Native advertising is pulling ahead as a “go to” tactic for effectively reaching your target audience. Business Insider predicts that by 2021, native advertising will make up 74% of all ad revenue. That is a staggering number.
Why is Native Advertising So Hot?
Native advertising is not a new tactic. Similar to influencer marketing, it’s an age-old strategy with a new name and focus. The rejuvenation comes from audiences becoming increasingly ad-adverse, challenging an advertiser’s ability to reach and engage their ideal audience. While ads are in a state of disruption, the idea of ad content that suits the interests and environment of publications is seen as acceptable. If done right and disclosed properly, native advertising is a welcome option for consumers to hear from advertisers.
As shared in a recent interview with Melanie Deziel, branded content consultant, speaker and expert in residence at BRaVe Ventures, “Native Ads are really important because they allow storytelling in a way that banner ads don’t allow for. There’s not enough space and not enough attention there to really make an authentic connection with a consumer. Part of the reason why advertisers are so attracted to it is that it gives them the chance to have a longer interaction. It allows advertisers to bring more value to the consumer.”
There’s no shortage of great examples of successful native advertising campaigns; the most talked about being Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and the New York Times’ “Woman Inmates.” While this worked very well for Netflix, not all advertisers have the budget for NYT and not all advertisers want to place their bets on one horse. So, what are your options?
Diversifying Ad Spend With Adjacent Media
If one big bet isn’t part of your strategy for native advertising, look to adjacent media sources. Identifying what other, smaller media outlets are also relevant and meaningful to your audience will allow you to diversify your ad spend while reducing risk.
While the New York Times reaches a broad audience that may include your consumer, you are also paying top dollar to reach people you don’t need to reach. Expanding your horizons outside of the large publishers, you will find other niche outlets that also reach your audience. These outlets generally will have a greater share of your ideal audience allowing you to optimize your ad spend.
How To Identify Adjacent Media Opportunities
To find the right adjacent media sources, you need to have a thorough understanding of your audience. You need to know what their interests and passions are, what they care about, and where they go to get their information. One way to do this is through interest-based segmentation which reveals the contextually relevant media sources for your ideal audience.
For example, let’s say that you are trying to reach southern Moms who enjoy country music. Through interest-based segmentation, I know that they trust the New York Times as a source of information. But the data also shows me that this target audience also trusts Us Weekly, Nash Country Daily, MusicRow Magazine, and Parenting.com.
If big bets on native advertising aren't in your strategy, hedge your bets with adjacent media sources that will reach and engage your ideal audience. Diversifying your ad spend will allow you to test strategies and optimize your ad spend.