When and why to use the Native Advertising
Native Advertising, how much is it important?
In many cases we speak about Native Advertising as “an evolution of display advertising”, in others as a content marketing tactic or as synonymous of “sponsored contents”
Probably all these definitions are true.
If you work in Media Planning and Digital Advertising, the most important concept that you have to understand is when and why to use native advertising in a digital strategy. To answer to this question it is important to remind to the classic funnel.
Surely you remember the three main steps that transform an user into a client.
- Awareness: to create a need and let a brand/product/service known;
- Consideration: to motivate someone to buy a specific brand/product/service;
- Conversion: to push someone to buy a brand/product/service.
All funnel’s levels
I’m starting saying that in a digital strategy all these steps are important, because they contribute in reaching the result equally, in other words a sale.
Often corporations’ budgets are concentrated only on the top of the funnel (branding part) and on the bottom (perfomance part): in fact frequently you can find just two budget items in corporations marketing plan.
In a football game in which the goal is customer acquisition, defense is awareness and performance is attack, all too often we forget the midfield, or rather, consideration. But without the midfield it is harder to win the match, because the only way to score a goal is to push the ball from defense to attack, with a big waste of human resources and time.
Why is it more difficult? Because, although interested in a product/service, today’s user can find a lot of alternatives online and he has to orient himself between these solutions. To choose a brand, he needs motivation, engagement, confidence: all features are stimulated by activities finalized to the consideration.
Let me give you an example. Let’s assume we are a tour operator specialized in adventure travels, and aim to sell our items throught our website:
- With branding/awareness investments I can promote that I’m selling a canoe tour of Amazon river, awaking curiosity and creating a need for target public;
- With performance investments I can push users, who already would buy an adventure travel, to purchase;
- With consideration investments I can show the unique characteristics of a travel to Amazon, what sets me apart from other tour operators, what is special about my travel, motivating “why” an user should buy it. In a word, I have to do content marketing.
The right formats for every step
Talking more specifically about advertising world, which are the most indicate advertising formats for every step?
- Regarding branding, you can surely use rich media with high impact (ex. Intro page, skin) and video advertising (in-stream and out-stream).
Being in the high part of funnel, the important KPI are Reach and Frequency therefore, you need channels with a lot of users which have to be divided into groups by audience (Facebook, YouTube, etc).
- Regarding performance, the most efficient tools are those of the search marketing because they are able to give a quick answer to the user’s need. Going back to the previous example, if I search “Adventure travel to Amazon” on Google, I will have my answer as sponsored advertisement straightaway.
And for the consideration? What are the best tools that can be used? Here is the real news of these years.
In the middle of the funnel, the importance of consideration
Although to develop consideration it is inevitable to start from a content marketing strategy that creates content finalized to the storytelling, today you can use advertising tools to magnify your content marketing strategy. This by letting arrive your contents to a big and in target public.
This is the job of the native advertising and his finality inside a media mix: with all exceptions that we can have, we can say that Native Advertising could be insert into the middle of the funnel: in the consideration part.
Native formats such as the recomendation widget, for example, could be useful to promote a content, enabling actions of retargeting just on users that have seen that content. As the outstream video could allow to magnify a spot to a selected public that could be pushed (for) to do specific actions.
Which channels do you choose for Native Advertising?
From the channels point of view, you can use two contexts: UGC (User Generated Content) and premium context. This means editorial websites in which contents are elaborated and curated by an editorial staff.
In conclusion the Native Adv is a perfect tool for the Consideration (real weak point for a lot of media plans) and too important in a multichannel digital strategy.