Every time a customer interacts with your brand, you have an opportunity to build upon that relationship. When customers are engaged with your brand, their interest increases, which means they are more likely to make purchases.
You can increase your customer engagement rate through native advertising by personalizing your message and connecting with your readers. Below, we’ll go over the 10 best strategies for maximizing your native advertising engagement rate.
The Best Advertising Formats for Engagement
Nearly half of marketers say native advertising is a very effective marketing strategy. One of the primary reasons it yields significant results is because it’s more engaging than other advertising strategies. Native advertising blends in with the surrounding content, providing a seamless viewing experience for your readers.
Consumers also engage with native advertisements more than other strategies because it’s more trustworthy. For example, about 54% of consumers won’t click on banner ads because they don’t trust them. Plus, banner ads can also decrease page load speed. On the other hand, you publish native advertising content on third-party sites like reputable news publishers, which makes them more trustworthy and doesn’t impact page loading speeds on your website.
Because they blend in with the surrounding content, native ads have greater authenticity and build trust with readers, who are more likely to engage with your marketing content.
How Do You Measure Your Ad’s Engagement?
Your engagement rate is measured by the percentage of readers who interact with your content. Some actions that count as interactions include:
- Sharing your content
- Liking a post
- Commenting on your content
- Clicking on links
- Filling out forms
If your content saw 1,000 impressions and 100 of those readers performed a follow-up action, your engagement rate would be 10%.
Your engagement rate is important to monitor as it tells you how well you relate to your audience. It allows you to track whether your content connects with your audience and delivers results or if most of your readers aren’t interested in and leave without clicking any links.
Use your engagement rate to continually optimize your native ads to remain relevant and produce positive results.
10 Strategies Advertisers Should Adopt to Improve Their Native Advertising
Use these 10 strategies to maximize the return from your native advertising efforts by increasing your online engagement.
1. Understand Your Audience
Knowing your audience lays the framework for your native advertising strategies. If you market your content to the wrong audience, you won’t see the engagement you’re hoping for. You can acquire the data you need to understand your audience through several channels, including:
- Current customer data
- Website analytic reports
- Consumer surveys
- Mapping a buyer’s journey
- Third-party data sources (like online search reports)
This data tells you who your target audience is, where they are most likely to go for information, and their main pain points. You can use this data to create buyer personas. These fictional representations of potential customers will help you design relatable and engaging content for your audience.
2. Make Your Ad Relevant to the Surrounding Content
Native advertising is so unique and effective because it blends in with the surrounding content to provide a seamless user experience. For example, as readers finish an article in The New York Times about the current economy, they will see recommendations for related content at the bottom of the article.
You want your native ads to connect to the previous content, as readers are most likely to read that content. Understanding the publisher helps you create content that connects.
For instance, a financial software company can advertise content about improving financial processes using their software at the end of an article on finance. The reader who sees the ad is already guaranteed to be interested in the topic, which means they are more likely to respond positively.
3. Use Different Media Formats
Visuals are an essential component of online media. People don’t want to simply read blocks of text. Instead, they want to learn through videos, images, infographics, and live events. By including multiple media formats, you are more likely to capture your readers’ attention and encourage a response.
For example, video was the top marketing format in 2021, with 80% of marketers saying it increases sales. By embedding a video in your blog article, you can improve your engagement and see a greater return on your advertising investment.
4. Keep Your Ad Clutter-Free
The fastest way to hurt your engagement is to overcomplicate your actions. If your audience has to navigate pop ups, cluttered pages, and multiple links to engage with your content, you will lose most of them along the way.
Simplifying your content increases engagement by smoothly moving your readers through the page. As a result, they can stay on one page and perform the required actions with minimal disruption to their previous browsing experience on the publishing site.
For example, you can include a form for the reader to fill out directly on your content instead of asking them to exit out of the page to access the lead generation form.
5. Include Several Actions Readers Can Take
Only 4% of your website visitors are ready to purchase your products. That means 96% of your traffic is only browsing. If converting leads is the only action presented by your native ads, you will miss out on connecting with most of your readers.
To increase engagement, offer your readers several options. For example, you can link to a lead generation form and provide a link to your website for further reading in case your audience isn’t ready to share their personal information. This way, you can keep your readers engaged with your brand even if they aren’t interested in the primary call to action.
6. Reward Engagement
People love free things, whether that’s a free sample in the grocery store or a key chain they acquire at an event. If it’s free, people are often willing to exchange information or time to gain the item.
You can use the same strategy for your native advertising to encourage engagement. Adding “Free” in large letters will catch your reader’s attention and compel them to share their personal information. Some free items you can offer your readers include:
- Webinars or other online events
- Demos or trials
To access the free item, you can ask your readers to provide their name and email, which generates quality leads for your marketing team to nurture.
7. Offer Something of Value
If your content is too pushy and sounds like a giant ad, your readers will be turned off from your content. The average person sees about 10,000 ads each day. You don’t want to add to that noise.
A more effective way to reach your audience is by using your native ad to generate interest in your brand as an initial touchpoint. Then, you can create demand, educate customers about your brand and products, and teach them valuable industry insights for every part of the sales journey.
By offering value through your content instead of only selling products, you build trust with your readers and encourage them to engage with your content.
8. Brand Your Content
What do you think of when you see a gray apple silhouette with a bite out of the side?
Just about anyone in America would know that Apple Inc. is the answer to that question. Apple’s logo is the most recognizable logo in the US. Some other companies with easily recognizable branding include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Starbucks. Seeing these brands’ colors and logos instantly instills trust because they are familiar.
Branding marks your content and products as your own. Using consistent colors, fonts, logos, slogans, and tone of voice across your content helps make your brand easily recognizable and builds trust with your audience.
As people learn to trust your brand, they will also engage more with your content.
9. Optimize Your Content
Not all publishers are the same, and each site on which your native ads appear might be slightly different. Some websites post sponsored content on a sidebar, while others post it at the bottom. The amount of text that appears above the fold might also vary.
Optimize your content for the sites on which it will appear to create a positive experience through proper formatting. You can also adjust the message to make it more relatable for your audience on each platform.
Another way to optimize your content is to create dedicated landing pages for your internal links that bring your readers to customized pages depending on the source of the content. This creates a personalized experience, which builds trust with your readers.
Customizing the experience increases engagement, as 70% of consumers are more likely to engage with personalized marketing.
10. Ask Your Readers to Engage with Your Content
Sometimes, all you need to do to increase engagement is ask your readers to respond. Your audience might not interact with your content if you don’t encourage them to do so. Asking them to like, comment, or share your post might be just what your audience needs to start engaging.
Fill Your Pipeline with Engaged Leads
You can attract more quality leads by creating engaging and relevant native ads. RevContent helps you reach those leads and generate more sales by connecting you with publishers that have a large, quality audience.
Contact us to learn more about our native advertising solutions.