Building defined customer relations through native advertising.

Native advertising allows content to be displayed on websites with a more natural feel. Look and feel will often reflect the design of the website, and javascript also allows natural user functionalities such as scrolling, hovers, CTA displays. What this means is that the ad becomes less obtrusive and fits more neatly in to the content. The proviso is of course that users are notified similar to Google with a small “ad” node in the top left. This is much more comfortable both for advertiders and users. And in many cases the visibility can quickly become brand affinity without users having to even leave their favourite blog! Okay so maybe this is against the idea of traffic hits but from a marketers point of view, the point is moot. Why? Because the embedded CTAs and forms can bring in the lead info we require and the user can continue browses where they feel comfortable, I repeat, good for both advertisers and users.

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It is only recently that native advertising is taking on these new functionalities. Native advertising is old as newspapers, when sponsored content would take on the look and feel of a news article, well take that principle and include all of the things that the web can bring us; video, audio, scrollable reading content, typeforms, and you get the idea of what native advertising can offer.

The PPR (Pay Per Read) of native advertising is generally higher in direct comparison with PPC, this is clear as the content is more in-depth and can display different content to users at different stages in the funnel, which is more sophisticated, and naturally comes with a greater investment. But the ROI is more substantial, and even without the Pay Per Read, at the level of visibility, it is more substantial to promote your brand.

Let’s take a look at some of the types of native content and its functionality.

Formats

Following this graphic, we can display different content according to where our users are in the buyer journey:

Social media posts. TOFU

These will display on a blog in the form a twitter feed. The obligatory “sponsored” node will be present, but it shows the familiar feel of a trusted social network, taking you to the social feed of the advertiser. At a very top level stage this will give the brand visibility and allow users to begin interacting with the brand

Sponsored posting. MOFU

Very close to the look and feel of the site, a sponsored will display a “read more”, and bring you to an article within the site. The CTAs will generally be non-aggressive as the users are expected to receive genuine information from this type of content.

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Advanced content. BOFU

Native advertising can display a snippet laying out the focus of an ebook. At this point, the cookies of users will be telling us that they have visited our website, read information and may be more interested in product specific details. A short form can be embedded to download the ebook, this doesn’t have to be product specific but at this point it is advisable to start informing users about our brand and value proposition.

Blending

Native advertising platform tend to have more specific targeting as their networks are smaller and they have to maintain relationships (to a certain extent) with the blogs that are willing to host their content. If you advertising is targeted to in-house lawyers in the in mitigation, then native advertising will be able to show ads only in these sections of specific blogs that have been requested for ads. This is clearly more cost-effective. In fact the latest I heard along the grapevine is targeting by address. So ads will only display for in-house lawyers in migitation at Ludwigstraße 8, 80539 München, Germany. If these are the people you think will need your software, and you believe in Gary Vaynerchuk’s ad strategies, this is how to go about it, hyper-relevant right?

Workflows

If you want to get started with native advertising, you will need a consistent workflow guiding users along the funnel. So the content at the start needs to inform and give relevant and up-to-date information, showing your brand to be an industry leader. From here you can play, with further content we can use videos and typeforms to both promote and gain information. Any content can redirect to our campaign’s microsite or landing page, which really should include a product demo request so at this point we will be asking for our users contact details and possibly a phone number. All of this can be synced with cool automation software such as Hubspot to add contect to a CRM or to initiate further marketing workflows bring users closer to our products.

Disclaimer.

Some of these strategies may cross legal boundaries depending on the country in which they are being use. With regulation tightening up is it imperative to be sure about compliance. In Italy it is now illegal to install cookies onto a browser without consent in the form of an opt-in (note this different from a cookie-warning as users must click before anything can be installed). That aside, have fun!

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