The Role of Native Advertising in Your Content Marketing Strategy

“If you build it, they will come” — it’s an iconic, though slightly misquoted, phrase from a classic American sports film. Its intuitive and inspirational message has taken root in many business contexts, and especially in the field of content marketing today. With traditional online advertising in a tailspin, marketers have invested much of their energy into content creation, casting a wide net for eyeballs via both owned and earned channels. However, the saturation problem presents itself with rising force: creating great content alone does not cut it anymore, and distribution is stalling. The answer? Native advertising.

Owned. Earned. Native.

As a savvy search marketing agency, we know that the times require a content marketing strategy which goes beyond owned and earned media. That two-pronged approach is still alive and kicking, of course, but it needs some help to tackle the challenges of today. This is where native advertising comes into play. To understand how native advertising can transform your strategic communications, let’s recap the major marketing challenges of our time.

Marketing at Odds with Its Audience

Online marketing, after its initial boom, finds itself in a state of almost perpetual crisis today. According to Business Insider, more than half of traditional banners elicit no response, and upwards of 200 million Internet users employ some form of ad-blocking software. Enter content marketing, the almost-religious devotion to high-quality media product which hits the pain points and grabs the hearts and minds. Google Trends marks a steady climb of popularity for “content marketing,” and every search agency will confirm that this is a perennially hot topic.

According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, more than three-quarters of B2C marketers surveyed said they planned to create more content in 2016 than in the previous year. The audience for that content, on the other hand, is growing only at a fraction of that pace, and great content is slowly heading the way of the banner ad: crafted painstakingly, only to pass unnoticed.

Native Makes Your Content Seen

Every good search marketing agency will confirm: 90 per cent of publishers today have native offerings, and you should embrace them now! It can guarantee that your excellent content gets to an audience and realizes its potential. Native is a natural extension of your classic content marketing strategy, so do not view it as an isolated add-on; synergize and integrate instead! Hold your native content to the same high standards of owned and earned media production: It has to engage in the same way, it must entertain or inform, or both, and it has to hit its marks just like any other marketing effort. The only difference is that native’s audience is guaranteed. What you do with it, however, is still very much up to you and your skills and standards.

Invest into Native Wisely and Reap Great Returns

Good marketers incorporate native into their overall strategy and treat native content the same way they do owned media: identify your audience’s interests, know how best to reach them, and provide the content that speaks most clearly and vividly to them. You can get excellent mileage out of well-crafted native content, and you can reap strong spillover effects in earned media as well. Be explicit with your branded content and deliver great value to seal the deal. If you follow this search agency wisdom, native advertising can boost your content marketing strategy and take it far beyond its usual reach. The fact is that good content, which achieves your objectives in terms of visibility, shareability, and community building takes a great deal of effort, time, and testing. Using native will simply allow your ‘golden’ content pieces to go further and work harder for you