If you want to produce a quality native advertising article, you first have to understand native advertising itself. You need to “get” why native advertising works as well as it does, and then use this understanding to your benefit.
I personally like the definition I found on Sharethrough. According to them, native ads are “a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”The reason that native ads work so well? They provide a disruption-free seamless experience.Click To Tweet
I highlighted the word “experience” for a reason. Many definitions fail to mention this part. You will often hear that a native ad only “resembles” and has the same “look & feel” as the medium in which it is placed.
That is not a sufficient description, though. The reason that native ads work so well is that they offer the consumer a seamless experience. Take traditional ads as a comparison. You’re reading a website, and then some flashy banner appears on the side. It’s a disruption, isn’t it?
A native ad doesn’t feel like a disruption, it feels like an organic part of the context in which it resides. Having similar design to the other website elements helps, but that’s just the first step.
When the reader clicks on the native ad, you don’t want them to experience a sudden transition. You will see many native advertisers make this mistake.
Their native ad will fit in well with the publisher’s medium so it will get a lot of clicks. But then, these people who do click on the ad are in for a shock. After clicking on this ad (which doesn’t look like an ad), they’re suddenly met with a completely different experience. There’s no gradual transition.
Even if this visitor does continue reading and eventually converts into a customer, we cannot say that they had a seamless experience. Keep that in mind as you read on and learn how to write your native ad articles.
Find your WHY
Think about the reasons you are running a native ad. What do you want to achieve with the ad and what do you expect from consumers?
Do you want consumers to buy your product or service? Perhaps you just want a boost to your website traffic and have no additional goals? Or maybe you want to get some emails from qualified leads. Make sure to note down these goals before you proceed. It will be important.
Try to understand the reader’s journey
If you plan on manually arranging a spot on a single publisher’s medium, this is a bit easier. Just talk to the publisher directly about where your ad will display. Then browse their website a bit to feel what it’s like for the average reader. Ultimately, use this understanding to make sure your native ad article doesn’t stray far from that.
If you’re going to use a native advertising platform, you can’t manually explore every possible website that might feature your ad. You will have to make a general ad that “generally fits” most typical websites where it gets displayed.
Find some websites that use the platform of your choice and study how other advertisers are doing it. Notice which ones stick out badly, and which ones do a good job. Analyze these findings and use them in creating your own ad and article.
Don’t sell immediately
Native ad articles should be informational, educational and interesting to read. Don’t jump straight to selling your product or whatever your conversion goal is. Offer some background information and key industry info.
Ideally, the first 1/2 of the reading experience should be purely about giving value. No mention of your company, your services or your goals. Just cover the topic that people come to learn about. In a word: make it about them, not yourself.
Give plenty of value, but hold back strategically
The information should be as useful as possible, while still leaving readers wanting for more. This makes it more likely that they’ll desire a product you sell or other content that you publish.Writing native ad articles is an art. Give enough value to establish yourself, but know when to hold back.Click To Tweet
For example, if your goal is to get people onto your email list, your content should aim to leave them wanting more information. It’s an excellent way to get them to sign up for your email list.
If you want to sell a product, make sure that the information in your article helps in solving most of their pain points, but not all. Hint at the fact that there’s a major point which can’t be solved by reading an article. In fact, this point is best solved by purchasing your product or service. And that brings us to the next point.
Make sure to have a clear CTA
You’re publishing a native ad for a reason: you want your customers to buy your webinar course, download your whitepaper or hire you for consulting services.
It can also be about signing up for a newsletter, buying a product or booking a consultation; Any conversion goal you can have in an online environment.
The trick here is to consider the overall experience. You want to make people take action, but you want to do it in a way that feels organic and natural. It needs to be a tie-in to the overall story presented in your article, a logical sequitur, if you will.
Produce several versions so that you can A/B test later on
You’ll want to experiment with several alterations of the title, as well as test different endings and intros. The fact is that you don’t know what content will produce optimal results with traffic coming from a native ad. One of your alterations will produce significantly better results than the others.
You can find out what works in one of two ways. You can simply change up the content after it’s been linked to from a native ad. And then, just note which versions produce better results.
Alternatively, you can do exploratory tests in advance. This will give you a better idea what content might perform better as an ad.
Simply point some PPC traffic to the page that hosts the native advertising article, and split test some of the alterations. That way, you’ll have a better idea what content is worthy of being linked to from a native ad.
Bonus tip: Consider utilizing the newest type of native ads
Did you know that you can now have native ads inside of emails? This method combines two high-potency strategies into one. If you consider why native ads work so well, it’s because they utilize the power of relationship-driven marketing.
When you run a native-ad, your ad is “piggybacking” off of the relationship that the reader has with that publisher. They trust that website, so when they see your native ad, they also trust you. This is because your native ad looks and feels as part of that website.
Relationship-driven marketing is taking over the world as we speak, and for a good reason. It works way better than traditional marketing ever did. People want to buy from those whom they have a relationship with. To utilize this fact, you can do your own content marketing, social media marketing and build your own email list.
But you can also use the relationships that others have built. This is how native ads work. But stop here for a second, and think about the following. Which form of marketing builds the best relationships? All the data shows that this would be email marketing.
Emails have the highest conversion rates of anything out there. People just seem to love buying whatever you sell in your emails. What if you could tap into that power without having to wait for your own email list to grow? This is where native ads for email come in.
At AdMailr we believe that native ads are the future of email advertising. This is why we created a platform which makes it effortless to place your native ads in popular newsletters that readers love and trust. Give it a try today. It might be the best marketing decision you’ve ever made.
If you have anything to add I’d love to hear from you in the comments area and if you feel like this is worth sharing please share it! 🙂