It's what we all want. Every single one of us with a website.
But how do we go about getting it?
That's the big question.
So have you ever heard of “native advertising?”
It's sort of like the online version of those longform advertorials you used to see in print magazines.
Despite the fact that people know about native advertising, it seems like a lot of small businesses and solopreneurs aren't using this strategy.
But, it can be a powerful addition to your content marketing strategy.
Native advertising is marked as sponsored content, but despite that, it still blends in perfectly with the other content around it.
It covers similar topics, offering real value beyond just a sales pitch.
You may have even read a few native ads without realizing it.
In a recent post, Quicksprout explains why native advertising works so well to expand your reach, and how you can create content that blends in seamlessly with a publication's other stories.
The problem with content distribution
An interesting phenomenon is taking place in regards to content marketing.
More and more content is being created, but it isn’t translating into audience growth.
This image visualizing data from a Nielsen and BI Intelligence study puts things into perspective:
[image source: Quicksprout]
Notice how the amount of content being produced has grown significantly while the audience size has basically plateaued.
The reason for this, of course, is that there is a far bigger supply than demand for content.
There aren’t enough people to consume all the content being created.
Just look at what happens every single minute:
[image source: Quicksprout]
And that’s just on four major social networks. This doesn’t take into account blog posts, articles, infographics and so on.
This means that it’s no longer enough to simply create great content.
You need an effective means of distribution, enabling you to reach your audience on a larger scale.
This tweet from former BuzzFeed Vice President Jonathan Perelman hits the nail on the head:
Native advertising is the perfect solution to this problem.
It’s an excellent way to distribute your content and extend its reach by leveraging the exposure and brand equity of other publishers.
It’s also one of the smartest ways to connect with consumers and get them to engage with your brand.
And if you play your cards right, you can use it to drive a huge volume of traffic to your site.
In this post, let me offer some basic strategies for using native advertising in tandem with content marketing.
Do extensive research
For this tactic to work, your content must fit in perfectly with the style, tone, theme, etc. of the publisher’s site.
It needs to be seamless.
To ensure it flows smoothly, you need to understand the publisher inside and out.
Here are a few questions to answer to help you with that:
- who’s their target audience?
- what kind of themes and subject matter do they cover?
- what type of content does their audience respond to?
- what kind of editorial style do they use?
The native advertising platform you choose should have a creative team to assist you with this and provide you with direction.
But I recommend putting in the extra effort so that you know precisely what type of content to create and how to create it.
The more knowledge you have, the better your odds of having success will be.
Align your content
Once you have a firm grasp of the publisher’s site, you’ll want to base your content around it.
Keep in mind that today’s Internet users are incredibly adept at sniffing out promotional content and dodging it.
That’s why native advertising is becoming so popular.
It’s able to get much higher click-through rates (CTRs) than standard display ads.
According to Marketing Land,
the average CTRs for display ads have fallen over time to 0.17%.
the average CTR for native ads on Adnow is 1.5%.
But CTR this high doesn’t just happen on its own.
Your content must align perfectly with the publisher’s site.
How do you do this?
Create high-quality content matching the publisher’s, based on the research you performed.
Center it around a topic their average visitor is interested in, and style it accordingly.
You can learn more about native advertising over at Quicksprout.