Though those messages have a certain appeal, savvy digital marketers have a different way of reaching their target audiences. One could argue that a successful online #advertising campaign has many more differences than similarities to the Times Square ads. The most notable difference between the two is that online marketing has the potential to be effective even when it’s subtle. In fact, one type of advertising that’s gained popularity over the past few years, native advertising, is sometimes indistinguishable from the environment where it appears. And, if you have yet to discover the power and potential of this medium, you’d do well to keep reading.
“Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears,” according to Wikipedia. Readers perusing Time magazine’s website, for example, are presented with a variety of content, including articles written by Time’s editorial staff, alongside those written by advertisers, like Outbrain.
The word “native” refers to the content’s coherence with other media on the platform. The general rule of thumb when using native advertising is to stop thinking about advertising and start thinking more about engagement.
1. Understand your consumer. One of the drawbacks of traditional display ads is that they don’t discern their audience. They’re there for all to see. In regards to digital advertising, and in particular native advertising, this is a pitfall that must be avoided. The more you know about the type of person who buys your products or services, what he or she is looking for, and where those people hang out online, the better your chances of obtaining the kinds of results the university client mentioned earlier experienced.
Standing in New York’s Times Square gives one the perfect visual of how display advertising works. These messages vie for our attention by trying to be bigger, brighter, and louder than other messages also trying to stop us in our tracks and take notice.