A June study by IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough showed that users look at native ads 53 percent more often than they do traditional ads. Here are a few handy tips for designing native ads that will help you get the most out of this new marketing tool.
1. Find the right audience. This is true of any advertising, but with native it allows you to further ensure that you’re reaching an audience that will be engaged and interested in your product. Many of the new platforms out there, especially social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, allow very specific targeting based on user profiles and behaviors. “Use those features to target only the audience you’re interested in—the audience that’s most likely to buy your product or service,” said Bar-Joseph.
2. Relevant, interesting content. It might be tempting to lure readers in with advertising in disguise and then bludgeon them over the head with your sales pitch, but don’t do it. Use the platform to deliver value to your audience through engaging content, not blast them with ads. “Remember that the content that performs best organically is likely the content that performs the best via paid,” Bar-Joseph suggested. “On the flip side, content that doesn’t perform well organically most likely won’t perform well via paid.”
3. Blend in. Make sure that your content is aligned with the style and UI of whatever platform it is on. Your ads need to look and feel like they’re part of the platform itself. Bar-Joseph turned to his favorite example (Twitter) to demonstrate. “Promoted Tweets should actually be Tweets that promote a new piece of content or news, since that’s what your audience on Twitter is used to seeing and engaging with there,” he said. “If you try to promote a Tweet that blatantly promotes your brand, it likely won’t work.”
4. Don’t stop at ad design. Designing an engaging ad and content is just the first step, don’t stop when the user has clicked on the ad. The rest of the campaign, from click to conversion, is just as important to being successful. “You need to design the full flow of the campaign in order to create a truly unique experience for users who engage with your content,” Bar-Joseph explained.
5. Personalize. The internet makes it possible to go against the flow of mass media and tailor your brand messaging to particular audiences. Take advantage of hyper-targeting offerings from these platforms to personalize your content to individual users as much as possible. “Design is sometimes more important than the actual content,” Bar-Joseph added. “As much as we shouldn’t, people tend to judge books by their covers and content by its design.”