Did you know that 99.8% of all banner ads on your website are ignored? 99.8%. That’s two clicks out of a thousand. To the customer used to navigating around numerous sites these ads become wallpaper – they’re simply not given the time of day. A recent survey showed that unto 50% of customers who DID click on the ads did so by mistake. I kid you not. Native ads, on the other hand, are looked at 52% more than regular display ads. Spending on native ads grew 39% in 2012 and 22% in 2013.
Native advertising is the integration of marketing content into an article without distracting interest from the rest of the material presented there. It aims to blend in seamlessly with the written content and, to all intents and purposes is part of the article itself.
The classic example is a Purina campaign:- (With thanks to www.memeburn.com).
Purina sponsored an article on Mashable titled “5 Heartwarming Stories That Prove Dog Is Man’s Best Friend”. Mashable is best known for its tech news and its “X number of (insert practically anything here)” articles. And Purina nails the latter. The piece shares stories and videos of the sweetest pups — one who saved its owners life, one who mourned the death of its Navy SEAL owner, and three others. By the end of the article, you’re in tears and more in love with your own dog. This article received more than 20 000 shares — meaning that Purina generated many impressions, without even mentioning dog food.
You too can achieve this by making your article similar to but not directly selling your product. In Purina’s emotional, tear-jerking article dog-lovers are filled with warm, fuzzy feelings. Imagine if the article was about dog food — who’d want to share that with friends?