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People in marketing and advertising love marketing and advertising; so much so that they constantly re-brand their own profession as “new” every time they feel things aren’t getting enough attention. Native Advertising is one such example.

We first started seeing the term “Native Advertising” thrown around as a buzzword in mid- to late-2012 as a way to categorize a collection of advertising practices that have actually existed within internet marketing and advertising since the 1990s.

As with most things, a lot of agencies have tried to claim that they are “innovators in the space,” or a variety of other mumbo jumbo. Meanwhile, as veterans of the internet marketing space, the team at Fang Digital Marketing instead said, “Oh, huh? We’ve been doing that all along!”

 

What is Native Advertising?

Native Advertising is a collection of display/banner advertising types that are integrated into the existing design of a publisher’s website. Native Advertising is often considered a form of site content itself, and can take the form of sponsorships (sponsored content), advertorials, interactive content, integrated graphics, videos, or photos, promoted tweets on Twitter, promoted stories on Facebook or branded content on Pinterest.

Basically, it’s a form of display/banner advertising, but on a more customized and often interactive level.  It also appears to be a bit of a backlash to banner ad networks and demand-side platforms. These types of advertising buys are managed more like paid search advertising, in that they are often self-service style agreements with publishers and allow advertisers to run a small collection of untargeted banners over thousands of websites.

 

How Can I Get Started with Native Advertising?

Now that we’ve defined Native Advertising, you’re most likely realizing that you’ve probably done some form of it before, you trend setter you.  If you’ve ever sponsored an area of a publisher’s site or did a pre- or post-roll on a video, or created an infographic for distribution, or woven your brand into a game, or bought a sponsored tweet or story, or…well, you get the point.

Native Advertising isn’t new, but if you’ve somehow made it all this time without doing any of the above as an advertiser, getting started can take a bit of work. You can start by identifying your target market, then building a list of sites where your target market lives, refine that list of sites down to those that are contextual to your product, then reach out to those sites and negotiate a collection of advertising agreements that fit within the Native Advertising guidelines we discussed above.

Back in the Good Old 50s, they used to call this “Media Buying.”  Here at Fang Digital Marketing, we still do. The team at Fang Digital Marketing isn’t big on buzzwords, because we know they come and go with the wind (“Wind Turbine Marketing”, perhaps?).  Simply put, we are a team of marketing and advertising specialists who happen to focus on the internet and mobile advertising spaces.

 

Native Advertising Case Studies

As we mentioned earlier, Native Advertising isn’t new, so providing case studies isn’t much of a stretch.  Here’s a set of particularly effective Native Advertising examples that were parts of larger advertising campaigns that included traditional display advertising, mobile advertising, search engine advertising, social media advertising and much more.

Both of these case studies have been created in conjunction with our traditional media agency partner, Always On Communications. In addition to those presented here, Fang Digital Marketing has created other Native Advertising campaigns in the form of Facebook sponsored stories, sponsored tweets on Twitter and much more.

 

Case Study 1.

Finding Foodies

The Client: A national, U.S.-based gourmet food manufacturer, specializing in ready-made pastas and sauces.

The Target:

  • Female Foodies

The Solution:

  • You can read more about this case study in our “Mass Market Food Product Company Case Study.”
  • The Native Advertising portion included integration into a popular, women-focused blog network whereby the brand’s products were provided to a selection of bloggers for an honest and open review.
  • The bloggers prepared the various pastas and sauces at home, some per the packaging, some with their own flair. They took pictures, provided commentary and solicited interaction from their readers on how they could have done things differently.

The Results:

  • The brand enjoyed an increase in both brand awareness and sales that lasted long past the boundaries of the advertising campaign.
  • As an added bonus, the integrated blog posts spilled out onto other forms of social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, as the various blogs’ readers shared the recipes with their friends.

 

Case Study 2.

Pinning Down Moms

The Client: International electronics and electronics accessory manufacturer who was introducing a new, home automation-based baby monitor.

The Target:

  • Modern Moms

The Solution:

  • A large-scale solution that spanned both traditional and digital advertising, including a collection of Native Advertising components including sponsorships, content integration and more.
  • Of special interest was a Pinterest-based contest, which we ran in conjunction with a major baby publication. Visitors were encouraged to create their ideal nursery, which of course included the brand’s baby monitors, in an attempt to win a “dream nursery” from the magazine and our brand, as the sponsor.

The Results:

  • As we write this, the campaign is still in its infancy; however, the initial reaction has been very encouraging. You might say it’s growing up fast. And healthy.