Today you can see examples of native advertising on many popular websites such as CNN.com, Huffington Post, The Onion, Fast Company, The New York Times and various local newspapers – as well as other popular online magazines and websites. The way you can spot native advertising is that it does not look like an advertisement or the old-fashioned advertorial. Instead it’s sponsored useful content that does not read as an advertisement but as useful content in and of itself that the audience will likely enjoy.
There are some experts who do not believe that sponsored posts are really native advertising. They consider them regular advertising. Copyblogger’s Demian Farnworth is one expert who defines native advertising as:
“… [P]aid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations.”
But Wikipedia defines native advertising as any advertising that appears within the context of the publisher’s website based on content that is sponsored by the publisher or promoted by the creator. In other words, the content is paid for in some way. In some cases “paid for” means that a brand might donate the product that is being featured in order to promote brand awareness instead of money exchanging hands.
Many of CNN’s stories, especially when it has to do with a new product, a movie, or a star, is likely a form of native advertising done really, really well. Even if no money changes hands... if a brand is mentioned, it’s all about brand awareness, and you can be sure that the brand solicited the story in some way.
This is a parody site that makes its money off ads and uses a lot of native advertising to do it. With The Onion, it can be really hard to know which articles are really advertisements in some way. But, there are all kinds of native advertising going on within The Onion including paid posts, sponsored posts, and donated product placement.
They use native ads by having companies sponsor different stories that may or may not be about the brand. They also have content written by brands and promoted by brands. It’s a really good example of a website that uses many different forms of advertising very well. A good example is a post published by and promoted by ExxonMobile entitled “What Kind Of Engineer Should You Be?” This is very informative content for the reader, plus a line of tweets mentioning ExxonMobile to the right.
This website gets most of its ad revenue from native advertising as most of the posts are created by and promoted by other publishers. Cracked works with brands to create sponsored content, unlike Buzzfeed which allows brands to create the content themselves. They prefer to create the content themselves in order to maintain their specific standards to create off the charts, funny, irreverent and awesome content.
Native advertising is an important way for brands to get their message out to the world, create brand awareness, and get more visitors to their own websites.
Businesses – from insurance companies to cleaning companies and many in between – use native advertising to make more sales and increase brand awareness. Whether you are a large or small business, you can participate in native advertising too. And you should, because it works very well to get the word out about your business. Here are examples of business who use native advertising, and how they do it.
As you can see, the number and type of native ads that brands are using are many. This means that there is a place for your business to also use native advertising. The barriers to entry are really low when it comes to pushing out sponsored posts on Twitter and Facebook, and to use a system like Outbrain.com.
There are three types of exposure available to marketers, namely “owned,” “paid” and “earned.” They are all important to the success of your business, but none is more important than earned media. Earned media is the best exposure you can hope for, and while you do not pay for it, and you cannot control it, you do earn it through your actions. Earned media is a far more trusted form of promotion than any other type of promotion because it is seen as truth.
As you can see, earned media can easily become confused with owned and paid media. But, if you can get it clear in your mind that earned media is information about your business that is created and distributed by third parties, then it’ll be easier to understand. The only exception is the case of information that goes viral.
Knowing this, you can somewhat direct the earned media that happens. You can direct it by providing excellent content that has a chance of going viral. Plus, always offer top-notch products and services that your customers will voluntarily want to talk about you to their friends in multiple formats. Remember - whether the discussion about you is negative or positive, it’s still earned media.
You therefore need to seek to control the story by sending out newsworthy press releases to the right contacts that will take ownership of your story and disseminate it to their audience. Provide excellent customer service, terrific products, second-to-none services and you can have some measure of control over the earned media that is out there about you.
There are many different trends and stats available for digital magazine publishers. It’s important to keep up-to-date on these trends and statistics so that you can stay ahead of the game and publish the best magazine you’re capable of publishing for your audience. It’s clear that things are changing in the publishing world due to the easy entry into publishing through the advent of digital magazines and the different platforms to publish them.
Digital magazines are becoming more popular for formerly print magazines. Plus, the barriers to entry are so low that anyone can create and publish a digital magazine for any topic and niche that they desire. What’s clear is that there will be more to choose from for the audience, which means you’ll need to market harder than ever.
If you’re a trend watcher in your industry (and you should be), you’ll notice that times are changing for 2018 when it comes to online marketing. Gone are the impersonal days of the past where you could be anonymous and still rake in six figures. Today, your customers want to know you even more.
In 2018, the biggest change in how you market to your audience will be the amount of marketing you do. You’re going to have to do it more than ever before to stand out from the crowd, and more and more creatively than you thought you could be. You may even consider hiring other experts to help you improve in 2018.
