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Going native: Higher engagement through relevant content and unobtrusive ad placement

In News

Date 25/09/2017

Native advertising is a type of online marketing characterized by a streamlined and unobtrusive ad placement and the targeted and valuable information that it provides to a specified demographic.

Native ads are placed within a website in a way that they don’t disrupt the experience of the viewer, like in between paragraphs, and usually do not appear like a traditional ad in that they may not directly advertise for a service.

This type of content distribution will use relevant or interesting information to engage with the readers that the business is targeting on someone else’s domain. The audience can tell native ads apart from other banners and the website they are being hosted on by the small label saying something like “ad” or “sponsored content” that appears on each one.

Facebook and Twitter are shining examples of native advertising success. They are increasingly maneuvering their platforms proactively to ensure top-quality user experience while doing away with the visceral rigidity of these platforms. In addition to supplementing conventional metrics such as engagement, analytics, and click-throughs, native ads pave the way for a more insightful analysis of critical business metrics as they unlock ad-specific information about every single user.

According to a study realized by Sharethrough/IPG Media labs, consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads.

Brands have used native advertising for years in search of an easy way to achieve natural visibility. Let’s get some inspiration from Smirnoff, Accenture, Societe Generale Private Banking and ALD Automotive with their successful native advertising strategies.

Shazam Custom Charts- bringing the brand to life in activities that resonated with the dynamic target audience, through a native content approach

One of the most popular Smirnoff products, Smirnoff Ice Double Black with Guarana (SIDBWG) – in market for over a year in South Africa partnered with Shazam, to reach an audience that hadn’t seen brand communication, to present it in a way nobody else had ever experienced before.

The brand found that many party goers would use Shazam to find the party track playing in the club, or at the house party, and then even use Shazam to play music from the playlist experience.

The big idea was to entrench SIDBWG within the music and party space, enabling it to play a facilitation role by the brand bringing the right content to the market, not only its own. Shazam allowed the brand to not just advertise, but rather co-create a playlist, live, by geo-location to South Africa’s top Shazam’d tracks. What better way to explore the night than with the best music around the country?

The “Trending” Chart section was rebranded to SIDBWG, and the chart was hand-picked in line with the brand to represent the ultimate in the hottest on the music scene – a never-before-done, branded-content partnership with real-time charts. It was a huge effort by local NotaBene and Shazam teams. This native placement required Shazam to code the branding into the section within the Shazam App. Using Shazam’s technology as the No.1 authority on predicting upcoming top tracks, and sharing this info with their users.

Approximately 27,000 of the right target audience accessed the Smirnoff Chart in Shazam. And more than 800 people clicked over to the Explorethenight portal without a call-to-action.

The results Smirnoff achieved from going native, apart from metrics such as clickthrough rates is that it became cool by association: Music lovers go to Shazam to see what’s hot in the music industry.

Mediafin, Digitisation: threat or opportunity? Native advertising project  designed to spark reader engagement

By creating a specially designed marketing environment using content, Mediafin’s Content Republic succeeded in generating interest and strengthening the position of three clients: Accenture, Societe Générale Private Banking and ALD Automotive. 

They saw the perfect opportunity to develop a prestigious marketing environment using long-form multimedia specifically designed and developed towards generating reader engagement, which was named “Digitisation: threat or opportunity?” using their media platform Partner Content.

This native advertising project came to life as a bilingual online hub, designed to spark reader engagement. The fact that they managed to bring together three different companies from three different sectors meant that they were able to bring to life the challenges of three industries that will

The project premiered a highly interactive, visual and cross-media format, populated with high-quality content written specifically for an audience of senior decision makers. In order to claim the domains of “futureproof” and “innovative,” the content environment acts as a plug-in to the independent, editorial environment.

This allowed the partners to enrich the editorial d 28 content with their own vision and expertise, complemented with examples, context, and trends. Thanks to this set-up, they managed to respect the editorial independence, while maximizing the interests of the partners. They brought together the teams of three different companies from three different sectors. The combined key project team consisted of 10 to 15 people at any given time.

The strategic editorial approach assured high visibility through the business media De Tijd and L’Echo, which have a combined total daily reach of 270,400 readers (print + tablet + web). 

The “Digitisation: threat or opportunity?”online hub received 11,000 page views and more than 10,000 unique page views. On average, time spent on page reached 10 minutes in Dutch and 5 minutes in French (April-June 2016, Google Analytics); which is more than double the average time on page for a traditional editorial news article. In addition, scroll maps showed that interactive and conversion elements, such as a “contact this expert via LinkedIn” were viewed the highest number of times.