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Native advertising has become an increasingly popular online marketing tactic in 2014, proving to be much more effective than traditional display ads which go largely ignored by online viewers. Many major brands have been developing and implementing newly crafted native ad strategies that have proven largely successful, but can small businesses say the same?

In this exclusive interview we’re sitting down with CEO and Co-Founder of Snap Skout, Aaron Goodin to talk about native advertising and small business. In the interview we ask Aaron for his opinion on whether or not small businesses can benefit from native advertising, what they can expect from it, and even get his own personal tips for implementing a successful native ad strategy. For all of this and more, read the full interview below:

Is native advertising important for small businesses?

Yes, it’s not for everyone, but for some small businesses it makes a whole lot of sense. It’s a good choice for businesses that are somewhat tech-savvy, have already tried other types of online advertising (display, social media, search), and have a basic understanding of their target customers’ online behavior. For example, if you own a trendy online women’s accessories store and you know that your target customer shops online, uses social media, and responds to online advertising, then trying native advertising would be a natural next step. Research shows that online consumers favor inline content that integrates elegantly (read: native advertising) versus flashing banner or popup ads that distract.

What benefits can it provide?

  • Increased consumer engagement and sharing by offering a relevant and useful content in an aesthetically pleasing format.
  • Generates new interest in your business—a great tool for lead generation.
  • Offers mobile friendly formats.
  • Low cost options provide opportunity to test different types of formats.
  • Offers small businesses a smart way to subtly attach their messages to content that is more likely to be shared.

What should small businesses realistically expect to gain from native advertising? In marketing terms, what’s the real-world ROI on a native ad campaign?

Unfortunately, because the ROI significantly varies from business to business; it’s extremely difficult to generalize. However, recent data shows that the click through rates for native advertising are considerably higher than traditional display ads. In addition to generating higher click through rates, native advertising has shown to register a 9% higher lift for brand affinity, according to a study of 4,770 participants by IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough.

What should small business owners know about native advertising before they jump into it?

 

  • It’s a new game, so it’s an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors.
  • It can be pricey, but there are cost effective native advertising and sponsored content products that are inexpensive and effective.
  • Make sure that the publications that are offering to display your native ads or sponsored content fits your brand or business.
  • Don’t try to be sneaky—make sure that publications that display your native ads adhere to the proper native ad labeling standards and requirements.

Do you have any tips for small businesses on how develop or implement a successful native ad strategy? What are your top 3 tips?

  1. Start small. Set aside a small amount of your overall marketing budget for native advertising and sponsored content campaigns. Try the bigger social media native advertising options—Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. At the same time, try some of the sponsored content products—Snap Skout, OutBrain and Zementa—all of which offer small businesses an opportunity to reach a targeted online audience.
  2. Develop the right campaign, for the right audience. Make sure that the native advertising campaign supports the overall business goals. Make sure you track your results, test different messages and analyze where you get maximum reach and conversion.
  3. Have fun and experiment. Native advertising provides small businesses to jump in and get creative. If one native ad campaign doesn’t work, change it and try again. Mix it up and don’t forget to have some fun along the way.

Native advertising can be a successful ad strategy for small businesses if they approach it from the right perspective. The most important thing that small businesses can do is understand their customer base and roll out native ad content that is specifically targeted to those users so that they can benefit from interactive ads without wasting their valuable ad dollars.

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Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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the mail online
Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.

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