Native ads aren’t really anything new. Look at any magazine and you’ll find advertorials, which are stories that are really ads. This is a form of native advertising and it’s been known to work very well for decades. Let’s look at some samples of native ads that have been very effective over the years, and some newer examples too.
* Print Advertorials – These often appear in magazines, especially financial magazines. Take a look at any Forbes (online and off) and you’ll see stories that are really ads. For example, there may be an article called “10 Ways to Generate Income in Retirement” but it’s sponsored by Fisher Investments. This is a good example of print advertorials that are considered native advertising.
* Online Advertorials – Even newspapers will use online advertorials to generate revenue. Go to CNN.com. Scroll down and find the area that says Paid Partner Content. Many of these stories are paid advertorials. They might be about VA benefits, interest rates or more that you’re interested in, but they are paid stories that are sponsored by a particular company.
* Video Advertorials – You probably watch video advertorials for makeup, cooking equipment and more already on long TV shows, but they also exist in online form. Go to The Onion online and you’ll find plenty of examples of this type of native advertising that is entertaining and also promotes a product or service.
* Sponsored Content – You likely see this on social media networks, within online magazines, and even in print magazines. It might be a story about an elderly mom needing a place to live, or falling down and not being able to get up, and so forth. The story is still relevant to the consumer but the point of the story is to get the reader/viewer interested in the solution.
* Sponsored Magazine Issues – An entire magazine can be sponsored by a business. For example, Kodak could sponsor an entire issue of any photography magazine or magazine that is very image focused. Many of the stories may mention the camera used or the film used or other equipment used, which is a way to get people interested in that item.
* Sponsored Newsletters – If you have an online newsletter, you can find a sponsor for that newsletter. The sponsor may act as editor that month, choosing the stories that fit your readership but that are focused in some way on promoting their business. For example, if you have a food-related newsletter, you might partner with a blender company and do an entire issue on smoothies.
* Sponsored Videos – Everyone knows that many videos that you see online today are actually sponsored by a company. Even if the story is touching and has gone viral due to its story and the emotion it evokes, it’s still native advertising. You can find more information about this type of successful native advertising by seeing information about Chipotle and the types of videos they’ve made.
* Product Hauls on YouTube – A really good example of native advertising that fits into this realm are some product hauls on YouTube. Technically, a person who does such a video which is paid for by the company, needs to state that they got the product free. But even so, the story is real.
* Branded Content – Dove is currently the leader in creating emotional, touching, relevant and useful branded content with their “Beauty Sketches” commercial. This is a commercial you want to watch, and can be used as native content for many other brands devoted to self-esteem and beauty. Plus, they stand on their own.
These are all examples of native advertising that work. However, native advertising can go very wrong too, so be careful. Ensure that it really fits with your audience, and that they aren’t going to feel tricked by the content. No one likes being sold to. They do like being engaged and informed, though, so if the content does that while also promoting a brand, you’ll do great.