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There’s no doubt about it, native advertising should be central to your digital strategy when it comes to generating online traffic. Are you investing time and money into it? Do you know how to do it properly? Do you really understand what it can do for you and your business? Maybe it’s time to see what all the fuss is about…

What is native advertising?

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Put simply, native ads take on the look and feel of the content that surrounds them. Rather than being the main focus of the page and a distraction to customers, native advertising neatly fits with the existing user experience and follows the same theme. This style of advertising can appear on any digital media and occurs in a variety of formats; from photos, videos and interactive graphics, through to sponsored tweets, recommended videos on YouTube and suggested posts on Facebook.

If you’re not currently using native advertising in your marketing campaigns, now is the time to get involved. There’s no denying that the popularity of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat on mobile devices have catapulted the success of native advertising. These channels rely almost entirely on this form of advertising, and, on top of this, the rise of new programmatic technology makes it even easier to get native right.

Key Benefits Of Native Advertising:

1. Native Advertising Is More Relevance

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With native advertising you can be more relevant to your target audience than ever before. Today, we’re drowning in a content-saturated world, so it’s refreshing to be faced with meaningful, targeted ads that are relevant to the environment they’re in rather than being bombarded with ads that jar against their surroundings.

2. Native Advertising Is More Engaging

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Native adverts are very very engaging. Not only are consumers 25% more likely to look at a native advertisements, but they’re also 53% more likely to actually engage with that advertisement in a positive and potentially profitable way. The ad-blocker and ad blindness issues that come with display advertising don’t pose a problem with native. According to research, this means that many native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content, and native ads are far more likely to be shared than other forms of online advertisements.

3. Native Advertising Is More Viral

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Because of the relevance and unforced nature of native advertising, it has a high potential of going viral, which is very important to any marketing campaign today. By being liked and shared you can grow your reach massively while your target audience does some of the marketing work for you.

Why Your Brand Needs Native Advertising

It’s fair to say that the majority of people browsing online are initially searching for a solution to their problem and a lifestyle improvement, rather than a specific product. And so brands are using a more subtle style of advertising to tell stories and to communicate with their target audience without explicitly exposing people to an in-your-face sales pitch.

Well-timed, relevant ads help to form a relationship with your target audience that’s less business to consumer and more peer to peer. This relationship encourages trust and brand loyalty and helps you grow a huge online network of customers and fans.

* According to new BI Intelligence estimates based off historical data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), PwC, and IHS.

Topics: Content Marketing, Native Advertising, Viral

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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