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The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising: Is Sponsored Content for You?

The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising: Is Sponsored Content for You? Blog Feature

Ali Parmelee

Facebook Ads Lead, Paid Media Specialist, Speaker, 15+ years of PPC and Facebook Ads expertise

February 26th, 2018 min read

The more popular native advertising becomes, the more the debate continues over its place in the marketing sector. Savvy consumers have no trouble differentiating between paid advertising content and content that was created for their benefit.

The biggest factor separating native advertising from many other forms of advertising is simple—it is paid advertising that is meant to look like part of the content on the page where it is displayed. While this might initially seem worth avoiding in favor of content marketing, there are a number of both pros and cons to native advertising worth considering before making a decision. 

The Pros  of Native Advertising

1) The placement of the ad. With native advertising, your ads appear in places that readers are already checking out. Many internet users have developed a pattern of avoiding certain types of content and even specific locations on the page in an effort to not be bombarded by advertisements when they're looking for other kinds of content. Native advertising bypasses those habits and catches readers' attention.

2) They're effective. Native advertisements attract three times more time and attention and have ten times better performance than traditional mobile ads.

3) Brand appeal. Native advertisements increase brand appeal and recognition more reliably than other types of advertisements. The only catch is that they have to be created with the reader in mind and play by the rules of high-quality native advertisements.

4) They fit right in. An increasing number of marketing professionals are choosing native advertising. By 2020, it's predicted that as many as 63% of mobile display ad spending will be made up of native ads.

CASE: BuzzFeed Campaign For Holiday Inn Express Results In Millions of Page Views and Brand Lift


The Cons of Native Advertising

1) Readers can feel taken advantage of. When you've created poor content or you haven't clearly disclosed the nature of the content (that it's an advertisement) you can make readers feel taken advantage of.

2) The potential exists to create negative brand awareness. If the experience with the native advertising content is a bad one, the negative feelings translate to the brand.

3) Native advertising can be more expensive than other forms of content marketing. If you're trying to shave dollars off of your marketing budget, using native advertising might not be the best option.

4) It doesn't produce SEO benefitsIf your goal is to increase traffic to your site, native advertising isn't going to help with that.



Playing By the Rules

If you're going to use native advertising as a platform for your marketing campaign, there are several rules you'll want to keep in mind. Your goal is to blend as seamlessly into your target audience's online experience as possible. In order to keep that experience pure, you'll want to avoid missing these facets of native advertising.

  •  Keep it smooth. The first goal of native advertising is to make sure that it fits smoothly with the existing content, sharing information about your brand without making readers feel as though they've left the site to visit an ad. 
  • Disclosure. Make sure your audience knows that they're viewing paid advertising, not a different type of content.
  •  "It shouldn't be awful." That might sound obvious. But, if your content is thrown together, created by a writer who knows nothing about the topic, or missing vital points, it's going to miss the mark.
  • Turn it into a story.  A story touches people in ways that nothing else can, creating engagement with the content you're creating.
  • Video content shines. When you produce high-quality video content, it increases engagement and retention to lead to a more fulfilling experience for the visitor.

“If you play by the rules, #NativeAdvertising can skyrocket your brand appeal and recognition” TWEET THIS

Used properly, the advantages of native advertising are significant. It's clear that this increasingly popular form of advertising will soon reach more viewers than ever before. As long as your brand plays by the rules and creates quality content that both interests and benefits the reader, the benefits of native advertising will continue to outweigh the negatives for most businesses.
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