Tech Marketing

Native Advertising 101 for Tech Companies

Article Summary

Native advertising has emerged as a highly effective marketing strategy, especially for tech companies. Unlike traditional ads, native ads seamlessly blend with the content, making them feel like a natural part of the user's online experience rather than a blatant sales pitch. This integration results in a higher return on investment and builds trust with the audience. Native advertising is characterized by its ability to match the content it accompanies, often to the extent that users can't distinguish it from non-sponsored content. Such ads can be found on social media platforms, where they appear alongside organic posts, only distinguishable by the "sponsored" tag. The advantages of native advertising include building trust, increasing customer engagement, standing out amidst the plethora of ads, and evading some ad blockers. For a successful native advertising campaign, it's crucial to understand the audience, set clear goals, create diverse ads for different platforms, and offer valuable content.

Native advertising sees a high return and builds trust with your audience because the ads feel like part of your audience's online experience rather than a sales pitch. Native ads are a way to get your content in front of the right people at the right time to generate leads and increase brand awareness.

Use these tips for adding native advertising to your IT marketing strategies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Native ads are paid content that blends in with the surrounding content
  • Native ads are more effective than other ads because they build trust and offer a more positive experience
  • You must understand your audience if you want to create relevant native ads that work with the publishing platform

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What Is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is when your paid ads match the content you publish. Often, native ads blend in so well with the surrounding material that your audience can't tell that it's sponsored content.

For example, you’ll see paid posts alongside organic content on social media. You can only tell it's paid content by the word "sponsored" written at the top of the post. Otherwise, it meshes seamlessly with the posts before and after it.

How Is Native Advertising Different Than Other Ad Formats?

Many paid ads are obvious. They’re often pop-ups or appear in a website's sidebar ad widget. Because they’re easy to spot, many viewers might hesitate before clicking on the ad. However, when an ad appears as part of their viewing experience, they’re more likely to trust the content and interact with the digital asset.

For example, feed ads on Instagram saw the most impressions compared to other ad placements on the popular social media app.

Native Advertising Examples

Native ads appear in three primary formats:

  • Feed ads are sponsored posts that appear in your audience's social media feeds
  • Promoted posts are search results that you sponsor so that they appear at the top of a search query for your designated keyword
  • Content recommendations appear at the bottom of website articles as further reading recommendations related to the article the reader just finished

Example of sponsored content at the end of a blog article

The Benefits of Native Advertising

Learn why most marketers are now using native advertising as one of their main marketing strategies.

Builds Trust with Your Audience

Content marketing for tech companies relies on building trust with the audience so they’re willing to invest in your high-value products and remain loyal. Native advertising helps you accomplish this goal by blending in with the content the audience already knows and trusts.

Increases Customer Engagement

Consumers interact with native ads 53% more than regular ads. Native ads also increase purchase intent by 18%. Because they seamlessly interweave in the customer experience, they generate more engagement than traditional ads.

Stands Out from Other Ads

Native ads stand out by blending in. The average person sees about between 6,000 and 10,000 ads daily. Whether we’re steaming a TV show in the evening or opening emails during work, ads are always popping up on our screens.

Because of the flood of ads, many consumers stop registering the messages they're seeing. Instead, they instantly click the giant X in the corner and move on with their day. However, native ads are more likely to catch the audience's attention because they won't automatically note it as an ad.

Avoids Some Ad Blockers

About 27% of Americans use an ad blocker. These add-ons will stop most pop-ups and other display ads from crowding a user's screen. However, native ads aren't always blocked. Because they blend in with the surrounding content, they’re harder for ad blockers to identify, which increases your ad's chance of still appearing to relevant audiences.

Tips for a Successful Native Advertising Campaign

You have plenty of opportunities to use native advertising as three out of four publishers offer native advertising on their websites. Today, 41% of brands use native advertising as part of their strategies.

Use these five tips for creating a native ad campaign that converts.

1. Understand Your Audience and Their Intent

If you want your content to blend in with the surrounding content, you must understand your reader. Why are they on the platform? What types of content are they looking for?

For example, if your customer is scrolling through social media, you need to understand if they're looking to be entertained or researching for work. Those details will decide what type of content you'll use in your native ad.

In addition, researching the platform for your native ad gives you valuable insights into how people interact with content and what types of content resonate best with them. Using industry-specific keywords in your native ads also ensures the ads show up alongside relevant content for a seamless browsing experience.

2. Establish Your Goals

What do you want your native ad to accomplish? While getting many impressions increases your brand awareness, that's difficult to measure and doesn't always translate to sales.

One of the most measurable goals you can set for a native ad campaign is lead generation. Lead generation ads encourage your audience to interact with the content by giving their name, email, or other relevant information.

This lets you weed out traffic that won't convert to buyers and nurture leads that match your ideal buyer persona.

3. Create Several Native Ads

Native ads aren't a one-size-fits-all strategy. Instead, you need several ads to match different buyer personas, browsing experiences, and stages in the buyer's journey. In addition, each ad should be unique and relevant to the audience where they're at.

For example, a native ad generating interest in your products would educate the readers about your products. However, conversion native ads will list specific products or services you think your audience might be ready to purchase.

You also need to consider the platform you're using. Native ads on Instagram will look different from those you post on Facebook. Sponsored content in Google or recommended reading also falls into entirely different categories. Each channel deserves its own strategy and design for maximum effectiveness.

4. Catch Your Reader's Eye

Use headlines, images, videos, and other multimedia experiences to grab your reader's attention. For example, over 1 billion new stories are posted daily on Facebook alone. If you don't make your content unique, it will quickly get lost in the crowd.

Example of sponsored content at the end of a blog article

Image from Entrepreneur

5. Offer Valuable Content

Once your audience stops at your ad, you must deliver on your promise and provide something of value. This might be educational content, advice, or the latest news in the industry. However, never end your content without giving your readers an action to complete that corresponds with their point in the customer journey.

Create Visually Appealing Native Ads

Do you need content that will make your audience stop scrolling and take note of your message?

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