You may have even seen native advertising in action, for instance when you traveled to Forbes, Buzzfeed, or Facebook and saw advertisements that may appear relevant to you and your interests.
If you think that it is nothing but a new hype and not something that you need to pay attention to, however, you would be wrong. Yes, native advertising is new, but some of its strategies and the ideas that underpin it are very much established in the world of marketing. What it basically means is that you pay for ads, but these ads are no longer banners of flashy images, but guides, promotions, and branded articles. Native marketing essentially includes lots of different marketing elements, including content marketing, in-feed advertising, search marketing, and sponsored social advertising.
So, if you are a B2B business, what are some of the things you need to do to make marketing work for you?
- Get Your Message Right
The complex thing about native advertising is that it is a sales technique that uses content that doesn’t aim to sell. You need to create content that is relevant to your reader and provides them with something of value, but that doesn’t come across as salesy, even though you are actually selling. Something that usually works really well doesn’t actually sell anything at all, rather it links to an idea. For instance, did you know GE writes on Buzzfeed regularly, posting things such as “How to know if you’re creative”. This has nothing to do with GE on the surface, but GE stands for ‘imagination at work’, and this links into being creative.
- Get the Right People
Once you have your message in mind, you need to find the right people. GE, in sticking with that example, can pretty much get their texts wherever they want them to be, because they have huge budgets. You, however, are probably not in that position. So, you need to find out where your audience currently hangs out. Where do they go if they want to know something about the industry in which you operate? It could be a blog, a social media page, a digital magazine, a forum, a chat room, or anything else. Once you know where your people are, you know where to post your native advertising. Plus, make sure you check out what they are talking about, because that will help you with the relevant message that isn’t salesy. An example was created by OfficeMax, who had a sponsored post on LinkedIn that discussed how to win a sales proposal. That was because that type of information is relevant to people on LinkedIn.
- Get the Data Right
As with all forms of advertising, you have to analyze your actions. Find out whether you are doing things right, or whether you have to improve on some of your actions. Make changes accordingly.