Among marketers, and most people in the media, the question of the day is whether or not native advertising is the spawn of Satan.
When you consider however that branded content has been around since the 1940s, the argument is a little bit on the late side. In fact, when done correctly native advertising can actually create experiences that some users enjoy. In other words, something far from “evil”.
While there are certainly a select few among the public, publishers and media who are against the changes that native advertising brings, for some publications it’s actually been a godsend. Even better, many users actually love it.
And, evil or not, the effectiveness of native advertising, and its ability to engage readers, is without question.
At the bottom of native advertising you’ll find that it really is meant to pique the readers’ interest and offer something valuable, or at least entertaining, for them to peruse.
Have some native advertising campaigns been ugly? Sure, but regular advertising has had its fair share of flops as well and nobody’s forming mobs to chase it down with pitchforks now are they? In fact, overall the industry is working towards increasing the quality of native advertising as well as making disclosure a top priority.
The truth is, publishers and advertisers have the same goal in mind: create content that readers find valuable, content that increases their affinity for whatever it is that’s being advertised.
Even better, native advertising has been the push that some publishers need to create talented teams of content writers, writers who create messages that don’t focus on short-term sales but rather on the bigger picture of creating a connection with the people that buy their products. They realize that the average consumer doesn’t want to be sold, they want to be informed so that they can make a decision to purchase on their own.
Whatever the case may be, it’s predicted that by 2017 spending on native advertising will reach $5 billion. You can bet that, with this amount of money at stake, advertisers, brands and publishers are going to want to learn how best to spend it right.
More than likely, as native advertising matures, today’s naysayers will become tomorrow’s advocates as they realize that native advertising is developing relationships between brands and their consumers with content that is truly worth watching, reading and enjoying.