You've written what you feel is a fantastic piece of marketing content. Your next step? Use that piece of content to generate more traffic, leads and thought leadership for your business. However, that is where it becomes challenging.
What is your distribution path? Are you focusing on free distribution? If so, what channels are you planning to use? Let's assume you go the path of using the main social media channels - LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter. Do you have a large enough following to engage with? Is this following comprised of mainly friends and colleagues or is this following built around your target audience? How are you planning to post your content? What times of day are you posting it?
Yikes, there seems to be an unlimited amount of detailed questions that need to be addressed as you try to build out your content distribution path. At this point, the idea of pressing "one button" and getting your content in front of your target audience is probably floating around in your mind.
Enter "Native Advertising, " AKA, a branded content channel. It is one of the quickest ways to generate more traffic, leads and thought leadership by accessing a channel in which your target audience is already participating in droves.
Native advertising is one of the biggest buzzwords in 2014. It is driving millions of dollars in advertising spend. So, what is native advertising? Is it a buzzword? Is it a web advertising method or is it new content in a purchased location online? Actually it is all of the above. In a practical sense, marketers are paying to provide their content in the context of a user’s browsing experience.
Native advertising has existed in previous forms for a while, but the evolution of digital content has generated a fresh focus on it as a digital marketing tactic. Literally every day, more and more content providers are rolling out this service from the Forbes.com to Mashable to Pinterest. There are solutions that can works for the mom and pop as well as the billion dollar brands. However, key benefits are the same and include:
- Exposure - Getting in front of your target audience with content they are seeking
- Traffic – Good content is generally a conduit to people clicking to your site to learn more
- Thought Leadership – This is a combination of visibility, credibility and trustability. Providing content that enables you to share your brand’s expertise without selling, is powerful.
Given, this explosive interest, the Copyblogger hosted a native advertising survey and recently published their results. See the infographic below.
Key points from this survey
- While this topic is exploding, almost 3/4 of those who responded (73%), are either hardly familiar with this concept or have never heard of it. Given the velocity at which this is racing through sites offering content marketing services, this could suggest a significant opportunity for those who understand how to leverage the power of native advertising.
- This is somewhat further supported by the fact that only 23% of the respondents could define what tactics are considered to be native advertising.
- More than 9 out of 10 said their company lacked a budget for native advertising. This would suggest it is NOT impacting content marketing. However, given those who responded weren't exactly sure what native advertising was, perhaps this is too high.
So... is this impacting content marketing services?
Here's where perspective comes in. Based on what this survey would suggest, the answer might be no. However there may be some bias in this survey as the majority of the responses didn't seem to understand what native advertising is.
If you addressed the question from the position of the growth of native advertising on sites that provide content, the conclusion would strongly suggest this is greatly impacting content marketing services.
The conclusion... (from a business standpoint), after watching the concept being added to every major (and increasingly, "minor" trafficked) content marketing site, it would appear that it is signifcantly impacting content marketing. What do you think?