Some thoughts about Native Advertising

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A Facebook “native” ad. Note this is neither an endorsement nor a critique of the ad itself.

The latest and most forceful trend in online advertising has the rather aboriginal-sounding title “Native advertising”. The phrase refers to advertisements set within the social media news or blog feed in the same format and style as a regular posting.  If you look carefully, you’ll notice the word “sponsored” and of course the commercial message often gives away that the spot has been purchased rather than generated, well, naturally.

Our social media marketing service.  You can download a copy by clicking on the link
Our social media marketing service. You can download a copy by clicking on the link.

“Native Advertising” reflects the 2015 version of the old style print advertorial, television informercial or radio talk show “ask the experts” paid sessions. Advertising becomes editorialized in character, achieving the much-desired credibility of editorial formatting, with the control that advertisers need and desire — namely, over the target audience and schedule. In some cases, native advertising can be much more expensive than the same space of regular advertising, but usually the conversion rate is far higher.

There are challenges with native advertising, as with all advertorial (or infomercial) products. If media outlets, websites, or social media sites post too many “native ads” then they lose their credibility. I mean, outside of the Shopping Channel, would you want to watch non-stop infomercials; and I’m sure you’ve seen occasionally some printed publications where every story appears to be linked to an advertisement or some commercial intent. Not surprisingly, these publications and media services are far less effective than their competitors with genuine independent content, and they usually don’t last very long.

These solid editorial delivery values reflect our business. Many advertisements in our publications relate to special editorial features. But we are careful not to base our publishing concept primarily or exclusively on the advertorials. (And we work to deliver value added services, such as feeding these features as “native features” through our feeds, so the advertorials effectively become native ads as well.)

I welcome your comments and questions about native advertising. You can email buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com or comment on the link below.

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