For those of us in the world of marketing, the buzz word for 2014 is “native.” Native advertising is leading headlines across industry publications:
“Marissa Mayer: Marketers Need to Embrace Native Ads.” ADWEEK
“Why Native Advertising Matters and What You Should Do About It.” Marketing Land
“Now Native Advertising Is Redefining the Digital Marketing Landscape.” Huffington Post
Publications are already utilizing this new digital method to reach consumers. Let’s take a look at some examples to see if you can identify the different forms of native advertising these companies are using.
In-Feed Advertising Units
In-Feed units appear beside other unpaid content in the feed (i.e. content river) on a website’s homepage or section fronts. The paid content is written in a similar style to the host publication and, like most native advertising, has the goal of blending in.
In-Feed units function in three ways. They can be written in conjunction with the local writers and can be hosted on their site or they can be written in similar style, but link to the advertiser’s website. Finally, in-feed units can be written in a similar style, but have no linkage (branding within the feed only).
Running a regular search on Yahoo, Bing or Google will bring up the most familiar form of native advertising, search engine marketing (SEM). Similar to other native advertising, the goal is to blend in with organic search to drive traffic, but it also allows the advertiser to pay to secure relevant and visible positioning.
Here are some examples to help you recognize when you are viewing a recommendation widget: “you may also like,” “from around the web,” “you may have missed,” “recommended for you." If you see any of these taglines, then you are most likely viewing a widget that has a goal of driving traffic to an advertiser’s website. This version of native does not blend as well into the host site, but should ideally be hosting content that is relevant to what is being displayed on the page.
Content sites are not the only ones joining the native bandwagon. Retail sites have also started to offer preferred placement for advertisers.
Next to their own merchandise, you can now see listings take you either off-page or directly to a listing for a preferred partner. Either way, the listing blends into the page and is being directly paid for, making it one more example of native advertising.
Of all the options, in-ad is most relevant to the banner advertising we already utilize on a regular basis.
This form of native is targeted to the content on the page and displays related “articles” within an ad unit. In the example to the right, you see an article for “sports” and the ad units relate, at least in a general way, to sports.
While native advertising is gaining in popularity, it is still in its infancy. If you are interested in deploying a native campaign for your client, allow us to help sort through the options that exist. MANSI Media is ready to partner with you to build a successful campaign.
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