Advertisers are looking for native advertising options in increasing numbers. As the growth for this format continues, what can you do to get ahead of the curve?
Earlier this year, we reported that native ads saw 50 percent year-over-year growth from 2018 to 2019. This level of growth is higher than mobile, video and display advertising.
“According to our data, it seems that native content has developed and matured. Native advertising is here to stay and serves as one of the more stable and reliable forms of advertising when compared to mobile, video and display.”~ Todd Krizelman | CEO | MediaRadar
Since that post, the number of B2B companies placing native ads each month has continued to rise.
Native advertising is still the fastest growing B2B digital format. In Q1-Q3 2019, the number of B2B companies utilizing native ads grew 4 percent. In comparison, mobile ads were up 3 percent and display ads were down 3 percent.
(Note: Q3 2019 was the only time the number of B2B companies using native was down YoY in the analysis. Before that, all 6 other quarters in the sample have seen positive YoY growth.)
Get Ahead of the Curve With Native Advertising
The best way to get ahead of the curve is to be ready with your own reasons why your advertisers should jump on board with native ads. By accurately conveying the benefits of native content, you can help brands experience the benefits of native and capitalize on the consistent popularity of the format with fresh advertisers.
For starters, be ready with a pitch that answers these common questions before they are even asked.
Why content instead of display ads?
Start with a clear understanding of why native advertising works particularly well in B2B — for your readers and your advertisers’ audience.
In short, native ads are peak content marketing: they provide valuable information to an audience while also moving them through the funnel. Jonathan Long at Entrepreneur reports 25 percent more engagement with native ads versus traditional digital ads.
Branded content or native ads?
Native ads focus on blending editorial content with copy that positions an advertiser carefully for the consumer. Branded content, while highly related, is typically much bolder and owned by the advertiser.
Publishers and advertisers can work together on branded content like podcasts, websites and events. You may consider offering both to your advertisers.
What will native content look like on your site?
Before pitching your advertisers, set up a clear path for how you will add native advertising to your site. Answer questions like:
- How will native ads be distinguished from editorial content? (The Federal Trade Commission has a helpful guide for businesses looking to create native ads)
- Will you bucket native content into a separate section on your site?
- Will there by overlap between digital and print media?
How can we measure ROI?
Be clear with your advertisers what they can expect to get out of their native ads with your publication.
For most marketers, the intent with native ads is awareness, branding, and brand affinity — just a third identify purchase intent as an outright goal.
“I think a lot of brands have not stepped into native advertising yet because they don’t understand how to make it successful or because they doubt its value,” Visa Head of Content Stephanie Losee told the Native Advertising Institute.
That’s where having a clear idea of ROI comes in. Encourage advertisers to build native-specific landing pages so they can easily track where new traffic is coming from. Other ways to measure ROI are social engagement, impressions and conversion (since native ads tend to drive more qualified leads).
Built into the ROI conversation should be a cost comparison — how much would advertisers spend on display ads versus native content?
What will the content creation process look like?
Last but not least, have a clear plan in place for creating content for native advertising. Will it be a collaborative process or will you need advertisers to provide content? Can you provide an in-house team to work with advertisers? What’s the ideal timeline?
Want to see great native advertising in action?
25 unique native advertising examples — and how to spot them