It’s Super Bowl weekend, and that means a football themed native advertising story. It would be too easy to use euphemisms like “how to score a touchdown with native” or “winning tactics from the native playbook”. Instead, we’ll talk about what not to do, and what better way to convey that then play on the recent deflate-gate scandal.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of advertisers plan to boost spending on native advertising formats over the next 12 months, according to findings of a member survey released this morning by the Association of National Advertisers. Of this group, how many will be sure to avoid the pitfalls that all too often derail a promising native ad campaign?
As an angry, bitter New York Jets fan, I’ll hang on anything that makes the New England Patriots look bad. And with that being said, here are 5 things that will deflate your native advertising strategy.
Not Being Forthright
It’s imperative to always label native as “sponsored” or be even more straightforward and label it an “ad”. Consumers are already skeptical of advertising. If you try and fool them into thinking the ad is content, you risk losing their trust forever.
Disregarding the Integrity of the Native Image
The image is often the lynchpin of the native ad; it’s the brand’s spokesperson battling for attention and enticing consumers to learn more. Therefore, it’s important not to downgrade the quality of the image by shrinking or stretching it to fit into a particular placement. Take extra special care when cropping and formatting it to fit the site its on. We’ve seen too many cases where models’ body parts have been chopped off. Now that’s a horror show.
Neglecting to Match the Ad With the Publisher’s Site
The important element of native advertising is that it is in fact, native to its environment. That means making sure the ad matches the publisher site down to all the minute details including font, shape, and function of the site. If you fail to do so, you’ll just have an ad that stands out for the wrong reasons.
Offering Nothing Relevant
If you want to engage consumers, it’s important to contextually align your brand message with the content of the site. The message does not have to be aligned 100 percent, but by definition, native should offer the reader something that loosely parallels the publisher’s subject matter. In other words, if your native ad is promoting an automobile don’t run it on a fashion site.
Directing Consumers to the Wrong Place
All too often the landing page takes a backseat to the branded content. Sure, the content is front and center, but the conversion path you map out for potential customers is just as important. Don’t simply direct readers back to your site, direct them to a page that continues the conversation that is represented with the native ad.
If you avoid these 5 obstacles, you’ll be able to avoid deflating your native advertising strategy, instead watching it soar to success.