Most people don’t want to be sold to, especially when they’re on social media.
Web users tend to ignore ads or any content that looks like one, a behavior known as banner blindness.
Thankfully, there’s a way for businesses to reach a broader audience on social media without being too salesy or promotional: native content.
Native Content: Low-Key But Effective Advertising
Native advertising is a paid marketing strategy that uses content that looks like a site’s non-ad media. Native ads are served to a targeted audience and are more focused on providing useful information or entertaining content. In addition, they blend in with a platform’s natural design and content location.
The non-disruptive presentation, combined with relevant, useful, or enjoyable content, allows native ads to avoid banner blindness and get customers to engage with a sponsored or promoted article or video.
3 Core Native Ad Formats
The IAB Native Advertising Playbook 2.0 released in 2019 has reduced the number of core native ad types from six to three:
In-feed or in-content native ads share the aesthetics of its surroundings, thus flowing with the rest of the platform’s non-ad content.
There are three main types of in-feed/in-content native ads:
- Content Feeds, which are videos, articles, and other native ads that appear in content or news sites;
- Product Feeds, which are shown in retail websites and app listings;
- Social Feeds, which are native posts (articles, photos, videos, or stories) on social media and messaging platforms.
Content Recommendation Ads
Also called a content discovery or sponsored content ads, these native ad types are placed below or next to other publisher content. Similar to in-feed/in-content ads, customers who click on content recommendations are led either to the publisher’s other pages or to an external site.
Also called brand/sponsored/custom content, these paid content appear as a full editorial on the publisher’s site. The branded content may either be created by the publisher for a company or crafted by another content marketing team or blogger.
To increase the content’s reach, these branded content are promoted through in-feed/in-content ads or as content recommendations.
Native Ad Statistics Marketers Must Know in 2020
Below are some key statistics on native content performance, trends, and spending to help inform companies’ marketing strategies for 2020.
- Most (85 percent) apps on the Facebook Audience Network get better native cost per mille (CPM) than banner CPMs.
- Compared to traditional display ads, native ads get 53 percent more views.
- US native digital display ad spend is expected to climb up to $52.75 billion in 2020, or almost two-thirds of the digital display ad spend.
- A 2019 study of 50 content-focused Alexa sites with display ads found that less than half (42 percent) were using native advertising.
- The US native display ad market is expected to become more mobile (in terms of device), more programmatic (in terms of buying method), and less social (in terms of ad medium).
Aside from providing relevant, non-disruptive content, native ads also offer businesses another advantage: social shares.
Many web users skip promotional media but are more likely to view it if people in their circle have liked or shared the post.
And even if none of their connections recommended it, web users see post engagements as signals that a sponsored content is worth checking.
Native content makes it easy for your audience to share your article, image, or video via social media, email, or a messaging platform.
As such, your reach is no longer limited within your followers or people who see your native ads. You can deliver your message to their contacts as well, helping generate more unique views and bringing in new leads.
With native ads, your potential clients are not limited to viewing your content and taking a conversion step.
They can leave a comment, tag their friends, share their opinion, or post your content on their page or group. This encourages people to talk about your business and gives you more opportunities to build and nurture your relationship with your current and new audience.
A high social media engagement can also boost a company’s SEO. It can help them build links, increase their E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), improve branded search results.
Native advertising enables companies to be discovered by the right audience at the right time. Native ads also enable companies to leverage the trust the audience has on a specific platform.
For instance, web users who trust and enjoy National Geographic content are served both non-ad and native content.
The partner content below from Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism looks exactly like other content recommendations and editorial articles, except for texts that indicate that this is a partner post.
This paid content is placed under the National Geographic’s travel section, where people who are interested in the topic are already browsing relevant articles. Readers who liked the article may decide to follow Visit Abu Dhabi on social media, download the app, or book a trip, providing the promoter with new subscribers and potential clients.
As social networks prioritize content produced within their own platforms, posts with external links–i.e., those that encourage readers to leave the social site–are getting less views.
As such, brands are going omnichannel but are prioritizing platforms and content formats that help them reach more of their target clients and strengthen loyalty among existing customers. They then maximize native content and social shares to spread brand awareness within each priority platform.
Aside from going omnichannel, brands can also pick up a social media silo workaround suggested by Brian Dean. The Backlinko founder has been including valuable content on his social media post instead of simply sharing a link to their website.
5 Social Native Content Examples for Brand Promotion
To help you brainstorm native advertising ideas, below are examples of platforms and brands that nailed their campaigns.
Facebook Sponsored Post
Even if your business page has numerous followers and likes, there’s no guarantee that your followers will see your content.
With sponsored posts, you increase the chances that they will see your post the next time they are online.
