It’s a challenge for all businesses – how do you reach your target audience in an effective way that creates awareness, engages and provides helpful information, ultimately transforming someone into a customer?

No doubt, a comprehensive digital media strategy is an imperative component to any solid marketing plan. The challenge today is that consumers are becoming savvier (and less tolerant) of traditional ads, sometimes making your ad irrelevant and ineffective. It’s no wonder Adblockers are becoming the weapon of choice for many consumers, making it much more difficult to deliver your message to target audiences.

So what’s a business supposed to do to?

The answer may be in the rise of native advertising. In a nutshell, effective native advertising grabs audience attention by not sticking out like a sore thumb – think of it as ad camouflage. And let’s face it – consumers in this day and age not only expect good content – they demand it.

Native ads can be complex or simple, contain video, text, visuals, and even games and quizzes. They can be serious, humorous, educational and/or entertaining and placed on a variety of different online platforms including social, news and numerous other websites.

It’s important to remember, however, like a typical website blog, native ads are information-based – they don’t blatantly promote your company’s product or service, but instead engage the reader by offering them useful and/or entertaining content.

For a humorous example, Gawker and Newcastle created a tongue and cheek native advertising piece entitled “We’ve Disguised This Newcastle Ad as an Article to Get You to Click It.” Gawker chose to weave humor with interesting and relevant content and video, which in itself is a winning strategy. What makes this a real winner in our book, however, is the transparency – another important factor in native advertising. Combining these elements paid off handsomely for Newcastle as they experienced both positive feedback and a bump in beer sales.

BuzzFeed also works very well within the native advertising realm, working with brands to create content that blends seamlessly within their site. When Intel partnered with BuzzFeed to promote their company, BuzzFeed’s answer was to create a piece with images, gifs and content entitled “15 Things We Did At School That Future Students Will Never Understand.” There are many more, but this “ad” was able to convey humor, history and the pre-tech educational experience all in one post, ultimately complementing Intel’s overall brand – and products and services they offer.

And while these are just two examples of native advertising, the possibilities are endless. Just always keep in mind that the most critical aspect of this medium is to provide engaging content.

If your content doesn’t come with value, your audience will simply refuse to engage, throwing your ad into the Internet’s lonely black hole of advertising that never sees the light of day. And a sad, lonely ad is no way to represent your brand, anyway. Tell your story in a unique way and you’ll find your audience will engage – eventually becoming loyal ambassadors for your brand.

If you’re ready to take your business or organization to the next level and expand your audience reach with the power of digital media, Giles-Parscale can help. Our holistic approach to branding, marketing and advertising combined with our professional team of digital media strategists, videographers and designers ensure your story is told in an engaging, effective way using a multitude of platforms that best reach your target audiences.

About Giles-Parscale

With more than 20 years experience in digital media, branding, marketing and advertising, Giles-Parscale is a nationally recognized design + digital agency, and one of the largest agencies in Texas, representing a wide variety of clients throughout the United States. The Giles-Parscale diverse team of designers, developers, digital media strategists and marketing specialists represent and provide services for more than 750 clients throughout the United States. It is our strategic blend of award-winning storytelling, design experience, innovative web development, public relations and digital marketing strategy that makes us unique, setting us apart from the competition.