There is no question that multi-channel marketing offers a high return on investment. It doesn’t matter what your product is – if you’re not sending your message to multiple channels in multiple ways, you’re going to miss a large portion of your audience. Reaching more of your audience translates into higher profits. But, along with these profitable opportunities comes challenges.
It’s tempting when moving to a new channel for marketing to change your entire personality. However, you actually want to keep your message consistent no matter what channel you’re sending the message.
Think about brands that you know. Taco Bell, Netflix, Facebook – all of these are very recognizable to us regardless of where we see them being discussed. Even if we just see the bell we know what it’s about.
Your audience is not everywhere, but you should be where your audience is. You’ll need to understand who your audience is and where they “hang out” to know where you should be sending your marketing messages.
While your audience doesn’t change completely based on the channel they’re using, the way you talk to them might change a little. Your message is the same, but how you say it may be different. Twitter requires you to use 140 characters, while on TV you might have 30 seconds. This requires different approaches to delivering the same message. So knowing who you’re talking to and where you’re talking to them will help.
You’ve heard a lot about finding your voice, but the truth is, the voice you need to find isn’t yours. It’s your customers’ voice. Who is your audience and what do they need to hear? What do they want to know? What is it about them that makes your product work for them? It’s never about you; it’s always about them.
The other challenge with multi-channel marketing is ensuring that for those of your audience who see your message on different channels, or visit you from different channels, have a consistent experience. This can be confusing and difficult if you aren’t sure who you are, or who your audience is, or understand what your product does for them.
Each channel has different metrics that are important and different methods for which to analyze them. Click-through rates on your website to your sales page are counted using different software than click-through rates within your newsletter. You need to understand how it all works and ties together and what it means, as well as which numbers you want to test.
It can be difficult to put all these parts together into a cohesive marketing campaign. But, every channel works together as well as independently. Each should stand alone, but each should be integrated as well. This can be a big challenge for many marketers.
Finally, no matter what happens you have to continually test every aspect of your multichannel marketing effort. Nothing is ever done until you understand the results of each effort. Success or failure comes down to the numbers.
When people search for information online, they look for about the same things that a search engine does. They do the search and then evaluate whether or not the information is authentic and useful to them. If you always seek to provide high value information to your visitors, you’ll be a lot more likely to not only attract a high quality of customers to your website, but also to keep them there. Here are some great ways you can provide that high value that people are looking for.
Most bloggers don't really understand the power in providing value to their visitors, so they miss out. But now you know that providing high value through the various types of content you offer can increase the traffic and even improve traffic loyalty.
When it comes to building traffic to your website, the thing to remember the most is that quality matters more than quantity. You’ve likely heard before that “less is more,” and that’s definitely true when it comes to building traffic to your website using methods like blogging, social media marketing and more. But, in some ways the idea of quality over quantity is not even a real choice.
The thing is, high quality should be a given. The next question is how much time you have to devote to producing the type of quality that you want to produce, and how quickly you want to experience success. It's all a numbers game and easy to break down if you understand your niche and industry.
When you determine the type of traffic you want, it will dictate the type of content you create for your audience. Then, figure out how many visitors you need to get to your website to convert to a certain number of sales. Work out how each piece of content you use, and each pay per click you add, affects those goals, and from this you can create a plan of action.
That plan needs to include both quality and quantity, at least up to the point where you are generating the amount of traffic you need to generate in order to earn the amount of money you've planned to earn.
For example, suppose in your niche an average daily visitor total is 200 a day, your product costs 20 dollars and your conversion rate is 5%. This means that for every 200 visitors, you'll make 10 sales. That would be, in this case, $200 dollars per day gross earnings for your efforts. If you want to have more results, you'll need to produce above average traffic or increase the price of your product.
The best way to increase traffic is to increase the amount of activity on your website through blog posts and various other types of content that you offer your audience, but to keep the quality high. So, that's why the idea of a choice between quality and quantity is really not a real choice. Depending on your goals, you may have to do both. You're always going to need to produce high quality information or products - that's expected. But, you may bring the quantity of the content you add to your website or the development of new products up faster or slower depending on your goals.
When developing your online marketing plan, you have to take into account all your goals for it. You need to understand who your audience is, how to make them aware of you, and what their buying process is so that you can create the best online marketing plan for them.
Here’s what an online marketing plan will consist of.
Website Management and Updates
From the start, create a website that takes into consideration all the rules of SEO. Do this from the first page created, to every page that links in, and every article, blog post or image that you include. Everything should be something that you know will advance your marketing goals.
SEO: On- and Off-Page
Learn everything you can about SEO because getting organic traffic that you do not directly pay for via pay per click or other types of advertisements is worth even more than paid traffic. Why? Audience members who seek you out, rather than the other way around, will be more likely to convert to paying customers. They are going to be much more likely to buy than someone who reads and responds to an advertisement.
