The third season of Stranger Things has proven to be the most-watched Netflix show, claims the video streaming giant.
.@Stranger_Things 3 is breaking Netflix records!
40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 8, 2019
A part of the series’ popularity stems from its amazing promotion and product placement strategy. Beverage brand Coca Cola has relaunched New Coke as a limited edition product this year, after a tie-in with the popular series.
In 2017, around the premiere of the second season of Stranger Things during Halloween, tied up with ride-sharing app provider Lyft to generate more buzz around the series. Netflix adopted the Native advertising strategy to create a powerful buildup for the second season with a SuperBowl ad and took it further with Lyft’s immersive “Strange Mode” themed car ride. By thinking outside the box, Netflix turned simple ideas into well-structured native advertising campaigns that resonate with the target audience.
70% of users would instead learn about a product via native ads than traditional marketing. Not only do viewers spend almost the same amount of time reading native advertisements as they do regular, editorial content, but they also pay 53% more attention to native ads as compared to banner ads.
What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising has established its position as an essential part of the modern marketer’s toolkit. What are native ads? These are a form of paid ads that contain engaging content, designed specifically in a natural form that allows the ad to blend with its surrounding content.
While standard advertisements tend to strike the customer and stand out bluntly, native ads are a subtle form of marketing which is placed in the heart of the content to look like they are an actual part of the content. Viewers are more likely to engage with these ads as they feel like a natural element of the user experience.
With the attention span narrowing every day, marketers are compelled to become more creative and intelligent with how they feed ads and reach their target audience without hampering the quality of their customer experience. Native advertising helps address this problem by offering an optimal solution to “ad-blindness”, which is the tendency to overlook any form of content that appears even remotely like an advertisement.
Native ads offer great opportunities for marketers across every vertical and marketing dimension, as they are quite flexible. Brands can leverage app install tactics, use augmented reality experiences, full-screen animated creative ads and even take advantage of carousel units to show multiple images.
As a marketer, it is important to create engaging content throughout a customer’s journey, not only to generate traffic on target landing pages but to increase sales performance and provide a great customer experience by giving real value to the targeted audience.
A common misconception about the types of analytics and metrics marketers should use to measure the success of an ad campaign is that a strong click-through rate (CTR) is more important than the actual engagement. We’re afraid that’s not right. The level of engagement of an ad campaign matters the most for any brand as well as a marketer.
The core purpose of native advertising is engagement. By creating content that is useful and interesting, marketers motivate their target audience to share the brand content with their social groups and engage more. It eventually leads to more clicks and sales.
Marketers can use advanced algorithms to dynamically position their native ads next to similar or related content on webpages. Website publishers can customise ad widgets on their website to ensure that the ads blend in seamlessly with the regular content. The most effective native ads will be placed on the right sites and paired intelligently with reliable publications to connect emotionally with the target audience, boost engagement, and communicate your brand’s message.
Benefits of Native Ad Marketing
- Better engagement with native advertising: Native advertising is reportedly found to be outperforming other types of digital marketing strategies, with traditional display and banner ads becoming less and less effective. With internet users ignoring obvious sales tactics, average click-through-rates (CTR) for display ads have fallen over time. In contrast, native ads give a much higher CTR and conversion rates because they offer valuable and genuine information than just hardcore selling.
- Better formats for native advertising: Native advertising formats are quite seamless, and blend into the original content of the page. Consumers better receive such forms of advertisements than other types of digital advertising, such as pop-ups, banner ads, or pre-roll videos. Native ads do not harm the ongoing customer experience, as they are perceived to be non-intrusive by users.
- Multi-asset Execution: There are multiple ways in which a brand could optimise content for its native advertising strategy. Whether you are a small brand that has just begun its journey, or a big brand that has been around for decades, getting your brand’s identity and vision out there is an important factor that will determine your sales and lead generation.
