In the early 1950s, marketing geniuses at the Guinness Brewery began distributing a book to pub-goers that they hoped would settle debates and bar bets once-and for all.

The Guinness Book of World Records was given free of charge to local bars as a marketing gimmick to generate publicity for the Brewery. 

The results of the campaign were a huge success, making history and becoming one of the bestselling books of all time.

By the mid-1950s, hundreds of brands were developing storylines and characters to entertain TV audiences each night as families gathered around their sets to watch their favorite shows.  Brands like Coca-Cola, Chef Boyardee, and Betty Crocker became household favorites, and TV viewers began stocking their kitchens with these well-known products.

For decades advertisers have effectively and profitably promoted products and services to potential customers in spaces where their audiences gathered.   

TV channels, radio stations, and newspapers have been traditional advertising platforms for many years, and now with digital platforms, like websites, search engines, and social media, expanding at record pace, marketers are having to finding "new" ways to reach and impact their audiences.

Many marketers, media outlets, and social platforms are turning to a buzzword called "native advertising." 

Seen as an effective advertising concept in the past, native advertising is non-interruptive, paid content that is embedded into an editorial copy.  

In the space where advertisers typically had to pay for the right to disrupt content or editorial copy, with native advertising, companies are paying to be part of the conversation.

It works especially well for business-to-consumer companies looking to become household names, but if you're a business-to-business company, you can certainly make use of native advertising as well as part of your B2B public relations and marketing strategy.

Even if you don't typically deal directly with consumers, making your name known is still helpful for helping you find customers, franchisees, or anyone else who helps you do business.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the six types of native ads highlighted in  IAB Native Advertising Playbook include:

  1. In-Feed Units (such as Facebook's ads with a social context)

  2. Paid search

  3. Recommendation widgets (often seen as "From Around the Web")

  4. Promoted listings (Etsy, Amazon, Google, etc.)

  5. Standard ads with native elements (banner or box with text or placed at beginning of post)

  6. Custom campaigns created with the client (Spotify, Pandora, Tumblr, etc.)

These updated tried-and true initiatives are profiting hundreds of media outlets and social sites.  Think about the last time you saw a promoted post on Facebook, a list of "suggested" followers on Twitter, or a celebrity promoting their favorite product in a testimonial video on your favorite website. This oldie but goodie phenomenon is very profitable for a number of media platforms, and with the Wall Street Journal joining the native moment last week and joining other media outlets like Time Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, native advertising is here to stay.

Adding native advertising to your marketing and public relations strategy can benefit a business; however, it's important to remember two elements:  measurement and transparency.

Native Advertising Measurement - Identifying what to measure in a native advertising campaign can vary; however, the key is to develop strong Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) during the planning process of the campaign. KPIs may include reviewing time someone spent with the content and what actions they took. Actions can include: "liking" something on Facebook, "retweeting" a post on Twitter, or even making an ecommerce transaction. These are good metrics to measure.  The important step in identifying KPIs early in planning process, is that the content is created with the KPI in mind.

Native Advertising Transparency - Including key words like "Sponsored By" or "Presented By" are key aspects of native advertising.  Online news publications and social sites require the transparency between editorial and advertising, and these key phrases are requirements into including within native advertising.

With native advertising old things are new again, even if the "new" is evolving and developing at an incredible speed.

At Ripley PR, we believe in developing strategic public relations and marketing strategies for businesses, and this always includes creating engaging content that impacts your audiences.  If your company would like help with creating a successful B2B public relations and marketing strategy that will engage your audience more, please contact the experts at Ripley PR.



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