May 27, 2015
I was happy to share my two cents about native advertising in a recent article for BMA Buzz, the Business Marketing Association’s newsletter. (Check it out here.) As the article reports, 54 percent of B2B marketers have tried native advertising in the last year, and 59 percent plan to increase their native ad buy this year. It’s no surprise why – when done correctly, native is a vehicle for delivering a targeted, detailed message in a way that looks and feels more like editorial than ad copy; thus, the audience is more likely to engage with the content.
But transparency is key. Native ads must be clearly labeled. We’re not trying to trick readers. They should understand the content is sponsored almost immediately. And sponsors and publishers must respect the audience and deliver high-quality, relevant content. This is not the time or place to regurgitate an infomercial, as I advised in the BMA piece.
Although adoption is increasing, there’s still work to be done. As an industry, we need to continue to develop ethical standards, as well as measurement guidelines. What makes a native ad successful? What are the benchmarks? With time and more case studies, we’ll improve the practice for marketers and audiences alike.
Read the cover story here for more on native’s strengths and shortcomings.
By Jacqueline Lisk
Photo credit: Ryan Mcguire, http://www.gratisography.com/