There are so many new buzzwords in business and advertising – content marketing, SMO, inbound marketing, B2C – and today we’ll take a look at another of the quickly rising stars in advertising : Native Advertising. This is a particular approach that we have used here at Think Webstore since the beginning, and now it is apparently catching on in the larger advertising world.
What Is Native Advertising
The principle behind Native Advertising is actually quite simple – write a story about your industry or product (or your client’s industry), and use this story not only to inform the public, but also to advertise your particular product or services. The term ‘Native Advertising’ signifies that these ads seem like part of the usual content of the publication, hence native, but they also work as subtle yet effective ads for business. These stories can certainly be used online, but often are most effective in actual publications, in magazines or newspapers. Native Advertising is catching on nationally, but we have found that it is particularly useful on a local level.
What Native Advertising is Not
There are a few distinctions to make when thinking of Native Advertising – it’s not exactly the same thing as Inbound Marketing, and it’s definitely not Advertorial. Inbound Marketing has the main purpose of driving the potential client to contact with the business, whether through website, phone calls, etc. While all advertising has that as a general goal, the finer point of Native Advertising is the attempt to connect with potential consumers by providing them with true and useful information in the context of a publication that they know and trust; to become an expert for your reader.
Any articles written for such publications not only have to be helpful, but they also have to pass editorial muster to make it into print – the articles have to be real. Native Advertising is also not Advertorial writing. Advertorials are thinly veiled ads that purport to be articles – these types of “articles” would never be published in the types of quality places that businesses would want Native Advertising to appear.
How It’s Done
The success of Native Advertising lies wholly in the article you write. There are some ‘rules’ that we follow here at Think Webstore to help ensure that our articles work for our clients:
1) The article must be true. Native Advertising ties into a company’s content marketing here – you must provide your audience with information that is both true and valuable. This gives people a reason to read your article, and to share it with others. An article that’s not true and valuable will fail every single time.
2) The article must tell a story. People need a story, something to give shape to the article. Popular storylines include things like ‘David vs Goliath,’ the little guy taking on the big guy and winning, or if you are operating locally, then the ‘local success’ story is always a twist that works.
3) The article must then subtly incorporate the company for which it is being written. This can typically take the form of an ‘expert quote;’ the company (or company rep) is quoted within the context of the article as an expert on the topic. Immediately this gives credibility, and as people read the article, they have an expert at hand to go to. This is one of the reasons that Native Advertising works particularly well on a local level.
Now It’s Your Turn
Not everyone is equipped to do their own Native Advertising, but it is an approach that works for just about any business in just about any industry. Perhaps you have someone in the office who can give article writing a shot? Let them do a bit of research, and see what they come up with. But be very careful – a bad article can do much more damage than good! There are also companies out there who specialize in exactly this type of advertising, and your best bet (for most companies) is to find someone to help you strategize and carry out some Native Advertising for your business.
Native Advertising is like getting an advertisement in front of a potential consumer, and having that consumer read all about you, and they don’t even realize that ‘advertising’ has just happened! You become their go-to expert in your field, and there’s no greater achievement than becoming the expert for your public. In our over-saturated media culture, there’s no better way to get yourself in front of potential customers.