Out of pretty much almost every field of business in the world, marketing and specifically digital marketing, is quite possibly one of the most fluid. As the world of digital marketing is heavily involved with the advancements made in technology and the ever-changing algorithm of social media and search engines, the world of digital marketing has to constantly adapt to whatever Silicon Valley throws at it. To top it all off, as the practice of marketing is essentially about capturing the zeitgeist, marketers have to be able to keep up with the public’s latest whims to capture their attention.
All of the above is basically a way for me to say that marketing can be hard but this difficulty is also what makes it potentially exciting as you’re never entirely sure what’s going to happen and that new trends pop up all the time. One of the more recent trends in the world of digital marketing is the rise of what’s referred to as native advertising. A step subtler than the typical practice of content marketing, native advertising is something SEO services and marketers would definitely want to consider in their marketing efforts.
Mixing it in with the natives
In contemporary tourism, the current trend is the pursuit of authenticity. Instead of crashing in some five-star luxury hotel next to one of Bali’s numerous pristine beaches, you instead stay at a local village surrounded by picturesque rice paddies located deep within Canggu and try your hand at living like an actual local. It’s pretty much a real-life representation of the old saying “When in Rome, live like the Romans do”. Native advertising take this approach to heart by presenting an ad that is presented the same way as other regular contents.
For an example, take a look at an article from automotive publication Car and Driver titled “Dust to Glory on the Mojave Road”. The word “Sponsored” on the title is a bit of a giveaway that this isn’t a journalistic post but read through the entire piece and you’ll start to see that the piece isn’t written as a typical ad. There are some gratuitous mentions of the Ford F-150 but for the most part, the piece reads like a typical road-trip diary. It was a pleasure to read and full of insights into that particular historic road through the Mojave National Preserve in California and it wasn’t until the end of the article that it was stated that the piece was borne out of a partnership between Car & Driver and the Ford F-150.
Car and Driver has several sponsored article like that one and even a prestigious publication like the New York Times has a division named T Brand Studio whose sole purpose is to create these kinds of sponsored contents. Both brands and media companies have seen the potential of the practice of native advertising and if you’re still unsure of the potential of this latest trend in marketing, the following 4 potential might help sway you in the right direction.
They’re not shoved down the customer’s throat
One of the most commonly cited weakness of conventional marketing is that they tend to appear in the least opportune moments. From TV commercials that appear right in the middle of the action or YouTube ad breaks that now potentially pops up multiple time in the middle of a video, is it any wonder that ad blockers are now pretty much a must have when it comes to web browser? Native advertising, as with the typical practice of content marketing, takes an alternative approach by making participation voluntary. You’re free to skip it if you want to but your participation will still be rewarded.
They’re not entirely vapid
Also in line with the typical practice of content marketing, native advertising is notable for the value it brings to the practice of content creation. As has been said before, that piece on the Mojave Road isn’t just a pleasure to read, it also contains some interesting backstory on the historic dirt road while still managing to slip in some favorable lines to the capability of the Ford F-150. The piece successfully performs the double duty of informing and entertaining to readers while still acting as a proper advertisement for the car.
They allow you to leverage the reputation and reach of a prestigious publication
You’ve got to admit, having your ad appearing side-by-side with other contents right in the middle of the website of a highly regarded publication like Car and Driver can only be a good thing. Sure, having the word “Sponsored” printed in big, bold black letters next to the title doesn’t exactly help but since your content would still reach the core audience of Car & Driver, I think it’s a small price to pay. If you’re looking to expand beyond your usual audience, hopping on the coattails of a prestigious publication is something that’s worth considering.
They allow you to leverage the expertise of an established company
For this, check out what the New York Times T Brand Studio has managed to create for other companies. While the contents on offer doesn’t fall under the editorial purview of the journalistic arm of the company, they still bear the hallmarks of excellence you’d expect to find from one of the most respected institution in the world. They’re not quite proper thinkpieces but they’re far from simple fluff pieces as well and for companies who might not have the necessary expertise in content creation and marketing, native advertising offer an effective solution for both.