Call it “sponsored content”… call it “native advertising”… whatever you call it, there’s no denying that this type of paid content marketing is all the rage, as more and more companies and brands are utilizing it as part of their overall marketing strategy. In fact, investment in native ads is expected to triple between 2013 and 2015.
To read more about the rapid growth of this new marketing channel, check out this good article from Krystal Overmyer on Skyword.com. In it, she looks at the dramatic growth of native ads in 2014: over 850 brands purchased native ads in December on the top 100 consumer and B2B websites, compared to 688 brands that purchased native ads the previous July—representing a 24 percent increase in native ads between July and December 2014.
Native advertising refers to how companies work with online publications to create paid content that takes on the appearance of editorial or other content on that platform. As Overmyer explains, “native ads could include promoted tweets or suggested Facebook posts; it could also take the form of a 1,500-word piece on… the New York Times.”
Generally, companies expect and see better results with native ads than what they would get from more traditional display ads or other promotions. Native ads are more “readable” and easily shared across the internet. According to MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman:
This has led to much higher response rates and improved aided and unaided brand awareness.”
It’s not really a new phenomenon – just reworked and reimagined for the digital age. In earlier times, “native advertising” was called “advertorial” – and at PACE, we’ve been offering it to clients for years as an effective additional strategy to complement marketing campaigns. Over the years, we have repeatedly heard from clients – particularly our real estate clients – who report that they have seen more traffic from customers who mention the “story they read in the Sunday paper” as opposed to the ad we placed. Today, we’ve adapted that strategy to apply to online publications, as well. Whether in print or online, whether you call it “advertorial” or “native advertising,” the content has to be good. It can’t just be fluff, but must give the reader something of interest and value, while effectively promoting the brand or business, as well.
We’re on board with native advertising at PACE, and ready to help your business tap into this hot marketing trend.