Native advertising is a relatively new marketing term floating around the digital media space however the concept isn't anything new. If you've ever clicked on a piece of Sponsored Content or Promoted Content such as Twitter's Promoted Tweets and Pinterest's Promoted Pins, then you've engaged with a native ad. The question then is; did you know at the time of engaging that that's what it was?
What is Native Advertising?
Let's look at Wikipedia's definition of native advertising...
Native advertising is a type of advertising, usually online but feasibly elsewhere, that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears.
Sounds complicated doesn't it. It really isn't. In simpler form...
Native advertising is a form of paid advertising that, if done well, is disguised as organic content.
How many times have you visited a website to see a large banner on the right hand side and how many times have you actually clicked on that banner ad? Or take paid Google advertising as another example; brands pay good money to appear on the first page of Google for terms relevant to their business however the click-through rates for either of these examples are low. This is where native advertising comes in. Brands and advertisers love native advertising, mainly because the click-through rates tend to be much higher than typical 'obvious' advertisements.
The end goal is ultimately to sell a product or service however according to a recent report by eMarketer brand awareness is the top marketing objective for native ads. Native advertising is fantastic for start-up organisations as it allows marketers to get the brand in front of a specialised target audience. Facebook advertising is a great example; one of the biggest advantages to advertising on Facebook is the ability to target specific groups of highly engaged people. Brands who advertise on Facebook can define their ideal audience down to gender, age, location and interests, hobbies and pages they like.
Common Types of Native Ads:
- Content Recommendation Widgets
At the end of many articles, readers will often encounter widgets titled 'Recommended for you' or 'You might also like...' These widgets known as content recommendations allow brands to utilise the audiences of major publishers and influencers to drive traffic back to their websites.
- Promoted Listings
Promoted listings are used by e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay and are sponsored product listings that have been paid for by the seller. These appear the same as other listings but they appear at the top.
- Paid Search Ads
Paid search ads are similar to promoted listings however these aren't restricted to products. Paid search ads are mainly used within search engines such as Google. Paid search ads were one of the first forms of native advertising and probably the most recognisable now.
- In Feed Ads
These native ads appear in a sites content articles and can be either sponsored articles as well as ads designed to appear to be in the article itself.
What jobs are available within Native Advertising?
As with most industries, there are a variety of routes you could take within native advertising depending on your skill set and your interests. If your strengths lie in digital media sales, then you could work for a native advertising agency as an Account Executive, a Sales Account Manager or a Business Development Manager. If you’re interested in the technical side of digital media, then a career as a Software Engineer or an Application Developer might be for you. Other roles to consider include Marketing Managers, Campaign Managers and operations based roles.
How can I get into the Native Advertising sector?
The area of digital media and native advertising that you would like to work within, will define the qualifications or experience that will be required for the role. For sales based roles within digital media, you don't necessarily have had to have come from a digital sales background however this will depend on the company recruiting. B2B sales experience is beneficial and experience within advertising would be a bonus.
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