This is also a form of deception, when viewers click on your link because it contains the cure for acne, you better put on some significant information regarding that topic.
4. Don’t Write in Bulk
Today, we’re living in a fast-paced world. And people just do not have the time to read large blocks of texts. The best way to keep them interested is through small chunks of useful information. A common method marketers and copywriters use is… this, listing.
5. Don’t Forget To Proofread Your Work
A recent study by the University of Waterloo showed that every spelling/grammatical error you make on a piece of copy reduces its readability by 7%. And what makes matters worse is that it’s congruent with the conversion rate. So it’s best to fully proofread your content before moving on to another project as it heavily affects its performance.
Native ads can be defined in two ways:
- A sponsored post typically found in news articles, press releases and blogs.
- Any digital advert that uses the “camouflage” strategy of making an ad fit seamlessly into the site’s content.
Native advertising brings numerous benefits to a brand. The most notable one is its exceptionally high clickthrough rate, towering display ads by up to 8x more link clicks.
Two other advantages natives give off are its anti-ad blocker traits and relatively high conversion rate, especially with a Millennial audience.
However, native ads are also a source of brand backlash. When done wrong, these ads can negatively affect your business objectives. Examples would be overselling a product, talk like a salesman and exaggerate the headline.
In almost all cases, it’s better to hire a Digital advertising agency first in order to get a feel of what to do and what not to do when running natives. These professionals know the ins and outs of the digital ad space and can effectively use these promotional tools to your advantage.