Strategy 101: Programmatic Native Advertising
As consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online and moving away from linear TV viewing and physical paper and magazine circulations decrease, brands need to adapt their approach to stay relevant to their target customers.
Businesses still spend huge amounts of advertising cash into formats and channels that can be easily skipped, swiped past or even blocked. We’re not suggesting that TV advertising, print ad placements and online video should be ditched anytime soon – far from it – but businesses should start to think about how they can diversify their advertising. Not only appearing beside or in the middle of their customers’ sources of entertainment or information – but becoming this for their customer.
We have long swooned over Mr Porter’s approach to marketing – they are essentially a fashion and lifestyle magazine, targeted at affluent, professional males, that sells expensive clothes on the side.
This approach requires knowing your audience incredibly well, and creating content that is relevant and very high quality, to be able to build loyalty and engagement.
Once you have developed a strong strategy for creating this content, you need people to see it.
Facebook is an obvious channel to promote this content, with a huge potential audience to target through it’s advertising features. However, the abundance of content being consumed through Facebook is also a drawback, standing out amongst a feed of selfies, cat pics and companies still trying to sell you those trainers you bought 6 months ago, is a challenge.
When creating editorial content a much more attractive option is appearing in online publications that appeal to your target market, where the user is more engaged and looking to be entertained, informed or inspired.
This is where Native Advertising comes along, placing your content in the same look and feel as the articles on the publication your customer is viewing.
In the past this would have required a relationship with the publication, who would have charged an astronomical fee based on audience potential (which was probably massively inflated) and required your to relinquish control of your brand voice.
Luckily, this is no longer required, as Native Advertising is bought programmatically. This means you set parameters within which you want to advertise; location, demographics, interests etc, and how much you are willing to pay. This may be cost per thousand, cost per click or even cost per engagement (15 second page view). In the milliseconds a web page takes to load, an auction then takes place between all advertisers who want to target that audience, and the one willing to pay the most will have their content placed.
This means that your content will only be seen by those you want it to be viewed by, and reducing the amount of wasted advertising spend.
We have developed our own Native Advertising offering that allows clients to access a multitude of platforms (called DSPs) while only inputting your ad creative once. This allows for huge reach across a wide range of publications that might only partner with one DSP, saving time uploading images and copy individually, allowing you to concentrate on creating more great content and driving leads for your business.
As well as this “sponsored” article approach, our proposition also allows you to use video in a very similar way.
Many publishers now offer video units within articles on their sites. Although this is a little more intrusive than the sponsored articles, there is still a need to make engaging, relevant content for your target audience.
Again, this is an alternative to Facebook, where customers are almost constantly scrolling; within articles the user is fully focused on what they are reading, and you have to compliment this rather than simply distracting them away from it.
To build a long lasting relationship with their customer base, businesses need to widen their advertising and become the source of entertainment, information or inspiration for their audience.
Native advertising allows brands to reach their target audience on publications they like and in a context in which they are receptive to it.
Advertisers can not simply hope to distract their customer away from what they were doing, but be the thing they want and choose to look at.