5 Ways to Take Advantage of Native Advertising

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Native advertising is more powerful than you may realize. This form of advertising is like a chameleon — a piece of advertising that seamlessly fits into its environment, whether that's social media, a video channel on the web, photo streams, or other forms of content.

Experts predict this type of advertising may well dominate the market in the near future, and for good reason. It gets more views, higher engagement rates, a higher lift, cheaper costs per click, and a better click-through rate compared to traditional banner ads. This advertising also performs particularly well among the coveted millennial audience. If you aren't using it already, the time to get into native advertising is now. Here are five ways to get started.

Choose the Right Ad Channels and Platforms

For most brands, starting with a list of where you want your ads to appear is the easiest starting point. But you should know that it's not an option on every channel and platform. Start by taking that list and highlighting the ones that offer native advertising. Then take it a step further to find the channels that best align with your brand and target demographic.

Align Your Ad With User Intentions

Once you've identified your channels, it's important to make sure your native ads are in keeping with what users are looking for on those channels. For example, if you're among the 48 percent of marketers running native ads on Facebook, you want yours to look like something users would naturally see from their friends. Likewise, if you're creating a travel-focused ad, you wouldn't want to run it on a gardening website.

Consider Design a Top Priority

Mobile-first and "designed to fit in with the channel you choose" are two key design elements that you need to consider. Mobile-first is essential to providing a seamless user experience, which is more important than ever. Additionally, it should look like other content provided on the platform. Ideally, it should look even better and be a step above what everyone else is already doing.

Provide Value to Readers

Quality, relevance, and positioning your brand as an authority go a long way to gaining users' trust and engaging with your audience. Entertain them, inform them, challenge them — just make sure the content is on point and providing value all on its own, which will ultimately strengthen your marketing message.

Run A/B Testing on Ads

As important as location, design, and content are in native advertising, you can't really gauge how well your ads are working without testing them. A/B testing is a great tool that lets you optimize your native advertising to make sure it's perfectly placed and contains effective call to action (CTA) buttons, the right shading and colors to enhance user engagement, and the right image size and ratio to maximize ROI. A few A/B tests to consider include:

●      News feed mobile vs. desktop

●      A/B versions of your landing page with different color schemes, languages, and tones

●      Test creative and messages on age ranges within your target audience

When it's done correctly, native advertising offers readers fresh content and helpful information while offering brands and marketers a new, exciting, and effective means to get their message out there. Great headlines, great platforms, great design, and compelling content all add up to huge success.