Sorry to break the news but nobody cares about your banner ad or notices your small box ad at the corner of a website. Actually, 99.8% of banner ads are useless, even forced videos (pre-rolls) are skipped. Before you panic, it’s time to shift your thinking and view advertising on the web in a whole new and smarter way. So how does one use social media to promote a business in a targeted and spam-free way?
Enter; the next generation of advertising, we are going native, that is: native advertising. Only around 4 months old, its not well known as of yet probably because it’s not actually that obvious.
Native Advertising is when sponsored content is so seamless to the user experience on a social media outlet or website that you don’t even notice it’s an ad! Sneaky eh? Of course, the best examples of this are seen on twitter as a sponsored tweet and Tumblr or Facebook as a promoted post. Companies like Nike, Coke, Old Spice, Apple, Adobe, and GE have been using native advertising for a few months now, have you noticed? In India, start-ups like Viraliti help advertisers create content to be pinned on pinterest.
It’s subtly disruptive, in the sense that essentially marketing as it pertains to social media and the web is changing from push marketing to pull marketing. People know what they want, and if they don’t know they can search for it or check social media. They definitely don’t want to be directly sold to by a used car salesmen, those days have gone for good. The emphasis now is on quality content and promoting it to the right market; this is where your marketing dollars should be spent.
There has been some debate on where ad agencies and PR firms fit into this new equation as what is needed is publishers to create and publish targeted content. However, the customer knowledge is still driven through these respective firms, and nothing stops these agencies from becoming pseudo publishers as well.
Here are some points on including native advertising in your marketing mix for 2013:
- Stop making ads!
- Truly understand your customer (or work with people who do) to know what and where they are watching and reading.
- Re-evaluate your marketing budget and ensure the majority is put towards native advertising.
- Hire content creators and writers to turn your ads into relevant and informative copy that your audience actually cares about.
Lastly, here is a great example of native advertising for a company called ShareThrough, a blog about native advertising on TechCrunch.
Next up I’ll explore content marketing.