02.25.2020
Native

Your native ad strategy, sorted

Man wearing glasses using laptop

A step-by-step guide that’s not just for retail

We have put this quick guide together for you to get your messages seen and heard and make your brand successful whether you sell a consumer product or a service and no matter how seasonal is your industry.

 

Step 1: Decide what you’re pushing

An obvious place to start, but by no means the easiest step you’ll take. Choosing what to promote might be simple: a new range of skincare or a new premium subscription.

A sale or a special offer is always an extra help to drum up consumer interest:

  • Cheaper flights in February for an extra-special incentive when winter in Europe starts to be very long
  • Money off a subscription bought in a given timeframe

Alternately, sharing expertise or advice works well to increase customer engagement. You could provide an ebook, or a series of tips and tricks.

  • Create something seasonally relevant, e.g. ‘Managing your finances over the festive period: A complete guide’
  • Use the Easter break to make a splash over two weeks. For example by sharing the best chocolate recipes you could delight your family with.

  

Step 2: Choose the right ad environment

With so many brands going all-in, how do you stand out?

Most brands like to get social. But that also means the social media landscape gets pretty saturated – and figures show that it’s not the best place to maximise CTR or engagement.

One alternative to social media advertising is display advertising – but banner ads are increasingly rejected these days by ad blocking technology.

So, what’s the alternative? In the age of experience, there’s only one ad format that continues to break the mould: native

According to Verizon Media’s ‘State of Native 2019’ study, native ads perform well because:

  1. They blend into the page. Verizon Media found 79% of research respondents preferred ads that didn’t disrupt their online experience
  2. They’re brand-safe. Generally, where your ads are placed impacts how your company is viewed. Native guarantees a brand-safe environment
  3. They inspire trust – particularly in premium environments. Native ads were found to increase consumer trust in brands by 32%
  4. They deliver results. The study showed that people spend 25% more time interacting with native over traditional ads.

 

Step 3: Choose from a range of experiences

So, you’re using a native ad environment. What format do you choose? There’s a pretty rich list to pick from.

There are the standard formats you might expect:

Native formats


There are dynamic product ads: 

Dynamic Product Ads


You can create image moments or video moments that sit within articles and pages, and occupy the full mobile screen:

Moments format


And there are post-click experiences to capture the imagination. They can involve interactive or XR formats:

Tiles format


In short, simply pick what works for your budget and your audience, and watch the interactions roll in. Or, choose to use a combination and deploy them at different times. For example, this is a potential timeline for how you can mix your media placement and keep your messaging fresh:

Christmas Ad Format Strategy

 

Step 4: Get the messaging right – at the right time

To get the best from your ads, you’ll need to change up your messaging and guide your audience through from the discovery stage to the purchase stage – especially if your campaign is going to last more than a few weeks. Depending on the seasonality of your product or service and/or your sales lifecycle your ads should be imagined to get the customer down the conversion funnel. You’ll get trouble getting rid of your stocks of Easter eggs in July.

 

Step 5: Make it look the part

This one’s pretty simple: give your ads an accurate feel. Make sure to inject Christmassy colours into your visuals when it’s Christmas – whether it’s classic greens and reds, or a slightly icier blue and white combination. In addition, nostalgia-tinged domestic scenes tap into the spirit of giving, family and togetherness that works so well in Christmas comms.

 

Step 6: Some key optimisation tactics

From here, you just need to plug in your marketing best practices. Then keep tweaking and testing your ad to home in on your perfect mix of audience and format. This visual sums it up:

Key ad optimisation tactics

There you have it – how to make your native ads stand out through a combination of messaging, environment, and timing. It’s well worth making the extra effort to connect with your customers.

If you want to know more about native advertising, or how you can take your advertising strategies to the next level, contact the Verizon Media team now.

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