But first, let’s define native advertising. The terms “advertorial” and “native advertising” are often commingled in conversation, despite meaning very different things. Advertorial refers to branded content controlled by the advertiser, often opinion-based and often unrelated to the broader host environment. In contrast, native advertising refers to branded or integrated content that remains consistent with the visual design and user experience of the environment or media outlet in which it appears.
Admittedly, I was skeptical when I observed credible news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post embracing native advertising. I questioned how they could maintain their journalistic integrity if advertisers paid for content on their sites. However, in analyzing the results, I see reputable native executions that satisfy both the brand advertiser and the consumer audience.
It’s important to draw a clear line against native advertising controlling the expressed opinion in a content piece, such as paying for a positive review of a new product. However, native executions that drive discovery, consumer conversation and brand impression can be powerful and innovative marketing.
The chatter around native advertising typically centers on onsite executions and written editorial. Yet with the increased consumption and ever-expanding distribution of video, brands should be focusing on executing native advertising within the video experience itself, regardless of where the video lives.
Video is a compelling format for native advertising for the same reasons it trumps banner ads. Video enables brands to tell stories at a level of visual appeal and engagement that other formats simply cannot achieve. As part of this trend, a new model has emerged for native advertising in video. Rather than mimic television commercials that jarringly interrupt the viewer’s experience, this new model interweaves engaging content, brand integration, and multiplatform distribution tactics in order to send a stronger brand message to more viewers.
Here are a few quick tips for further developing your video native advertising strategy:
1. Distribution: Don’t limit yourself to a publisher’s site or YouTube alone. If you make an investment in creating compelling video content, then take advantage of today’s multiplatform options to broaden your distribution. In addition, know that video can have a contextual home in more places than written editorial.
2. Measurement: Remember to measure the results, which is easier with video. For example, you can verify if a viewer completed the entire video play, but not if they read an entire written article.
3. Message: Remember that the content is the focus. The idea is to leave the viewer with an experience and impression that reflects positively on your brand, so don’t force your advertising message into the content.Video can be a compelling and measureable way for marketers to go native, keeping viewer’s fingers off the “skip” button by leveraging strong visual integration, low interruption and a thoughtful content message