People today are more ad-savvy than ever. Not only do many people instinctively avoid clicking on ads, according to multiple eye-tracking studies, people even avoid looking at conventional ads. Thus, the key to successful advertising is finding that marketing sweet spot: producing and deploying ads in a way that catches the eyes of people in your target market without being obnoxious or intrusive.
So where does that leave affiliate marketers? Like many others in the industry, affiliate marketers are always looking for innovative ways to get their messaging to consumers in a way that is at least palatable, and ideally pleasant. Native advertising, which has increased in popularity in the age of digital publishing, is one way to tackle this problem. It may sound daunting, but here are four reasons why it’s probably a better fit for your media buying strategy than you think.
Native advertising is a form of advertising where the creative content fits in with the style and function of its platform. While this is often thought of as an editorial advertising medium, many ads can also be platform native. Consider the appearance of in-feed ads on Twitter or Instagram – these ads are just sponsored posts, analogous to a sponsored editorial in a trade publication.
With native advertising, your ads are no longer just ads, they’re content. Creating quality content may require a different approach, but it doesn’t need to mean you churn out 500 word editorials constantly. Try integrating native content into your social media strategy, or putting quick client tips into your smaller ads.
2. Impressions on native ads are more meaningful, and they convert
As mentioned, people often avoid looking at content that looks like ads altogether. This isn’t great news for flashy banners, but it’s the strong point of native advertising. When looking at impression numbers for a native ad, keep in mind that a customer is much more likely to have actually looked at it and comprehended it than if it was a banner ad, as people will give attention to a native ad in a way that is similar to how they view regular content. Native ads have much higher click-through rates than traditional banners, meaning that a customer who sees a native ad is more likely to be converted. This makes native advertising worth the extra creative considerations.
3. Affiliates will love you for it
Native advertising is a medium that is somewhat underutilized in the affiliate channel. This is not due a fundamental incompatibility with the channel, however. For an affiliate who wants people to come to their site, stay on their site, and revisit their site, high- quality and engaging content (instead of traditional banner ads) is a major plus. Providing this type of creative to your affiliates will help them improve the user experience on their site, increase conversions, and ultimately strengthen your affiliate programme.
4. Native ads don’t need to be fragmented from the rest of your media buying
Even though producing native ads may require an alternative creative approach, they don’t have to be segmented from the rest of your media buying strategy, or from the tracking of your marketing returns as a whole. It is still possible to track your media buys all in one centralized location. We’ve seen our clients track their players’ value from impression, through conversion, to lifetime deposit value. Native ads can easily be tracked through this process, which will allow you compare their returns to other type of media, and ultimately get the most comprehensive picture of your native campaign’s success.
Want to explore how native advertising can strengthen your affiliate programme? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!