Native advertising is the new frontier of digital marketing. According to research from Facebook and other advertising platforms, it will account for 63 percent of all mobile ads by 2020. And if you were wondering, that's a lot.
While demand for native ads has boomed in recent years, many advertisers have difficulty with the learning curve. Fortunately, there's someone that can help. Here are a few common mistakes they need to avoid:
Not Creating Your Own Content
Too many advertisers rely on stock images. There are a couple of reasons you should take and edit your own pictures instead. Not only do they stand out more, but you can also build trust by showing images of real people. Plus, they are more likely to blend in with the surrounding content.
It's best to use a quality camera and photo editor to create compelling images instead. You don’t have to be a Photoshop expert to develop high quality images. Luminar is a Mac photo editor that adapts to your skill level. Paul Muzok, cofounder and CEO of Macphun, says that the tool helps marketers with limited design experience develop seamless images for their campaigns.
“We built the software to take creative focus and blurring effects to a whole new level,” said Muzok.
Showing Irrelevant Ads
The entire purpose of native advertising is to seamlessly integrate your ads into the surrounding content. Unfortunately, many advertising platforms do a poor job of this.
Vanessa King of Buy Sell Ads referenced a Time article on politics that was filled with native ads about credit cards and other unrelated content. This makes it difficult to build trust and engage with your target audience.
Failing to Engage Through the Entire Funnel
Visitors are more likely to engage with your ads if you make them interesting. Using unique images and telling stories helps reach people much more effectively. Richard Iwanik-Marques, vice president of marketing for LinkedIn, says this is where far too many new native advertisers go wrong.
“One trend I’ve seen all too often is marketers underestimating the importance of providing a value-added discovery experience to their audience. Instead of telling a story and relating to their audience, marketers moving into the native space are using traditional display experiences that don’t engage with a consumer and almost come off as a digital version of a billboard. The reason native is so effective as a means of driving brand awareness is the non-intrusive nature of the messaging. If you’re creating a campaign for native, put user experience at the forefront of your decision making.”
Iwanik-Marques is emphasizing the importance of merging older marketing concepts with the new rules of native advertising. While native ads must still focus on the value of a product, they must do so in a way that entertains readers and piques their interest.
Not Following FTC Laws
According to the Federal Trade Commission, advertisers and publishers must always alert users if a post is sponsored content. In the past, many advertisers have been fined for failing to disclose their bias with sponsored content. The Açaí Berry civil lawsuits were a prime example.
The affiliates behind the açaí berry scam were intentionally defrauding their visitors. However, many legitimate native advertisers have unwittingly made similar mistakes, including Lord & Taylor, a department store chain that was fined by the FTC last year.
Native advertisers need to be especially careful. Since the ads are designed to blend in with the surrounding content, it can be easier for readers to mistake them for uncompensated endorsements of the product. The FTC recognizes that native advertising is a major trend in digital commerce. Rather than banning it, they have outlined guidelines that advertisers should follow.
“Marketers and publishers are using innovative methods to create, format, and deliver digital advertising. One form is “native advertising,” content that bears a similarity to the news, feature articles, product reviews, entertainment, and other material that surrounds it online. But as native advertising evolves, are consumers able to differentiate advertising from other content?”
Make sure that you familiarize yourself with these tips, so you don’t find yourself on the wrong end of a civil lawsuit.