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Native Advertising 101: How To Think About The New Buzzword of The Marketing World

Native advertising and content marketing have become the most talked about topics in the world of marketing globally. The sharp decline in display ads effectiveness and the rise of ad-blockers in a mobile-first world have led to a search for alternative mediums. And many marketers claim they have found it in native content marketing.

In Bangladesh, where Facebook dominates the digital marketing space, native advertising is yet to get a foothold. However, many progressive brands are trying the medium experimentally. In fact, we have done a couple of experiments from our in-house content studio Storylab with brands like IDLC, Better Stories, Boomerang Digital, Doctorola, G&R, Ispahani, hubdhaka, Transpay, BD Venture and a few others.

Being said that, the understanding of native content marketing is not there yet in Bangladesh. Most people still don’t understand how native ad works and what are the basic differences between native advertising, content marketing, and traditional ad formats. This article aims to deal with the basic understanding of the native advertising:

  • According to François-Xavier Préaut of Outbrain, “native ad is a format that is well-integrated and very personalized—a unique format that is suited to the website on which I find myself”. The purpose is to offer relevant content to your audience in line with the platform and also to engage your audience in a value driven way. You must not put something that disappoints your audience once they click on the link.
  • The native ad is about content. It is not a format where you reproduce your old display advertisements. Instead, it is more about creating relevant and valuable content for your audience that they would love. If you are reproducing display ads in the native format that’s not going to work.

A shift in how marketers approach advertising

  • The major distinction between traditional advertising and native ad is that: traditional advertising is intrusive whereas native content marketing aims to offer useful content to the audience in order to engage them.
  • Native content marketing is a pull advertising approach where the internet user himself is engaged and clicks on the link because he is interested in it.
  • The native ad format seeks to engage through content, whereas other formats seek to push a message upon its audience and try to reach more people through impressions.
  • While banner ads and other formats are struggling on the mobile platform, native content format thrives on the small screen. Being said that, if we reproduce ad content that is intrusive and is not value driven, users would again run away from the format.

Native content marketing is seeing a growing interest among marketers in Asia-Pacific region according to a report by Warc and King Content. More than 51% marketers said that native advertising was more credible than traditional advertising.

It is hard to predict the future of the format, but it can easily be said that if it is done right, keeping in mind that internet users are not fools and that people pay attention to things they find valuable and useful, the format is well suited to do well in a world full of distractions.
On a separate note, we are offering a small scale native ad and content marketing service from our in-house branded content studio Storylab, if you are interested in trying our service, you can directly email me to ruhul@futurestartup.com

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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