What makes native advertising stand out —ironically — is its ability to blend in.

Native ads are paid content that look and feel like the content surrounding it, and they’re taking the digital world by storm. According to new BI Intelligence estimates, by 2021 native display ad revenue in the U.S., which includes native in-feed ads on publisher properties and social platforms, will make up 74 percent of total US display ad revenue, up from a 56 percent share in 2016.

You may be wondering why these ads are so popular. Issues like “banner blindness,” a phenomenon where visitors to a website ignore banner-like information, and the Nielsen Connected Device Report, which states that 65 percent of users — more than half! — find mobile ads annoying, are plaguing advertisers.

To get your juices flowing about how you can use native ads in your marketing, I’ve put together three tips to unleash the power of native advertising.

1. Connect with users

Native ads, when done properly, take work. To be successful, the content needs to connect with users. One of the best ways to connect is through emotions. Advertisers typically target laughter, joy, sadness or fear.

An example of an emotionally charged ad can be seen with Wells Fargo. As a result of major scandal in 2016, the bank committed to winning its customers back last year. One effort included ramping up advertising, notably native ads. It teamed with Slate for a piece about students at the Lavelle School for the Blind and Visually Impaired who attend B.E.A.T. NYC’s music and beatboxing class. The article tugs at the heart strings to see children overcome obstacles to create something so unique and wonderful together.

While this native ad takes the form of an article, it also includes audio. One misconception is that native ads must be articles. They can actually be anything from videos to infographics, and any media in between.

2. Add value

Whatever form your native ad takes, it’s imperative that it adds value to users.

Especially as a small business owner, you’ll want your native advertising to offers users something they can’t find elsewhere. Whether you’re an expert in your field who can offer advice, like RPM Automotive did with its question and answer series for Jacksonville car owners, or a franchise with insight about an upcoming trend, you want to make your material stand out.

3. Include a call to action

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the reason native ads work are because they’re non-intrusive — basically the opposite of car commercials yelling, “SALE, SALE, SALE” — so you want to keep your call to action subtle, too. A simple link for more information at the end of an article can do the trick.

Also consider linking to other information the reader may be interested in on your website.  If an ad is designed with a particular action in mind, for example singing users up for a photography course, link directly to the sign up page.

If you’re ready to incorporate native advertising into your marketing, give us a call at (904) 638-7555.

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