Everyone in marketing knows that search engines are programmed to treat content as king. This trend has been going on for quite a few years now. Eventually it led to what is known as content marketing. That meant a shift in the way products and services were advertised and written about. Content marketing was specifically focused on reaching a target audience online. Blogs and social media posts were a big part of this push.
The reason content marketing became so popular is that it allowed businesses to advertise in ways other than print, radio and television. Those types of advertising, while beneficial in some markets, did not always meet the needs of businesses and users. Not to mention that they can be extremely expensive. Content marketing is now using techniques of print, radio and television to build up native advertising.
Native advertising is basically a paid advertisement that is disguised as original content within a platform. You can find native advertising in online and print resources. When you see those articles in print magazines that have advertisement written at the top, they are native advertising. The point of native advertising is that it feels more natural and not like an advertisement people because it looks like the content it is surrounded by. People are more likely to consume the native advertising content as part of the process of taking in all the information around it.
Native Advertising Online
Just as many people skip through or over advertisements on television or in print magazines, online users were getting good at ignoring advertisements. Native advertising is seeking to change all that. Here is what it looks like online.
1. Brand Placement
Brand placement is nothing new in the advertising landscape. When you watch movies or television shows you will notice that certain types of cars or soft drinks are clearly highlighted as being used by characters. Brand placement online is one form of native advertising. In this case, marketers use techniques like a video or live streaming to display the product in new and unique ways. These advertisements do not come off as commercials, instead they follow people around and show how products and services are used in everyday life. In addition, they look a lot like memes, gifs or other online media so that they do not stick out as advertisements.
2. Celebrity Endorsements
If you scroll through celebrity posts, you will see plenty that have #ad listed. Celebrities are being paid by companies to say that they use the product and to show how they use the product in their everyday lives. This form of native advertising truly fits into the social media landscape because it looks exactly like a native post. Celebrity endorsements, again, are not a new aspect of advertising, however the online arena changed the reach of the celebrities. All of their followers will see them using this particular product and trust that it is legitimate and worthwhile
3. Widgets, Banners and Search Listings
Native advertising is also showing up in smaller ways then traditional advertising. Today, check out the banner on any website you visit. It is likely an ad. However, because it runs across the top of the website, just above the title, it looks and feels like it is a part of the website itself. Many times advertisers will even use the same color scheme as the websites itself so the ad blends in. “Recommended for you” widgets are another new aspect of native advertising. When you read through an article, you might see a little pop-up or link for continued reading or products that you might like related to what you just looked at. This type of native advertising feels natural because it is a natural extension of what you are already consuming. Lastly, there are paid search ads when you use search engines. Advertisers pay to have a promoted listing at the top of your search results. These look natural, like all of the other listings you receive, however they are advertisements.
If figuring out how to get advertising in front of an audience in a way that fits in with their online habits sounds like a fun puzzle, get started with your Bachelor of Science in Marketing or Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing at Grand Canyon University.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.