The Native Advertising Advantage: Build Authentic Content that Revolutionizes Digital Marketing and Drives Revenue Growth by Mike Smith
In THE NATIVE ADVERTISING ADVANTAGE Mike Smith gives a good overview of the history of native advertising—plus his perspective on how it might evolve in the future. Much of the book documents interviews with experts in the field, and their opinion on native advertising.
Keep in mind that this isn’t some type of “Dummy Guide” on hot to implement ads:
“This book isn’t intended to be a “how-to” guide to native advertising. Instead, the goal is to explain what native advertising is; when native advertising started, and how native advertising has grown and developed.”
The early part of the book covers interviews with experts, and what they think “Native” really means. The author concludes by giving his own definition: “Native advertising is a form of paid media that follows the form and function of the site or user experience that it lives within.”
Native advertising is a big field now—especially as users have grown weary of traditional forms of digital advertising:
“Native advertising has become a necessity, since display advertising is proving less effective and ad-blocking technology is rapidly being adopted.”
The Native Advertising Advantage by Mike Smith
The key to this type of advertising is to make it blend in really well, and not disrupt the user experience, or look really cheap: “The challenge to native advertising is to make it subtle enough that it truly becomes “native”—that it blends in with the surrounding editorial material so that readers will read it and not care that it was written by an advertiser rather than by a journalist or by a journalist on behalf of an advertiser.”
In short, “Most people prefer to read ads that don’t look like ads.”
Readers especially don’t want to be seen as “duped” by articles which are really just cheap pitches for a product. The ads have to be “aboveboard,” clearly identifying the sponsor—that the piece doesn’t confuse or irritate readers who may feel that they’ve been duped into reading something that isn’t truly informative but just turns out to be a pitch for some product or company. “
Although the book is not really a “how to” type of book, there is still lots of good advice. Here is the best piece of advice I read in this book:
“Good native advertising should be written so that readers or viewers or consumers get something out of the piece, other than a pitch for a product they could buy.”
In other words, “Create Content That Matters to Customers.”
So all in all, I found THE NATIVE ADVERTISING ADVANTAGE to be a useful book, and an interesting survey of the digital advertising field. It seemed to me that the author has a good grasp on this topic. I would have preferred perhaps less interviews, and more analysis, but other readers might enjoy the interviews.
After reading this book, I found myself clicking on native ads MORE. I want to see how well they blend in. One funny thing—I discovered that articles that are native ads sometimes take a lot more time to load on my ‘Droid. Well, I guess that means those are the ones that DON’T blend in too well.