Going Native

Native advertising

A new buzz word has appeared over recent months into the small business lexicon: Native Advertising. Can it help you? Is it something that you should be leveraging is it a fad that you shouldn’t be a part of? It’s a decision that you must make for yourself, but here’s some thoughts to bear in mind if you are considering it.

First, what is ‘Native Advertising’? These days, as the net becomes more and more personalized, there are ways that advertisers place ads into online information aimed at the reader. They aren’t static ads, they change for each reader, dependent on what they have been searching for in the recent past. A recent crop of searches on – for instance – wedding rings made by a user in a particular geographic market will promote other wedding-service related ads in that market when they perform other searches for printed matter. A recent search on cut-price sporting event ticketing by another browser will result in a different set of targeted ads, even though they are reading the same articles.

As a small business, this sounds very good: especially if you are trying to corral Prospects with an informative log post on your own business ads. You are harnessing the power of someone’ else’s advertising to make your post, tweet, or social media bulletin to make your look better. The more you spread your message (and the more it is shared by others), the more people get to see what you say, and should pay your words more attention, because they include ads that are of interest to them. However, there are three things that we have learned that you should bear in mind that may temper your expectations, somewhat:

1 Looking for trees, not wood.

While it is a great tactic to become part of a community, how much is your message being diluted by sharing a page with unrelated ads Just because some is getting married, doesn’t mean that they are looking to buy a new house right now.

2 Having Fun in a serious way

We really believe that using an entertaining and funny sideways look at a subject can be a great tactic that shows you as a real person. Going through the same experiences as your prospects, and showing that you are doing so with a sense of humour has always been a great way to bring prospects to you, but what kind of Ads will this approach bring in? You have no control over them, so the words may well prove a mismatch with our goods or services.

3 Details, Details, Details

While you have to be relevant in the environment you’re in, don’t blend in too much. There are also legal ramifications for having someone’s ad show in your content that they may not like. If you are thinking of an advertorial piece, ensure that you tell people that your content is actually an ad. Label the piece as “sponsored by,” “in partnership with,” or “featured by”, and make sure it’s clear to readers who is behind the content.

If native advertising begins to make up a larger part of your marketing strategy (and budget), it’s important to make sure that you’re looking after your details, and that the right readers are looking at the right message for the right reasons. Of course, you should also optimize your work, and ensure that all printed advertising features all of your Branding Markers. Going Native may not be as straight forward as you first thought, but it can definitely work for many business and their marketing models.

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