Oreo’s 50-second video Game of Thrones Title Sequence above has 3.4 million views, 45,000 reactions, 20,000 comments, and 62,000 shares on Facebook.
Brands on Twitter can increase content engagement by promoting new or existing tweets both to their followers and to new audiences.
Sponsored Instagram Videos and Posts
Other brands also partner with influencers to create content that matters to their target audience.
Pinterest Promoted Posts
Since Pinterest is a visual platform, advertisers use attention-grabbing static images or videos, and partner this with copy that gets their viewers hooked.
MasakTV, a cooking tutorial company, used organic video pins to increase traffic from 18-24-year olds and triple their total video views.
LinkedIn Sponsored Updates
Using LinkedIn’s information on users’ location, jobs, titles, education, interests, and affiliations, you can put your native content in front of a highly qualified audience.
Using sponsored content, Lenovo saw a 17-percent increase in brand favorability as well as higher engagement rates.
Even users who steer clear of promotions and use ad blockers will consume promoted or sponsored content if these are in line with their interests.
So make sure to incorporate native advertising in your social media strategy as well as your SEO proposal or plan. Plan them well, make them stand out, and prioritize engagement and value delivery instead of going straight into selling.
Has your business used native advertising to spread brand awareness? What worked or did not work for you? Share your native content best practices and other tips below.
How to Better Communicate With Your Audience Through Email Marketing
You’ve probably heard several people say that email marketing is dead. Since instant messaging apps and social media platforms have entered the picture, people may easily believe this false claim. But, if you’re a business owner who’s on a never-ending quest to improve customer engagement, you should know that email marketing remains an incredibly effective practice.
With over 3.9 billion email users worldwide, it’s not an exaggeration to say that over half of the world’s population can be reached through this channel. As an all-in-one tool, email marketing can perform various functions, such as influencing purchasing decisions, widening brand awareness, and improving one’s sales.
To show you how vital it is, HubSpot has found that over 80% of businesses heavily rely on the channel for their customer acquisition and retention. If you haven’t hopped into the email bandwagon, you should get on board as soon as possible. Statistics show that for every dollar you spend on a campaign, you can potentially acquire $38 in return.
If you’ve already implemented an email strategy but did not get the results you want, you might be wondering how you can improve the performance of your email marketing campaigns. To steer your business in the right direction, the guide below will teach you how in four simple steps.
1. Segment Your Audience
Writing a marketing email is no different than writing a letter to a friend. With this analogy in mind, the first thing you should do is determine whom you’re talking to and why.
Nowadays, there’s no such thing as the average consumer. Given that the market has become more competitive, customer demands have evolved and are now more specific than ever. If you simply send out generic emails that don’t provide any form of value, chances are you won’t capture the interest of your leads.
Before you start sending out promotions, you need to characterize and segment your audience. Even though each customer has his/her own unique characteristics, you can group them all into a specific mailing list. Here are some factors that help marketers establish buyer personas:
- Job Title
- Demographics: Age, Gender, and Location
- Purchasing Capabilities
- Online Behavioral Patterns
- Email Clickthrough Rates
By figuring out the different kinds of people who buy your products, it’ll be a lot easier for you to deliver the right messages to the right set of eyes.
2. Personalize Your Messages
Did you know that including the recipient’s name in an email’s subject line can increase its open rate by 16%? Personalization is a vital component in creating the ideal customer experience, yet many companies fail to do it properly.
When it comes to email marketing, personalization can be done in several ways. Other than including the customer’s name in your email, you can deliver and customize messages based on a subscriber’s characteristics. If a specific customer is in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, sending out an email that can help them decide on a solution will increase the likelihood of a transaction.
It’s no secret that customers greatly value the experience they get from a brand. If you were able to segment your audience accordingly, sending out timely and relevant messages should be a breeze. Apart from sending out specialized promos and discounts, your customers will greatly appreciate it if you regularly send important updates or let them know that your business provides email support.
3. Share Your Story
Your customers don’t just want to transact with your brand; they want to build a relationship, as well. Enticing your leads to convert should always be your goal, but this doesn’t mean that you should only bombard your subscribers with promotions. Aside from advertising your products and services, you should also use email marketing to pave the way for valuable engagements.
Email is a direct and intimate channel that allows your audience to learn more about your business. Now that consumers are more socially conscious, they take a company’s values and beliefs into account before closing in on a business deal.
Sharing stories on how your business began or letting them know your stance on particular issues lets your audience see the human side of your brand and eventually strengthens your online reputation in the long run.
4. Let Data Serve As Your Map
Just like any other discipline under the digital marketing umbrella, your email strategy should be fueled by data. Taking note of important metrics such as your clickthrough rate and overall return on investment primarily lets you see how successful your campaign is. At the same time, harnessing these statistics also lets you identify bottlenecks and enables you to make the right adjustments.
