In order to improve their browsing experience, 30% of all internet users now use ad blockers, forcing advertisers to find new strategies for connecting with consumers and generating sales. Native advertising is the solution for many brands. It’s a strategy that has gained popularity over the past ten years, and given how many people are using ad blockers on a daily basis, it seems destined to rule the online advertising landscape for many years to come. In fact, according to studies, native ads will account for 74% of all ad revenue by 2021.
Native advertisements closely resemble the look and feel of the websites and apps where they are used. They can be found on many websites, but they are particularly common on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. They give consumers information at a time when their curiosity is peaking and present it in an understandable way. They are less disturbing because they are much more subdued than banner ads.
There are several figures and facts that demonstrate the advantages of native ads, which have been shown in numerous studies to be more effective than display ads. For instance, did you know that native advertisements boost the likelihood that a customer would make a purchase by 18% and that native ads are viewed 53% more frequently than display ads by consumers? Or the fact that 70% of people say they would rather read about things than watch traditional advertising?
The objectives of any advertising content you write are to capture readers’ attention and then persuade them to proceed further along the buyer’s journey toward making a purchase.
To assist you in doing that, consider the following nine suggestions.
1. Keep your audience in mind
Who are you trying to reach with your ad? Think about what tone would resonate with them and what words they find powerful.
For example, if you’re selling baby items, you’ll want to use language that implies safety, love, and warmth. But if you’re selling tools, your power words will center around ruggedness, strength, and durability.
2. Make sure your ad blends in
Your native ad should be formatted like the surrounding content in terms of headline length and layout. Readers will likely see right through it and move on if it’s not. You’ll also want to keep in mind where your ad will be appearing. If it’s on a website, you’ll want to match the tone of the website.
For example, if you’re placing an ad on a site that’s known for its sense of humor, you’ll want to make sure your ad is funny as well. But if you’re placing an ad on a more serious website, you’ll want to make sure your ad is also serious in tone.
3. Write a catchy headline
Your headline is what will first grab readers’ attention, so it’s essential to make it count. Your headline should be clear, concise, and to the point. It should also be interesting enough to make readers want to learn more.
Some options include:
- Question headlines to pique curiosity.
- Surprising headlines to grab attention.
- How-to headlines that promise value.
- List headlines that are easy to scan.
- Controversial headlines that spark debate.
Consult lists of power words to find ideas that will give your headlines more impact. Here are some examples of power words:
For example, instead of writing a headline like “Travel to Italy on a budget this summer,” you might write “Indulge your family in Rome for less than you’d spend at an amusement park.”
4. Build your case quickly
Once you have readers’ attention, you need to make your case quickly. You only have a few sentences to do this, so make them count. Start by addressing the reader’s pain points and then show them how your product or service can help.
Use language that is clear and easy to understand. And avoid using industry jargon or padding your ad with weak language. Keep distilling your message by strengthening your nouns and verbs and eliminating excess verbiage. For example, instead of saying, “BatX offers the best solution for your bat infestation problems,” say, “Evict your bats with BatX.”
If you can make your case in a single sentence, even better. If your native ads platform limits you to a specific word count, you may feel like you need to use every letter, but that’s not the case. Shorter is better, and white space around your message only makes it stronger.
5. Write your copy from your reader’s point of view.
Notice in the example above, that the subject of the sentence changed from the product, BatX, to the reader. This is an important distinction to make. Your native ad should be focused on the reader and what they want, not on your product or service. Write your copy from the perspective of addressing your reader’s needs.
Convert all your product’s features into consumer benefits. For example, instead of saying, “Our product is made with 100% recycled materials,” say, “You can feel good knowing our product is made with 100% recycled materials.”
6. Don’t waste your images
The right image can do the work of a thousand words. Images can capture a reader’s attention, make them curious enough to read the content and help drive them toward a purchase. But boring photos won’t accomplish any of that. You need to think in terms of visual marketing instead of simply illustrating your content.
The best photos tell a story and complement your headline. For instance, if you’re selling a luxury car, you could add a photo of the car. Or you could show the car driving through gorgeous scenery ad with the headline, “Escape the city.”
In the BatX example above, you could show a photo of a box of BatX. (Well, not really. We made it up!) Or you could show a closeup of a horrified woman with a bat tangled in her hair. Which photo would catch your eye?
