Organic growth in digital media consumption is driving budget allocation towards associated advertising, with digital investment expected to grow almost 13% year-on-year, reaching around half of the total APAC ad spend.
But, as we enter a new decade, marketers must carefully consider where those budgets are spent. Tempting as it may be to go for attention-grabbing techniques and quick wins, these will only result in ad fatigue and avoidance, as well as damage to brand reputation. Instead, marketers should take a longer-term approach. By investing in an engaging and non-intrusive digital strategy that is tailored to the individual needs of the consumer at every stage of the Sales funnel, marketers can build trust and ultimately drive customer loyalty.
Native advertising provides the mechanism for this approach. Instead of bombarding consumers with intrusive and irrelevant ads designed solely to drive response, native delivers high-quality creative content in a variety of formats which all tell an intriguing and well-crafted brand story, educate and inform the audience, and align with the cross-channel customer journey.
Let’s take a look at three types of Native advertising that will encourage customers along the path to purchase in 2020.
Native video captures attention
There may be various top of the funnel tools which marketers can use when prospective customers are in the right mind-set for discovery, but native video is one of the most effective at creating familiarity, painting a picture in the individual’s mind and generating positive brand perception. It has numerous advantages over more traditional outstream or instream video ads in that it is far less intrusive and can instantly detect whether there are other videos on the page, preventing it from running in parallel.
In a mobile-first society, short-form video ads are highly effective at capturing attention and introducing the brand without out-staying their welcome. However, the Video advertising opportunity is likely to evolve further in the coming decade; with the flourishing Video streaming market shifting from a subscription-supported model to a predominantly ad-supported model and viewers consuming more video via Connected TVs (CTV) and Over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Technologies such as dynamic SSAI will enable targeted ads to be stitched into long-form Video content, delivering a personalized TV-style experience.
Content encourages engagement
Once a customer is aware of a brand and is moving along their purchase journey, native content can help to engage them on a deeper level. From articles that tell inspiring stories to informative how-to guides, native content is designed to inform, entertain and engage individuals that want to know more. Because it provides genuine value to the customer, Content Marketing is better received than other forms of advertising; it creates an uplift in positivity, immersing the customer in the brand story.
For native content to be effective and engaging it needs to be relevant to the customer, which means using real-time data signals to target niche audiences. However, at a time when data privacy is a hot topic and trust in digital services to manage personal data is very low, marketers must take care of data-driven targeting.
It is essential that they take a minimal approach, collecting only as much data as they need for effective targeting and personalization; they must be completely transparent about their data practices, fully explaining the value exchange to their audiences. In the coming decade, brands who are fully open about their use of data and able to demonstrate responsible data management will gain consumer trust and build a strong reputation.
Landing pages drive conversion
When the customer is nearing the bottom of the funnel and is closer to the point of purchase, native ads that take them to a landing page can be a highly effective strategy. A landing page is a standalone web page where prospects are directed to close the deal. However, not all landing pages are created equal; sales-centric pages, for instance, tend to have high bounce rates, while interactive pages are far more effective.
Going into the 2020s, marketers should ensure their landing pages have a clear and concise headline that captures the customer’s attention, along with a compelling subheading to give context. If the headline encourages a visitor to look at the page, the subheading is what convinces them to stay. These two elements should ensure customers know what is on offer within seconds of arriving on the page. In addition, a landing page should have large, relevant and high-quality imagery and a strong call to action that is clear and prominent without overpowering the page.
Furthermore, rather than only addressing the functionality of a product or service, marketers could also include persuasive copy that outlines the emotional need that it will fulfill, along with social proof in the form of credible reviews or testimonials.
Native advertising comes in many forms and is the ideal mechanism to coax customers along the path to purchase, in a welcoming, non-intrusive way, by involving them in the brand story. From the top of the funnel videos and engaging content to persuasive, bottom of the funnel landing pages, marketers that get creative with native in the 2020s will build trusting relationships and drive customer lifetime value.