Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Feb 8, 2018, on Forbes.com and is written by Timothy Nichols.
Native advertising is quickly growing to be a popular method of getting brands in front of new audiences. By creating appealing content that matches both the theme and style of a third-party website, businesses can seamlessly attract new followers and enhance visibility for its brand.
Not only do viewers spend almost the same amount of time reading native ads as they do editorial content, but they also pay 53% more attention to native advertising when compared to banner ads.
Of course, before you begin investing in native solutions for your content marketing strategies, you'll need to make sure that you understand exactly what native advertising is and how you can use it to get the best possible online visibility.
How Do Native Ads Enhance Visibility?
Native advertising is just another form of a paid advertisement. The difference is that native ads are disguised as typical content for a specific platform. Advertisers have found that these adverts can be incredibly profitable when it comes to compelling customers to pay attention to their brand and buy their products.
The reason why native advertising is so useful for visibility reasons is that native ads are often received better by target audiences. They're seen as less of an imposition than popups and other types of advertising, and they're also less likely to suffer from problems like banner blindness when it comes to attracting a highly disengaged audience.
Because native ads don't feel the same as typical marketing, people are more likely to view them and read or consume the content they offer. In traditional advertising, on the other hand, most graphics and text are ignored, as people can potentially overlook standard ads as part of the noise in their everyday environment.
So, how can you make sure you get the best visibility with your native ads?
Step 1: Identify The Right Channels
One of the easiest ways to get started with your native advertising strategy is by creating a list of channels where you'd like your native advertisements to appear. Not all channels will offer the option for native advertising and some may be unsuitable because they don't appeal to your target audience.
Think about social networks like LinkedIn, online magazines for your specific trade, or industry news websites where your ads might fit naturally. Remember, your aim should be to choose a platform that seems organic for your company and the customers you want to serve. For example, you wouldn't create a travel-focused native ad for a gaming website or one that's technical in nature for a gardening website because you wouldn't be reaching the right audience.
Step 2: Position Yourself As An Authority
Once you've found channels that might be useful for your native advertising efforts, think about how ads are portrayed on the sites you've chosen.
Native ads should look exactly like the other content available on a particular platform. In other words, make sure to find opportunities that help you get the most out of your content. For instance, companies like Outbrain Inc., Taboola, Nativo and TripleLift do a fantastic job suggesting complimentary content via native ads on their publisher partner websites.
Step 3: Put Quality First
When it comes to creating the content for your native ad, the most important thing to remember is that quality comes first. While you'll need to write about topics that are relevant to the reader of a website, you should only use that fact as a starting point. Think about how you can design content that's one step above what readers usually see. Focus on things like thought leadership, unexplored news stories and more. You'll want to attract as many potential viewers as possible.
Step 4: Make The Most Of A/B Testing
In the world of marketing — whether you're considering native advertising or are writing content for a website — your headlines can be key to your success. You'll need to hook people in with your content and convince them that your brand is worth their time. The good news is that A/B testing can help you judge how certain elements of your advertisements perform in the right circumstances. Remember to keep testing and optimizing your native ads over time.
Making The Most Of Native Ads
Native advertising can be an incredible way for you to take your brand's visibility to the next level. However, it's important to make sure that you're using the right channels and content to capture the hearts and minds of your potential audience. With the tips above, you should have everything you need to create a native ad that inspires stronger results for your company through more natural marketing.