Native advertising: how to target your prime customers

  • ‘Native advertising’ — it’s been a buzz phrase within advertising circles for a while, but there remains considerable confusion about what it actually is. This is partly because a native advertising solution will differ depending on where it is hosted.

    What is native advertising?

    Native advertising is a form of paid-for media, one where the advert follows the natural form and function of the content in which it is placed. Hence it could be argued that promoted facebook posts or twitter ads are ‘native’, as they appear to the user in the same context as non-promoted posts or tweets, but with a label to show they are paid-for.

    Equally, some would claim paid-for listings on google are native, because they appear within the standard user experience and are targeted to the search criteria the user has applied. And this is where it gets interesting…

    Websites offering quality native promotions can not only provide your business with eye-balls, but they can pass your message on to potential customers who are at the most important points in the purchasing cycle, including when they are researching products and services.

    How native advertising can work

    Regular rider Sue Jones is thinking about buying a new pair of winter breeches, but hasn’t had a chance to visit her local tackshop yet. She’s on facebook one evening when she notices an article about 12 of the best winter breeches from Horse & Hound. She knows and trusts Horse & Hound so she thinks that’s worth a look, although she isn’t intending to buy anything.

    Sue clicks on the link and enjoys browsing the pictures and information about the breeches. Then part way down the page she sees a link from a retailer offering her the chance to ‘save 70% on a pair of winter breeches’. Now surely that’s too good an opportunity for her to pass up? So it’s out with the credit card and the purchase is made.

    Meanwhile, Jane Brewer is on google searching for information about sweet itch. Her daughter’s pony suffered terribly last summer and this year she wants to be ahead of the game. One of the top three google search results for sweet itch treatment for horses is from Horse & Hound.

    Although she doesn’t buy the magazine very often, she recognises that Horse & Hound is a font of expert equestrian knowledge so she clicks on the link to read what it has to say. She gets some useful tips of ways to protect her pony from the typical causes and also a range of treatments that might help, including a promotion for a related feed supplement. She makes a note of the name with the intention of purchasing a tub next time she’s at her local feed merchant.

    How can your business ‘go native’?

    If you would like to target your advertising spend on potential customers who are approaching the point of purchase in the buying cycle, then Horse & Hound’s native advertising solution can help you achieve this.

    Call your regular sales executive (or 0800 316 5450 if you don’t currently advertise with us), tell them you’re interesting in native advertising and explain what you are looking to achieve. Armed with that information, our sales and editorial teams will work together to come up with either some existing pieces of content on HorseandHound.co.uk or ideas for new content, which is designed to engage the group of readers you want to speak to. You can then choose the one you think will work best, supply us with your creative, and we’ll do the hard work for you.

    Once the content is written by the H&H editorial team, you’ll get the chance to proof and sign off the page before we publish it. After publication we will then promote it to our dedicated and passionate equestrian audience through our regular channels.

    What native advertising is not…

    Native advertising is not the same as an advertorial or a ‘guest blog’. For native advertising to be successful the promotional message needs to be secondary to the associated content. As the advertiser you don’t supply the content of the article, only your promotional message, but you do get to choose the topic and have input into the tone and context of the piece. Then by allowing the Horse & Hound editorial team to do what they do best, your business will benefit from sitting alongside content that is relevant and useful to your potential customers.

    Because a native advertising solution is all about the quality of the editorial content it sits within, we can promote it to our massive online audience via all our normal channels, including facebook, without falling foul of the ‘promotional post’ rule. So if you want to access Horse & Hound’s +380,000 facebook fans, booking a native post is a great way to do it.

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