In general, images with people — and especially closeups— get the best results. But any image that tells a story and surprises the viewer can be a powerful addition to your ad.
7. Call them to action
What do you want your reader to do? Should they make a purchase, follow a brand, sign up for an e-mail list, or make a reservation? Be sure to include a call to action (CTA) that is clear and easy to follow. Your CTA should be specific, such as “Buy now,” “Sign up today,” or “Reserve your spot.” And it should be placed in a prominent spot so that readers can’t miss it.
If you study the CTAs that have been successful for other companies, you’ll find lots of ideas and inspiration. For example, you might invite your reader to download a case study, view an offer, get a free gift, or install a trial.
8. Consider your buyer’s journey
Which CTA you choose can make a big difference in your conversion rates. It’s much easier to persuade people to “learn more” than to “buy now.”
If your product is the kind of thing people might buy on impulse, at a low price point, then a “buy now” CTA might make sense. But for big-ticket items, you may want to offer an incentive to join your mailing list and develop an email drip campaign that will close the sale later.
9. Test, test, and test again
You can’t improve your native advertising conversion rates if you don’t track your results. Set up goals in Google Analytics and use A/B testing to see what works best. By testing different native ad campaigns, you can learn what works for your business.
For example, you could test different headlines or images to see which ones perform better. Or you could experiment with different CTAs to see which ones get more clicks.
You may also want to segment your audience and test native ads specifically for them. For example, if you’re selling a new product, you might want to create a different ad for people who are already familiar with your product line — those who follow you on social media or who have already visited your website.
By testing different elements, you can gradually improve your native advertising conversion rates and get the most out of your native ads campaigns. Native advertising is a type of online advertising designed to blend in with the surrounding content. It is less intrusive than display ads and can, therefore, be more effective.
When writing native ads, keep your audience in mind and make sure your ad is styled like the surrounding content. Write a catchy headline, build your case quickly, and include compelling images. Make sure you include a clear call to action to convert your reader.
By following these tips, you can create native ads that are both effective and unobtrusive. And you’ll be able to improve your native advertising conversion rates.
How to Create a Successful Native Ad
1. Understand the end goal
When producing any advertising or marketing copy, start by thinking about the end goal. Without knowing what you’d like your work to achieve, it’ll be very difficult to structure and produce copy that can make a significant impact. Each native ad will have a specific objective, such as encouraging your audience to sign up for a newsletter or offering them a free trial. This call to action (CTA) will largely determine the ad creation process.
2. Make it valuable
This should really go without saying, but it’s crucial to keep in mind the idea that your content should always provide value to your audience – this is one of the most important native advertising best practices. It can be tempting to go for the hard sell in ads, but including useful information will be far more successful in the long term. You will have a limited number of characters to play with in your ad, so make every word count. Consider the action you’d like the consumer to take and the type of content that would be most appealing, and you’ll have the foundations in place for a stellar ad.
3. Keep it personal
Ad copy that directly solves a consumer’s problems, and provides them with information that is pertinent to their situation, will connect and entice. Even simple things such as adding the word “you” or “feel” will work to increase engagement. Commit to figuring out the key challenges your audience faces, and then focus your ad copy on them.
4. Write as you would speak
Ad copy that sounds natural is the most persuasive. You can still enhance it with metaphors and flourishes, but it should read as if it’s being spoken. This links to the above point about keeping the content personal; if people feel as though the content is aimed directly at them, they’ll be far more likely to engage with it.
5. Always use the brand name
Consumers continue to make associations with a brand over time, so using the brand name in headlines and descriptions will ultimately lead to more interactions. Even if they don’t click on an ad the first time they come across one, they will still learn what your brand does and what solutions it offers. Should they require services that you provide further down the line, they will recall your brand.
6. Ensure things are simple
Don’t include any words, phrases, or images that could potentially alienate consumers. Use short, snappy sentences, incorporate bullet points if possible, and break up the text with relevant videos and images. The easier it is to read your ad, and the less abrasive it is, the more likely it is the consumer will engage with your content and commit to an action.
7. Include a CTA
This is key. Once you’ve hooked the consumer with your ad, you need to keep them engaged with valuable content that speaks to them. Then, you must encourage your consumers to perform an action. What will they be missing out on if they don’t respond to your CTA? What can you provide that other businesses can’t? How can they find other pieces of content that will appeal? The rest of your native ad has been created to lead people to the CTA, so make this bit count.