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Native Advertising in Your App

Written by on Thursday, May 29th 2014

Native Advertising in Your App
Have you ever considered inserting native ads in your app? Native ads are an open secret when it comes to monetizing content. So much so that brands are shying away from traditional advertising. Why? Because this marketers' favorite tool makes for more efficient ad placement, with messages tailored to the target audience.

What are Native Ads?

Native advertising is content that looks like the content usually published on your platform, but is in fact an ad. You can see more and more of them on the web, on websites, blogs and even social media, with "sponsored stories" in your Facebook feed, "promoted tweets" in your Twitter feed, etc. Native ads are becoming increasingly popular because they get better engagement. The idea behind native advertisement is simple: it's about making ads blend in with the rest of the content of the site, thus increasing the chances of readers interacting with it.

Native Ads in My App?

One advantage of native advertising is that it can be used with all sorts of content, articles, videos, photos. With this new form of advertising, a promotional campaign becomes versatile. It can be cross platform and adapt to different audiences, desktop vs mobile for one. If you are promoting an upcoming event for instance, your sponsors' package offering could include: flyers on location, a native ad on your website with an article placing a specific product, and, in-app, a video, promoting the same item but in a different way. For an article section for example, your articles list view would be made up of the articles you usually write, with one article among the list from an advertiser. With a food app, a native ad can feature a restaurant, with an inspiring photoshoot of their delicious dishes, within a "where to eat" section. 

Don't Fool Your Audience

However, there's one fine line which shouldn't be crossed with native ads: making the advertisement blend in with the rest of the content doesn't mean it should be disguised. If you're experimenting with native advertising in your app, don't try to make the ads indistinguishable. Even if the "ad" content is originally produced by you (an article you wrote, a video you made), always indicate clearly to the reader that he is in the presence of advertisement. 

Now, doesn't it defeat the very purpose of native advertising? For starters, a marketing campaign is an actual success only when you can deliver advertisers with real, qualified traffic, and not artificially generated traffic. Traffic that stems from mislead readers ultimately generates fewer leads. Furthermore, you take the risk of harming the reputation of your content and loosing your readers' trust as they realize that they're being led on. If you don't want to lose on all fronts, don't undermine your content and your app's value, make sponsored content subtle but clearly identifiable.  

It's after all your job as a publisher and also that of the brand you'll be partnering with to produce great incentives. It's in both of your interests to provide great ads. As long as your editorial content and a brand's identity are a good match, native ads won't be a traffic deterrent. If you focus on user experience and delete annoying from your advertising strategy you'll see how native ads can pay off.

Provide Value, Reap the Rewards

As a marketer myself, I can tell you that I am OK with paying a little more for native ads, such as placing my company within a great publication, on an influent website or blog, with authority in its sector. Influencers are called this way for a reason, they have leverage on their audience, most importantly, they know their users and can tell you first-hand wether your product will resonate with them or not. Money is well spent if it means getting qualified leads.

With native ads and a native mobile app, you have the best of both worlds. And it also works the other way around. To monetize your business, when looking for an app concept, don't be afraid to target a niche. If your app is centered on one specific topic and you come across as an expert publishing content on this subject, advertisers will be quick to contact you if they want to reach the people that follow you. 

By the way, if you have a great idea for an app but don't know how to get started, don't forget to check out our latest free ressource, our Apps for Beginners ebook:

 Define your App Concept Ebook



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