Native advertising is one of the formats fashionable in recent years. And yet many marketers still aren’t realizing their full potential.
In my experience, a lot of the sponsored content that I see on my favorite sites can be uninteresting, which means that the advertiser is wasting time and money. To avoid this being your case, the key is to adapt your native advertising to the buyer journey. We tell you how.
How the buyer journey affects your native advertising
Buyer journey or customer journey represents the stages that your potential customer goes through from identifying a need to finding the best way to solve it in marketing. It consists of three main stages: discovery, consideration, and decision . Then there are the conversion and loyalty issues, but they are related to the purchase and the subsequent relationship with the customer.
- In the discovery phase, the potential customer wants to understand your problem and is doing research to get there. What he needs is your helping hand to understand the causes of this problem and the possible ways to fix it.
- In the consideration phase, the potential customer is already clear about what the problem is and is looking for ways to fix it. At this stage, you will need to understand what your options are and answer your questions.
- Finally, in the decision phase, the potential client is already clear about the solution they are looking for and is looking for the ideal product to implement it. Here, you need to understand the differences between the products and services of different companies to see which one best suits your needs.
Depending on the sector in which you work,
the buyer journey can take from a few minutes to several months. The good news is that native advertising can be helpful in any of these phases. Whatever your message, this format helps you get it to the right audience, but for this you have to be clear about what you want to tell and who you want to tell it to.
The 3 steps to implement native advertising in your buyer journey
What do you want to achieve with your native advertising campaign? In general, there are three basic marketing goals:
- Make your brand known. Native advertising is very effective for distributing “top of the funnel” content and increasing your online visibility.
- Generate leads. You can target your native advertising campaigns to get more email subscriptions, app downloads, or free trial requests.
- Boost sales. According to a study by Sharethrough, native advertising campaigns achieve 18% more purchase intention than traditional banners.
As you may have already deduced, these three objectives correspond to the three phases of the buyer journey. Let’s see them one by one.
1) Discovery phase
In the discovery stage, we seek to reach new audiences through native advertising.
To achieve this, the first thing is to find the right content to promote. Best suited for this stage are tutorials, glossaries, and trending articles.
Maybe you want to promote the latest post on your blog, or you prefer to write an article exclusively for native advertising. Whatever your option, the content should meet the following criteria:
- Quality. You’re going to pay money to promote this content so make sure it’s worth it!
- Value. Most of the people who will see your ad haven’t heard of your brand yet. What will motivate them to click and read the article?
- Relevance. The content you share should be relevant to your brand and reflect its values and essence, although without being promotional.
Another key aspect in this phase is to carry out an adequate segmentation . If you’ve launched paid campaigns before, you probably already have an idea of the demographics that work best for your brand.
In any case, as we are looking to reach a large number of people, it is best to start with the basic segmentation options. Do a few A / B or multivariate tests to see which audiences perform the best.
2) Consideration phase
In the consideration phase, the main focus is on generating leads. At this point in their buyer journey, your ideal client wants to delve into the issue that concerns them, get more information and get as close as possible to solving their problem. This is your opportunity to give him what he is looking for in exchange for his email or other contact information.
If you offer free in-depth reports, webinars, or courses, this is a good time to promote them through native advertising. You can also go beyond traditional formats and create quizzes, games or contests, which can serve to increase engagement and generate more leads.
When it comes to segmenting campaigns, you need to reach users who are not yet ready to buy, but who are ready to consider the different options offered by brands. So it’s time to go beyond demographics and target similar audiences or interests.
3) Decision phase
If you want to drive sales with native advertising, you need very specialized content. It’s time to talk in detail about your product or service and use more promotional content. These good practices will help you create native advertising for the decision phase:
- Mention the prices in the title. This will help you set the right expectations.
- Try adding a call to action in the title.
- If you offer a product, show it directly (instead of including stock images).
- Explain your competitive advantage and give the user a reason to click. What is the benefit for your client? Is it an exclusive offer?
Another key success factor is that your native ad and landing page are well aligned. If the landing does not meet the user’s expectations, they will leave the page instead of converting.