Bob Garfield

The 2 biggest misconceptions about native advertising

Although its popularity is growing, native advertising still scares marketers. Here are the biggest myths that need to be busted.

Myth: For native to be effective, it has to fool consumers into thinking it's editorial content

One huge misconception marketers have about native is that readers will not click on content if they know it's branded. Marketers believe that in order to get that first click, the content needs to be disguised as other editorial content on the platform they are posting on. There's no doubt that consumers generally don't like being advertised to when they are reading online content, but marketers have become so afraid of alienating consumers with their logo that they try to trick them right from the start. Brands don't have to do that. Highly transparent posts that are clearly labeled as sponsored go on to do just as well as non-sponsored posts when looking at performance. Brands can be up-front and honest about their content, and readers will still click and engage. If you try to pull a bait-and-switch, you run a higher risk of alienating the reader.

Myth: Today's native landscape is as good as it will ever get

For many marketers, native advertising has many problems around scale, measurement, and control. These issues may stave off advertisers who want to get involved because they see it as too risky. While native has a few issues, it's important for marketers to remember that this space is still evolving and is generally pretty new when it comes to scalability. Today's native landscape will look drastically different in six months to a year from now. As the kinks get fixed and trackable ROI gets defined, native will mature and become a big marketing space. Just like banners and Facebook, every new idea has a growth curve, and native is just at the beginning.

No one knows more about this space than Justin Choi, president and CEO of Nativo. In this interview with iMedia, he explains the biggest misconceptions marketers have adopted about the native space, and why they are bogus.

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"Illustration of chalkboard with text facts and crossed myths" via Shutterstock.

 

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