The Pros and Cons of Native Advertising

I shocked someone the other day when I said that Facebook was no longer free. Well, of course, it is still free. However, if you want to get the best results and grow your business faster, it might be worth considering advertising. Advertising in social media is referred to as native advertising.

What is Native Advertising?

In a previous post I did cover ‘What is Native Advertising‘, so a quick reminder of the definition:

“Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears.”

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Like all advertising, there are pros and cons. The challenge a small business faces is that without advertising they can’t find all their customers. So, it helps to understand the pros and cons of each type of advertising.

Pros of Native AdvertisingPros of Native Advertising

Better customer targeting. The fact that the ads run only where similar content is seen means that the people who click through to your content are better targeted and more likely to find your information helpful. Also, the targeting options you can choose from are becoming increasingly more sophisticated as we share so much about our lives on social media.

Less expensive. Compared to other forms of more traditional display advertising and banner ads, this is a much less expensive form of advertising. It offers a lower barrier to entry so that many different types of businesses can take advantage of it.

Bypasses ad blind customers. Most consumers today are blind to most traditional advertising. The way that native advertising appears is less intrusive and doesn’t always look like an ad.

Enhances content. Having more information similar to that a reader is already interested in is a good way to attract them based on their interests.

Increases targeted followers. Since the promoted information only appears with similar information, it will be more likely to attract  more targeted readers.

Cons of Native AdvertisingCons of Native Advertising

Can seem deceptive. Many people who use it add tricky or misleading headlines, and when the consumer clicks through they’re not happy. This makes it harder for honest publishers to use native advertising.

Seen as unethical.Due to the dishonest headlines, the ads can seem unethical to some readers.

Publishers receive backlash. Often when a publisher allows native ads to appear on their website their traffic goes down, even as their revenue goes up.

Too advertorial. Sometimes people misuse native ads as if they’re like the old-fashioned advertorials that appear in print magazines. This is not a good use for native advertising.

Google may penalise native advertising. However, Google is actually getting in on the native advertising game so this may not be true.

The fact is that all forms of advertising have problems to overcome. People are prone to dislike all advertising, even when it ends up helping them. After all, how would anyone find out about products that help them without advertising? Your job is to provide excellent material so that your audience can find the solutions it needs.

In order to overcome the stigma of advertising of all kinds, it’s important for small business owners not to be misleading with headlines. You need to be straightforward about what’s going to be in the content, and to provide informative content that is helpful to your audience. If you always aim to under promise and over deliver, your readers will never be disappointed.

In summary, I would recommend trying native advertising, particularly Facebook.  I believe it is a very effective advertising platform used well to reach a wide range of different audiences.