Be clear with consumers about paying for content (i.e., “native advertising”), because tricking consumers with native advertising hurts marketers more than it helps.
“Marketers are not best served when readers are fooled by a site to see their advertisement as editorial content,” writes Ryan Skinner in his Sept. 24 blog post, “Who Paid for This Content?!”
The “‘get a click at all costs’ mindset” causes a bad customer experience, says the analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research.
“These issues would be solved if online publishers made it 100 percent clear—24-point bold clear—that content paid for directly by an advertiser is just that,” Skinner says.
Consumers are more than willing to absorb content from marketers if it’s useful, informative or entertaining, he explains. But there is a risk for marketers, even if they reach that bar. Skinner says, sometimes brands “don’t translate their advertisements to the native context (your latest product news won’t fly next to native editorial).” In another scenario, the “10 Things a Kitten Would Tell You If Kittens Could Talk” post draws consumers in, but the brand disappears.
In order to successfully tie native advertising to brand value, Skinner suggests marketers ask themselves:
1. What constitutes relevant and contextual insertion of our brand directly into a site’s native content?
2. What value are you able to get from the site on top of the specific insertion?
3. How does the native placement interact with everything else you’re doing (on that site and elsewhere)?