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2014: The year native ads go mainstream

Guest blogger
By guest blogger  //  Wed 15th January 2014
Katie Norwood, Digital Marketing Executive at London Creative, discusses The New York Times first ever promoted post and what native advertising means for brands in 2014. 

Sponsored content is hardly a new phenomenon in the world of digital marketing – you just have to think of sponsored posts on Facebook and Twitter – but 2014 has already seen a huge change in the way native advertising is promoted to internet users. 

US newspaper giant, The New York Times, unveiled its first ever promoted post on its newly designed website on Monday, signalling online ads which adapt to the style of the website, they appear on have hit the big time. With such a high-profile publication allowing their advertisers to use the format, it is likely that a snowball effect will roll out across the internet. 

This is great news for marketing teams, who will have more opportunities to promote their content marketing to a larger audience. Last year research has revealed that 65% of native campaigns are sponsored blog posts and 63% come in the form of articles. Other types of popular promoted content include tweets and videos. 

By not appearing to the user directly as an ad, a native campaign is more likely to be clicked on by a user.  Facebook’s news feed promoted posts see a 49 times higher click-through rate than ads which appear on the right side of the user’s page. 

However, the more exposure native advertising gets, the more likely internet users will steer away from it -  especially as all promoted content must clearly be labelled as a ‘promoted post’ to avoid misleading the audience.  In a similar way to pre-roll ads, the way of making sure this doesn’t happen is all about targeting. By bidding on advertising space on websites or specific sections of sites which are relevant to what your business offers, you can reach new potential customers who will actually want to see your posts.  

With a huge increase in tablet ownership and more phones allowing people to check the internet wherever they are, it is crucial to consider mobile users when planning campaigns. Another great thing about native campaigns is its flexibility across different devices, meaning the same content can be displayed on internet users PCs, smartphones and tablets. 

If you haven’t yet used native advertising to promote your brand, it may well be something to consider in 2014.  

Digital marketing agencies can help your business get the best results out of native advertising campaigns and can help you to produce content. 

2014: The year native ads go mainstream
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