Native advertising and sponsored content are both favored advertising tactics with those in the advertising industry and with brands. Both involve promoting a brand’s content to a wider audience through social media and other websites, and both, it turns out, can annoy consumers when done wrong.
So, what’s a franchise to do? In order to find ways to use both sponsored content and native advertising to your advantage, first it’s important to understand the differences and similarities between the two.
What’s the Difference?
Native advertising involves promoting content that aims to convince consumers to buy a brand’s product or service. This can include blogs, articles, videos, images or other content that links to the brand’s website. While the goal of this type of advertising is always to convince the consumer to buy, the content in these ads always blends into its hosting site’s content to maintain the appearance of non-promotional content for the user.
The catch? Consumers don’t like to be tricked. Consumers will realize sooner or later that the content they are looking at is an ad. When this realization occurs, negative sentiments towards the brand can build up as a result of feeling that the brand used this content to trick them into clicking.
Sponsored content is an offshoot of native advertising. Unlike other forms of native advertising, sponsored content does not directly aim to sell a product or service. Rather, the point of sponsored content is to inform consumers about a certain industry or topic. While the intent is not directly to get users to buy, sponsored content can help build a brand name as an authority voice in that brand’s industry.
However, utilizing sponsored content is not without its problems. Consumers report feeling deceived by sponsored content just as they do with native advertising. A study by Contently found that 54% of readers reported that they do not trust sponsored content. Additionally, two-thirds of participants in the study reported feeling deceived once they realized they had read or viewed sponsored content.
Make Sponsored Content & Native Advertising Work for Your Franchise
The biggest problem that consumers have with native advertising and sponsored content is a perceived lack of transparency from the brands that have paid to promote that content. And even when consumers understand upfront that the content is promoted by a brand, they tend to trust the content less simply because it is promoted by a brand.
You may be wondering how your franchise can possibly get past this consumer distrust. The key is to be upfront and to promote only high-quality, original, and interesting content. The content should be able to stand on its own either as entertaining or informative in order to gain consumers’ attention and trust. Looking for some examples on native advertising and sponsored content done right? Copyblogger put together this helpful article showing some examples of successful native ads and explaining what makes them work.
Think you’re ready to give native advertising or sponsored content a try for your franchise? We’re here to help. Give our franchise marketing team a call today at (816) 875-9311.