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Going native advertising? Be sure to follow these best practices.

Looking around, native advertising seems to be everywhere – and it just continues to grow.

Nearly three-fourths of publishers now offer some form of “promoted content” that integrates directly into their publications’ sites (and is run in the editorial stream).

The idea of native advertising is to increase your target audience’s engagement with your information beyond what you’d typically experience with “conventional” advertising.

… Which means it should look, act and feel less like advertising and more like editorial content.  Use this checklist to make sure you’re accomplishing that.

  • Add to the reader’s information experience … don’t disrupt it.
  • Connect with your audience.  Research shows that four out of five people would prefer to connect with a brand through content rather than through traditional advertising.  Done well, native advertising produces a significantly higher lift for brand affinity and purchase intent.
  • Figure out where your target audience lives.  It’s more than just knowing their industry or job function.  Think about platforms (nearly 40% of time online is with mobile devices) – and think social networks, too.
  • Make “custom” work for you.  Publishers are getting better at delivering fresh options to structure content for just the right audience. Ask what they can recommend; you may be surprised at what they can offer.

One other point:  Don’t try to masquerade clearly promotional information as “native” advertising content. 

You might fool a few people … but you’ll be tarnishing your brand reputation in the process.


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