Link Building On and Off Your Website
Link building helps search engines, but it also helps your audience find your information in a more organized fashion. Take some time to consider your link-building strategy and create a plan of action going forward that will provide links from outside your website to your content, plus links within your website to more of your content.
One way to ensure that people find you, especially if you have a locally focused business, is to ensure that you use keywords that help local people find and discover you. For example, if you are a local dentist you want to use the name of your location as well as the name of your business within meta descriptions, headers, titles and tags.
Many people dismiss press releases as offline marketing, but today with PRWeb.com you can send out press releases online, too. This will provide information for your audience in numerous ways. You can put the press release on your website, as well as send it out to those who might want to pick up the story.
No online marketing plan is complete without email marketing. Email marketing is the lifeblood of your online marketing plan and will infuse your online marketing program. With email marketing, you have a way to capture leads, turn them into customers, and more.
Everything starts with your website or blog. All the content you create, all the products you promote, and all the services you provide, live on your blog or website. Even if you have a storefront, the website or blog is the central hub of your online existence.
Using social media to promote your content and information to your audience is a fabulous way to get the word out. Plus, it’s a great way to engage and build trust with your targeted audience. You can have conversations, share interesting things you read, share the information that others share with you, and more.
Pay Per Click
Using Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and more, you can conduct pay-per-click campaigns that get great results and are a good addition to the other types of market that you do online.
Use articles, eReports, white papers, posts, messages and more to boost and manage your online reputation. This is a useful aspect of online marketing that should not be ignored.
You can make an online marketing plan in a page or two, or you can create a page for each aspect with a step-by-step to-do list of what you will do to ensure that each part of your plan is realized. The worst thing you can do is proceed without a plan.
Pretty much every aspect of online marketing needs content. You need content for social media posts, blog posts, guest articles, white papers, eBooks, and more. You can use many types of content to help get the word out about your products and services while educating your audience about the issues in your industry. Taking this approach will help you develop yourself as an authority and your products and services as answers to your audience’s needs.
The best way to accomplish this is to develop a content marketing plan. You can create a content marketing plan for any type of business quickly and easily.
Set Goals for the Future – What do you want to accomplish with each piece of content that you want to create? First write down some ideas, such as increase traffic by 50 percent within 6 weeks, increase sales by 60 percent within 4 weeks, or get more targeted newsletter subscribers within a specific period of time. Be specific about your goals in terms of the exact results you want to achieve and how you will achieve them.
Assess Where You Are Today – Everyone has to start where they are today. How many subscribers do you have now? How many people have purchased your product or service to date? What type of content do you have and what types of results is it producing right now? Can you pinpoint exactly which pieces of content are getting the type of results you want? Perhaps none of your current content is getting any results. Note that, so that you know where to begin.
Know your Target Customer -Take a closer look at who you want your exact customer to be. Create a persona describing that perfect customer so that when you create any marketing content you know who you are creating it for. You may find you have several subsets of audience personas for the same product; that is okay, but looking at them will help you develop even better content.
Understand Your Sales Funnel and Your Audience’s Buying Cycle – You have your product/sales funnel, plus your consumers buying cycle to consider. Content should be created for each stage of the funnel and the cycle because each type of content has a different purpose.
Know the Purpose of Each Piece of Content – When you know the purpose of each piece of content you create, you will be able to direct it to the right person, at the right time, and put it in the right place. These actions will ensure that you receive the results you are looking for.
Create an Editorial Calendar – Once you have an idea of what type of content you want to create, get out a calendar and start writing in what needs to be written or created. For example, if you are promoting a video eCourse, you may need to produce some shorter videos along with articles to give your audience the information they need to choose your course.
Have the Content Developed – Once you have a calendar, you can just go day by day and create the content you need. Or you can send it to someone else to do it for you such as a contractor. If you want to hire a contractor, you will need to create content in advance to allow for the turnaround time of each contractor that you hire.
Promote Your Content – Do not just post the content and leave it at that. Instead, once the content has been published tell everyone about it. Promote it to your list; promote it to your social media followers. You may want to try using Twitter Ads and Promoted Posts on Facebook. Also, ensure that you set up SEO on your site using a good plugin like SEO Yoast.
Measure the Results – Using the analytics systems that you have already in Google Analytics, your email marketing software, and any other software that you use for your business, test and measure whether what you are doing is working or not.
Optimize and Adjust – When you look at the results of your work, take a look at what you can improve upon and adjust. Try changing one small thing, or doing more of something that is working really good to improve your content marketing plan.
Rinse and Repeat – Like with most things that work, you should do it again. Keep the process moving forward month after month, year after year, based on analytics and the products and services that you want to promote.
Creating and following a content marketing plan will improve your business exponentially. You will be able to stay ahead of everything based on your products and services, including planned launches and so forth. It is important to be proactive to ensure that the results that you want are obtained.