Native advertising & sponsored content
Put simply, native advertising and sponsored content is content marketing, but on a “pay to play” basis.
We can adapt native and sponsored content campaigns to any budget, and they can resonate incredibly well with targeted audiences, including niche B2B audiences, and help amplify many of the digital PR, content marketing and social media strategies we deliver for our clients.
Native advertising is something many people see every day in social channels or news feeds (such as the Sky News app), but they don’t realise they are being advertised to, simply because – done well – the ad experience follows the natural form of the users experience in the channel in which it’s placed.
If we were to define native advertising, we’d say it is non-disruptive advertising, and so it can increase brand awareness or drive better quality traffic back to a website or a product than a one-size-fits-all media or social media blitz might.
Sponsored content is a type of native advertising and can come in many forms, from paid placements with ‘gold’ media or social media outreach targets, to round tables, sponsored social media campaigns or events.
Although sponsored content is a paid partnership between two complementary brands, it’s key that it is both valuable and interesting to the core audience we’re aiming to reach for it to drive a strong ROI.
How does native advertising work?
Native advertising is now part of our online experience as consumers of content. Harnessed to our clients’ advantage they can also drive significant returns.
There are various types of native content, including:
- In-feed adverts (sponsored content that appear on specific sites online or channels)
- Content recommendation widgets (you’ll see these often at the end of news stories on your favourite non-BBC news apps)
- Promoted listings
- Paid search adverts
Taboola, Outbrain and LinkedIn are some of the biggest names in this space and ‘programmatic native’, ‘performance marketing’ or ‘native advertising’ campaigns as they are sometimes called can include content such as adverts (images, headlines etc.), articles, infographics or videos that are used to serve a primary purpose linked to a client KPI or campaign.
How does sponsored content work?
Sponsored content can range from many things, from paid articles (thought leadership, comment pieces, news stories etc), to physical events (sponsored round tables, events, speaking opportunities) to media partnerships, podcasts or social media tie ins. LinkedIn sponsored content is also an option we find popular for B2B and professional services.
The key is picking the right – we call them ‘gold’ – sponsorship targets. The ones that are most likely to resonate with the audiences our clients are seeking to reach, to engage with and to inspire them to see what they’re about.
The opportunities are boundless, but our job as a specialist native advertising and sponsored content agency, is to sift through these – both good and bad – and make recommendations that can deliver a meaningful return.
Want to understand more about native advertising and sponsored content?
If you want to find out more, then feel free to get in touch for a brew and a chat.