Content today is a nuanced value proposition. It’s about giving your customer the information and insights they’re looking for while guiding them towards making a potential purchase. Native advertising is, therefore, an ideal format to boost the reach of branded content. In fact, it has quickly become a crucial offering in a marketer’s arsenal.
Rapidly growing on mobile devices across the world, native advertising enables publishers to monetise their properties and engage their audience in meaningful ways. As per The State of Native March 2017 report by Yahoo, the volume of native advertising increased by 14 per cent in 2016.
Native is definitely a win-win scenario for every stakeholder involved — publishers, brands, and users. But before you get your feet wet, it’s imperative to set some goals
Native advertising goals
While the purpose of native ads is to showcase a brand or product, it gives you ample opportunity to pack a punch with effective storytelling. Always remember to weave your stories around topics that appeal to your audience because native ads are a success only when you give the audience what they want. Therefore, creating effective native content requires you to master the art of attracting and sustaining your audience’s attention.
Here are a few tips for producing engaging native content:
1. Native content has to engage your audience
You have only a few seconds to captivate your audience’s attention. This means, you need to tell your story at the right place, the right time, and in the right context. So start with figuring out who your audience is and what they want.
2. Content has to provide value
Your content has to possess the integrity of an editorial piece while simultaneously align with your brand’s values. It has to be meaningful even if the end goal is to reach and convert your audience into paying customers. Instead of thinking how your content is going to drive sales, think about how it’s going to meet your audience’s needs and help them solve their problems.
3. Content needs to be actionable
What action should people take when they consume your content? When you boost a two-way interaction with your content, you make it more impactful. Your content is truly successful only if it compels your audience to interact with the piece, giving them a chance to express their views about your offering. They then stop being passive consumers of content. Interaction urges your audience to spend more time engaging with your content, which is a crucial metric. Time spent attentively perusing the article is another key metric; it helps you evaluate the performance of your native content.
4. Create memorable content by using the power of emotions
The goal of great content is not to convince people to buy your product; rather it’s to make them feel something and connect with the story you’re telling. Brands have to acknowledge the importance of emotions and how these can have a profound impact on consumer decisions. Humans are driven by emotions; so building content experiences that evoke those very emotions can enable brands to make a greater impact on their consumers.
Amplifying your content
You might succeed at creating high-quality native content, but are you tracking its performance?
Does your content get your audience talking about your brand or product? And how much time do they spend interacting with your brand as a result? For native advertising to succeed, creating great content that is not only engaging, but also shareable is certainly important. Good content is only half the battle won, because it will go unnoticed without visibility. So, the question to ask is: “How do I get my content in front of the right people?”
Once you’ve created content, you need to make it discoverable using search, social and native networks. For native content to truly help marketers build a deeper relationship with their audience, they have to also be able to optimise content across multiple networks and platforms. If you’re able to optimise for greater efficiency across networks, you not only save time and effort in your campaigns, you also save your marketing budget.
Now, picture this. What if you had a single dashboard to monitor and run all your native campaigns? What if you could understand the performance of all your native content in one place? That’s where Zirca’s ContentdB comes in. It’s a powerful platform that drives better results for your marketing spends. Now with more people gaining online access and with the proliferation of mobile devices, platforms, and technologies, the exponential increase in native ad spending to reach audiences via every available network will continue to grow.
Therefore, to serve as a brand’s trusted voice – one that your audience actually wants to listen to – native content has to rise above the noise and connect with your audience in ways that no one else can match.
(Neena Dasgupta is the CEO and Director of Zirca Digital Solutions. With her deep expertise in digital media, she played a crucial role in setting up Zirca as an independent digital media solutions brand and has been aggressively involved in expanding and scaling up the company’s footprints since then.)