First of all, let’s dispel with some common misconceptions revolving around Native Content. Native Advertising, as is the accepted industry nomenclature, is often misconstrued to be a part of Content Marketing. This cannot be further from the truth as Content Marketing is an essential aspect of your brand’s overall marketing strategy with the primary objective of deriving some kind of profitable responses from users engaged in the content being circulated by you. These actions are initiated across various platforms which would include your own platforms like your website, social media platforms, YouTube channels etc. The dissemination of content across your own platforms is a rent-free mechanism to acquire and engage with your target audience. The desire to go beyond the limitations and reach of your own platforms is where the advertising aspect of content marketing comes into play. Marketing 101, if it’s a pay and play model for running your content on other platforms, it will be called advertising. But in the interest of not scaring away the dithering masses from the word ADVERTISING, we will continue with the usage of the term NATIVE CONTENT for the remainder of this article.
The above discrepancies in terminology is not entirely unfounded as we come to understand the very nature of native content. Native content was an earth shaking innovation in the advertising industry which saw it’s true potential being realized somewhere after 2010. As we all know regular advertising, which has been around for eons, had the sole purpose of driving the attention of potential customers away from their competitors and towards themselves through catchy phrases, attractive visuals and magnetic brand personas. Although these have proven time and again that they work, they had one apparent flaw which didn’t always curry favour with the audience that they were to be consumed by, they were DISRUPTIVE in nature. Not every user was pleased to see a pop-up ad while surfing their favourite website, or a TV commercial break in just before the climax of the movie you were watching. In fact the phenomena of ad bombardment drew away millions of people away from the concept of advertising all together which resulted in a negative trend in consumer behavior.
Enter NATIVE CONTENT!!! Native content was specifically designed to blend in with the overall content experience and stylized parameters of various platforms it pops up in. So when a user is navigating his/her way on a website, the paid content which is being pushed through from a non-native brand must strictly adhere the content structure and layout. This is done specifically to avoid user ad-fatigue on the host platform, and in many cases, completely doing away with the perception of any generic advertising on the platform altogether. The very reason many of the brands went ahead with native advertising instead of other mediums like banner advertisements is because if the user consumes the content from their trusted platforms in a seamless and NON-DISRUPTIVE manner, the brand recall and content retention will be stronger without the taint of it being a PAID advertisement. Even though paid content is specifically mentioned as being so, if the stream of information is relatable and relevant for the user, the chances of breaking through to the potential customer greatly improves and the chances of achieving the primary marketing objectives.
Native content comes across in many forms and can range from the time testing marketing vehicles like Advertorials, to the hot and happening avenue of INFLUENCER MARKETING. To many users who may not be acquainted with the subtleties of native content, the underlying tones of profit seeking marketing goals may just completely escape under the aegis of genuine content from their trusted platform. To help familiarize users with the different kinds of native content, here are some prime examples of Native Advertising across different platforms:
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The above are just a few examples of paid content which is showcased and projected to the user with minimum disruptions in the content flow. With the business mandated requirement of generating revenue and the credibility retention necessity to maintain their current user bases, native content has given tremendous flexibility and power to the media owners of today ushering in an era of brilliant marketing innovations and creative convergence of ideas. With the advent of the mobile platform and digitalization of most content, there has never been a more opportune period for native content