The art of snackable storytelling
Why doesn’t my online advertising work?
This is one of the questions I often hear from clients who ask me to plan traditional cost-per-click advertising campaigns, along with “Why did that banner ad only get a few clicks, keeping my product from being sold?”
The reality is, people don’t like banner advertising because it’s more of an irritant than eye catcher.
That’s not the case, though, with native advertising, which is sometimes indistinguishable from editorial content, creating a more seamless approach to advertising. Because of this and the rise of mobile’s sleek format, we may see banner ads disappear altogether.
54 percent of users don’t see banner ads
For those unfamiliar with the definition of native advertising, it’s online promotional content that’s placed within the context of the user experience, matching both form and function of the platform being used, be it desktop, tablet or mobile. The quality and scalability of native advertising means it’s filling the gap between brand publishing and banner ads. Native advertising can be a promoted as social advertising on Twitter and Facebook, too, but it’s more about how brands can extend their reach by working with online publications.
In contrast, native advertising is seen 52 percent more than traditional online advertising, and brands are taking notice—so much so that their expenditures for native ads grew by 39 percent in 2012 and then 22 percent more in 2013.
Native advertising gains popularity
Given those numbers, it’s no wonder why native advertising is now a normal part of well-rounded media strategies. According to Ad Age, 70 percent of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago and plan to increase content marketing budgets over the next fiscal year.
Native advertising delivers messages directly to real users and can keep their attention much longer than traditional advertising. One of the most popular native advertising companies is Outbrain, which was the first to introduce the concept in 2006 and has since become and industry leader, featuring more than 700 premium publishers in its network.
Bottom line: In order to gain consumer eye share online, companies should utilize content in the form of storytelling, and native advertising has the power to amplify those pursuits. But native advertising should lead to valuable content the reader appreciates. That’s because consumers appreciate good content and not blatant advertising.
Native advertising allows for that content to be positioned in a way that’s unobtrusive to the reader, thereby allowing brands to optimize their stories and the campaigns used to promote them.
The future of marketing is about transparency and honesty and truth. If the content is high quality, people don’t care if someone paid to deliver it.