Similar to optimizing your landing pages, email marketing is not a one-and-done task. Complacency is the number one enemy of any brand, and this is why marketers should make it a point to test their email templates periodically. But now, you may be wondering, “Which components of my email campaign should I test exactly?”
Aside from your subject lines, your email’s design, length, and button placement can greatly influence the success of your campaign. People react differently to certain templates, and A/B Testing allows you to see which variation delivers the best results.
Harness the Power of Email
No matter what industry you may be operating in, there’s no denying that nothing grows your business more than customer loyalty. Luckily, advancements in technology have given brands many opportunities for valuable engagements. But, in this fast-paced digital world, it’s easy for business owners to prefer popular channels such as social media and disregard email-marketing entirely.
While it may seem like an old-fashioned way of communicating with your audience, at the end of the day, email marketing still gets the job done. As an all-in-one tool, investing in an email marketing campaign will do more than just optimize your conversion rate.
Just like any other marketing practice, there’s a right way to do things. With the tips above in mind, you’ll be able to take your campaign to the next level and drive your business forward.
About the author
Eliza Espino is an Online PR Specialist for Spiralytics. She recently began her professional career in digital marketing and is continuously learning about the field. One of her goals is to help grow businesses from different industries. Eliza spends her free time exploring films and series that can make her smile, think, laugh, or cry.
How to Increase Your Email Open Rates in 2020
To grow your brand online, you need to market it effectively. This requires you to leverage various forms of marketing.
One of the most reliable forms of marketing is email marketing. There are over 4 billion email users around the world and that makes it a great medium to reach out to a massive audience.
However, for your email marketing campaigns to be effective, you need to ensure that your audience not only receives your emails but also opens them. It’s only then that you can get them to take your desired actions and convert.
Thus, your email open rate is critical for conversion rate optimization. If you can’t achieve a high open-rate, the chances are that your email marketing campaign will not be successful.
So, how can you increase your email open rate?
Let’s find out.
How to Boost Your Email Open Rates
Here’s how you can increase your email open rates.
1. Short Subject Lines
Email subject lines are perhaps the most important part of any email marketing campaign. If you don’t get them right, the chances are that your receivers may never open your email. This would mean that all of the other content of your email will be wasted.
The subject lines need to catch the attention of your receivers and should prompt them to click on your email to open it.
So, here’s a trick – the email subject line also needs to be short.
Because many of your receivers may check their emails on their smartphones. In fact, about 42% of all email opens are on mobiles.
Image via Litmus
Owing to their smaller screen size, smartphones tend to display shorter subject lines. So, if you write a long subject line, the chances are that the receivers may not be able to read it completely. This may reduce the possibility of them opening your email.
That’s why about 82% of experts prefer to use short email subject lines that are less than 60 characters long.
The above-mentioned study also found that the average length of email subject lines is just 43.85 characters.
Yet another reason for keeping your subject lines short is that email apps stop displaying lines longer than 30-40 characters.
2. Subject Line Content
Length isn’t everything, however. The content of your subject line is also important.
While the copywriting has to be on point, you can improve the chances of your receivers spotting your subject lines by adding emojis to them. They can make your subject lines appear unique as only about 6.9% of email subject lines have emojis in them.
To test the efficiency of the subject lines, you can use tracking tools and figure out the impact of the emojis on your subject lines.
Image via AWeber
You could also try to vary the capitalization of your email subject lines to make it appear more unique.
The most common case used is sentence-case with about 60% of subject lines using it. However, only 6% of them are written in lowercase completely. This strategy might come in handy and could help you boost your open rates.
These strategies, of course, don’t apply to transactional emails which may be opened by your customers regardless of the subject line.
3. Segment Your List
One of the most important things you can do to improve your open rate is keeping your email list fresh and segmenting it well. A fresh and well-segmented email list means that only those who’re interested in receiving your emails will get them.
Segmentation means that you can personalize your subject lines and emails for each segment separately. As a result, the emails will seem more relevant to them. Due to this, they’ll be more likely to open your emails to check them out, hence improving your open rates.
Segmentation can be done based on their purchase behavior, demographics, locations, and interests. For instance, you can send emails depending upon the types of products that they’ve purchased from you and suggest similar products to them.
Improving your open rate is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. To get your subscribers to take action, you need to get them to open your emails. For this, you can come up with crisp and attractive subject lines.
You can also add emojis to your subject lines and change their case to make them more unique. Lastly, you should keep your email list fresh by removing inactive accounts and segment it so that you can send out more personalized emails to your subscribers. You can also increase your email subscribers by combining your email marketing with social media marketing strategies using social media marketing tools.
Do you have any questions about the tips above or need help boosting your email open rate? Let me know in the comments.
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