If Social Media Flunks Your Brand, Try Native Advertising

Opinion: Native ads are almost everywhere, but an average consumer is unlikely to see them. Why? Because they are just that good

Social media marketing is full of impressive stats. Brands that use it well have experienced record returns on investment. Marketers are always “planning to spend more on social media” the following year. And it ends up paying off for the majority of them. However, other brands just don’t see the same results.

Some studies have revealed that 46 percent of brands are not sure that they feel the impact of their social media efforts. To put it simply, social media just doesn’t seem to work for these brands. And the sad reality is that there are a lot of businesses in this category.

Are they all wrong? Or is there something they’re not doing right? Granted, in a study reported by TrustRadius, 40 percent of respondents cited dedicating enough resources to social media marketing as one of the top three challenges, while others mentioned lack of time.

What could they do to turn this around? Could taking an alternative approach help such brands see greater results?

Enter native advertising

70 percent of consumers say they’d rather learn about products through content than traditional advertising. This sounds like people asking for native advertising without even knowing what it is.

Content is king and, although disguised, native advertising does stick to that rule. Unlike social media ads, native ads have a share factor that makes this kind of advertising less expensive than social media.

Why does it work? Is it any better than social media advertising?

According to AdNow business development director Vladimir Bashkin:

As more brands become publishers and white-label content producers, native advertising will take a granular approach to reaching audience, making it possible to touch aspects social media advertising could not.

It doesn’t hinder the browsing experience

The uniqueness of native advertising runs in the fact that it offers benefits on both sides. Consumers get to naturally enjoy high-value content, and advertisers have a chance to target and engage with their most likely buyers.

According to HubShout, 85 percent of internet users don’t feel that their browsing experience is hindered by native ads. On the other hand, 85 percent of Americans feel that ads on social media, news aggregators and applications are annoying. One-third would rather see a dentist than see those ads.

Yes, it’s that bad. And social media leads this pack of annoying ad places, according to 36 percent of the respondents.

Graeme Donnelly, founder of professional business profile company Quality Formations, said:

Native advertising has been so well accepted by internet users because it feels natural to the readers. Compared with traditional banners and pop-up ads, native ads are much less disruptive and they don’t give the feeling that the page is cluttered.

Knowing this, businesses can tailor their ads to their target audiences and capitalize on making them as natural as possible to increase click-through-rates. The same HubShout survey revealed that 67 percent of users are more likely to click on sponsored articles than banner ads.

Content is relevant to the user

About 96 percent of marketers agree that ads should be relevant to the context of the surrounding editorial content.

The success of native advertising hinges on the ability to target a specific audience and tailor the content appropriately. Users are generally more likely to engage with content that’s relevant to them at that moment.

ShareThrough published a report showing that native ads are 53 percent more frequently looked at by consumers than display ads. 32 percent of the respondents even went ahead to say that they would share these ads with friends and family, while only 19 percent would share traditional ads.

As a marketer, this means that you could start spending more time and money advertising to an audience that really cares and nurturing quality leads instead of shooting in the dark with every banner ad you create.

They won’t even know you’re advertising

Native ads are almost everywhere, but an average consumer is unlikely to see them. Why? Because they are just that good.

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