Native Advertising & Something About Thrusting

28th May, 2014
by Rory Braatvedt

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A recent trend in the digital marketing space has seen an up-weighted interest in connecting with users in a meaningful and relevant way. It’s not like there wasn’t an interest in it before, but rather some limitations that proved it unlikely to occur. The trick is in the fact that the words 'meaningful' and 'relative' are subjective to the viewer - and much like playing Peekaboo, it's a trick that's hard to understand. This is where 'Native Advertising' comes into play.

Contrary to what you're thinking, Native Advertising isn't billboards in the Amazon rainforest ("BooHoo.Com - See Our 'Lost in Amazon' Collection Now"). If we can provide consumers with the right trigger at the right moment, we’re much more likely to get a response. The trigger is the easy part, that’s what copywriters and creatives are for. It’s that ‘right moment’ which is the holy grail of Native Advertising.

The goal is to seamlessly inject messaging into whatever channel the user is active in, but in such a manner that it doesn’t seem out of place. In an ideal scenario, the messaging is surrounded by other, trusted content which alleviates the obtrusiveness. 

Dragon

A perfect example of this native advertising would be the ‘suggested post’ function of Facebook. Posts can be injected into a target audience's newsfeed, which will seem to appear ‘natively’ in their field of vision. We’ve now managed to slip into the natural flow of the user’s journey unobtrusively, and with some level of credibility. Some may call this ‘content thrusting’, but as I’ve just coined that phrase right now; probably not. That said, it doesn’t take long for the user to catch-on to native advertising efforts and subsequently ignore the content.

Some may call this ‘content thrusting’, but as I’ve just coined that phrase right now; probably not.

What can we do about it? The goal becomes creating personalised content for smaller segments of the market, and pushing to them for the greatest possible relevance – something which has become more prominent given advanced digital targeting strategies. We can also map the creative to consumer trigger points, and adjust to reflect time of day, and other external influences. The difference then becomes how quickly creative and messaging can be swapped out and the ability to respond almost real-time, which requires a certain level of autonomy from the advertiser.

There’s still a place for Traditional Advertising such as display banners in the mix, especially in the case of broad awareness campaigns. It is not uncommon to adopt a strategy involving a combination of Traditional and Native Advertising in order to get the most exposure, both direct and subconsciously. Additionally, not every website or platform can support Native Advertising; much to the dismay of content thrusters.

If you’d like to hear more about Native Advertising and how UNION manage to do it so darn well, drop as a yarn at rory@uniondigital.co.nz. Note that Peekaboo still remains unsolved, where do the people actually go?