Or rather: “Why native is always going to be changing”. Native advertising isn’t exactly new. It is an evolution of print media’s advertorial, adapted to the digital age. As in the print world, ineffective forms of native advertising will be replaced with better, richer, more engaging and transparent forms of sponsored content.
What emerged as native advertising is a first baby-step into this new age of digital velocity: In-line ads, pay per click ads and sponsored messaging. Sprinkle believes that knowledge about the visitors, smart placement, format and type of message is key in order for Native to succeed. As John Federman writes in Branding Magazine
“Some branded content will morph into forms that stand well on their own. Some will not, and here’s why. Target audiences – consisting of consumers and readers/viewers – overlap in their interest areas, as expressed through their media consumption. The partnership between brands and media benefits everyone (media, brands and consumers). It brings the people to the party. The media channel is the meeting place.
Great Native advertising drives user engagement not just clicks and impressions. Great Native advertising is 100 % opt-in. Great Native advertising encourages social sharing and becomes interactive. If Native content doesn’t connect with its target audience, it will fail. Let the audience decide when and how to consume it. Because when they do – Native advertising outperforms standard ads on all metrics.
Our conclusion is: be honest with what your campaign is, make it interesting enough for users to want to it – rather than trying to shove it on them
Campaigns seeking to create meaningful consumer engagement must:
- Be relevant to the consumer, don’t sell, tell
- Offer unique and interactive experiences
- Engage the audience
- Encourage sharing
- Integrate fun or learning aspects
- Use smart paid distribution: search, social or Sprinkle
There might be more reasons than that, like vanity, but let’s focus on the list. In general those rules are more focused on the early stages of customer acquisition and Sprinkle believes that this is when content marketing is most efficient. But storytelling should never be treated as a “one off”, it is a continous process where different aspects of the editorial material appeals to different modus operandi with the reader.
The key take away with this post is not that you should promote your content (because you always have to) but that you need to think of the life cycle of content, and you need to continue telling stories. Because when you have aroused the audience’s appetite you need to keep feeding, it is like having a baby.