Creating relevant content on digital platforms is an essential part of marketing strategies. This can involve the creation of reams of content. Blogs, short news stories, long-form editorial, reviews, interviews, infographics, quizzes, memes, GIFs, photo galleries, PDF guides, white papers, interactive chats, videos, YouTube playlists, Instagram pages, Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, Pinterest profiles, 360 videos, and live streams are just some of the most common types of content that companies continually use to meet conversion goals.
Tips to Boost Customer Engagement with Native Ads
1. Choose the Right Native Advertising Channel
Before you start, it is crucial to analyse and identify where you would like your native advertisements to appear. The placement of the ad plays an important role in native advertising. Research the online publications where you would like to appear on or the sites that share the genre or niche of your brand.
Chalk out a native advertising campaign that aligns with your marketing strategy and meets your end goal; be it be engaging with customers or generating higher leads. Remember to place your native ad on a site where your target audience is most likely to be active. If you are not choosing the right advertisement channel, you might not get the best results from your campaign.
2. Create a storyline
After selecting the location of your ad, it is time to start creating a compelling storyline that is emotionally connecting and drives the need for the product. The main focus should be to generate traffic to the intended application or site by using exciting and creative content.
Avoid bragging about who you are or what your product is all about. Use a story to deliver value to your target audience and leave the promotion to the end with a compelling call to action.
3. Don’t Disrupt the Existing User Experience
By no means should you disrupt your user experience by using heavy advertising styles or else you are putting your brand at risk of depreciating customer experience, which will lead to decreased leads and eventually lower sales. Customers are smart enough to spot advertising content from a mile off, so you need to ensure that your native ad blends in with the original content of the publisher’s website naturally and do not look obvious.
A good example of this is the native advertising campaigns placed by Captain Morgan on Buzzfeed. Leveraging the power of Buzzfeed’s listicles, they have created several listicles that subtly encourage readers to subscribe to their YouTube channel. You can even go beyond this by taking the content style a notch higher – add infographics, videos and cool GIFs that connect with the user.
4. Be Consistent with Your Brand and Customer Vision
Focus on providing valuable information to your customers rather than just boasting about your brand. Give them a reason to remember your brand, its vision and identity. Analyse your target audience and identify what is most important to them. Focus on these objectives by creating content that genuinely helps your audience and supports them in making a good buying decision.
5. Embrace Video Marketing
Native advertising has become a dominant part of the marketing world. It is an effective solution for advertisers who want to increase engagement levels and drive higher sales. The most successful native ads tend to be 5-15 seconds. This particular length drives greater recall and purchase intent than long hours, but the first three seconds are the most crucial to hook viewers and capture their attention.
Long-form video ads also perform well in native advertising and can be effective for communicating complex topics that require more time.
6. Include a Call-to-Action
While native advertising is all about seamless marketing that does not come off as a blatant advertisement to the customer, it is important to include a call-to-action (CTA) in the content itself. Otherwise, how do you expect people to know what to do after they have watched the ad, or where to go when they want to inquire more, or purchase?
Your CTA can be as simple as directing people to your website or the product page. Alternatively, you could encourage people to sign up for a free demo or download or offer them a giveaway.
7. Optimise Your Webpages
Optimisation is one of the most overlooked factors while advertising. Whatever your conversion goal is, whether it is a sign-up, sale, or simply generating traffic, it is important to have your webpages optimised for the incoming traffic and customers.
Ensure that the design and copy of the webpages are well-created and optimised to attract the attention of your target users to the right place.
Native Advertising is Key to Marketing Success
The key factors that determine the success of your native ads are how engaging the content pieces are and the placement of these ads. It might take some time to figure out the ideal way of creating an impactful native ad that meets your conversion goals. However, it’s important to understand that like all marketing activities; native advertisement also takes time to show significant results.
Native advertising is an excellent tool for marketers, but it is imperative to understand your target audience at the core and serve a valuable purpose. Even with traditional marketing tactics where the CTR measured the success of a campaign, higher CTR not always assured higher sales. With modern digitalisation and evolving marketing strategies, engagement is the key to a successful marketing campaign.