4 tips to help increase native ad engagement.
Native advertising is one of the fastest-growing ad formats today due to a number of variables, and knowing how to increase consumer native ad engagement is vital to success. Unfortunately, brands fail in their native endeavors because they view the advertising format through the same lens they view other advertising formats. The key to native ad engagement is trust, and this can not be established if a brand begins a native campaign with the same expectations that they would have for a digital ad campaign. In order to help your brand succeed, we’ve put together our list of important tips to engage with your target audience.
1)Tell a story, Don’t Sell.
In the last few years, ad blocking has been pilfering and destroying the digital ad industry like a vandal horde sacking Rome. Experts are already predicting that by the end of 2017, 86.6 million internet users within the US will have some sort of ad blocker installed on their devices. Consumers are installing these ad blockers because they find current digital advertising intrusive and obnoxious . With this development, your brand can not just simply push its sales pitch on consumers. Great online ads must now justify their right to be seen and the best means of earning this right is by offering something the consumer wants, great content.
Consumers navigate to specific sites on the web because they either find a publishers content useful or enjoyable. By creating great stories centered around your brand that is entertaining or informative, consumers are more likely to seek it out because it intrigues them. This translates to higher engagement with your brand messaging because readers and viewers WANT to see your ad and are not just being interrupted by it.
Additionally, research has uncovered that native advertising that does not directly pitch a product is trusted more than native advertising that does pitch a product. This is important because 80% of consumers make a decision to purchase a product from a specific brand because they trust the brand. The idea of not pitching a product may seem self-defeating, after all, the whole point of advertising is to generate interest in your company’s products. However, native is actually more likely to underperform when advertisers view a native campaign through the same lens that they view digital banner advertising.
Advertisers should not always expect direct conversions from the articles themselves. Rather they should be seen as a primer that builds awareness, increases interest and earns trust. In order to convert these consumers, an advertiser must invest in channels that can accompany the native channel in order to catch consumers that have developed an interest in your brand. This falls under the concept of multi-channel marketing which has become increasingly popular in the last few years.
2)Choose the right publisher.
Great brands have a personality, as do great publishers. As a brand seeks to find the right audience, choosing a publisher that has a similar personality will increase the chances of consumers engaging with the content that your brand produces. This is important because when native feels out of place, consumers will ignore it like they would any other ad.
As Sun Tzu once wrote, “We cannot enter into alliances with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs”. Prior to committing to a campaign, take the time to browse a publisher’s site. Look for content that is directly relevant to your brand. Check to see if readers are sharing or commenting on the relevant content as well. There is always an element of risk that a campaign may underperform, but by conducting research prior to launching a campaign, your brand is more likely to succeed.
3)Use multiple posts to increase native ad engagement
Two critical factors to consider when planning any advertising campaign are reach and frequency. A campaign must be seen by a large enough audience to justify investing in an advertising medium. In order for a consumer to remember a brand and take action, they must also view a brand’s messaging often enough. It’s incredibly rare for a consumer to take action after viewing an ad only once. Utilizing multiple native posts allows a brand to address these two factors.
In addition to addressing reach and frequency, creating multiple posts over a period of time creates other benefits as well. These include the ability to optimize a campaign by learning from the performance of previous posts, exploring brand messaging in greater depth, and the opportunity to nurture a following over the course of the campaign.
4)Don’t fear honesty
The primary objectives of native advertising should always be to raise awareness and to earn consumer trust. Being honest with an audience is a critical component of building trust. However, honesty can at times feel at odds with a company’s growth objectives. For instance, if a company is focused on growing sales, the last thing they would want to do is tell a consumer that a competitor’s product might outperform their own in a specific way. While this may appear counter-productive, consumers actually respond in a positive manner to this approach. This is especially at a time when consumer trust in brands is declining.
There are a number of cases where honesty has benefited a brand. In fact, 63% of consumers in a 2014 study stated they would purchase a company’s product over a competitor’s simply because the company was honest.