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Wherever you find the words ‘native advertising’ you’ll most likely find them followed by ‘the future of marketing’ as many marketing pundits and analysts believe heavily in it’s consumer attracting potential. And for good reason. Even so, a widespread agreed upon definition of the term is elusive, perhaps because of the sheer number of ways it can be implemented.
What is Native Advertising?
The simplest way to describe native advertising is that it’s a type of online advertising that aims to match both the form and function of the platform in which it’s found.
Essentially it’s blended directly into the content. This isn’t done to ‘trick’ a user or consumer into becoming an impression or sale necessarily, but more a strategy to minimize the inherent obtrusiveness of advertising. A significant amount of the population hate having their senses pummelled online by a site covered in non content related ads from one side of the screen to the other. (Who would have thought?) And that’s why native advertising is so effective and has the potential to keep growing as advertisers find new and creative ways to use it.
Some common types of native advertising.
In Feed Units
How It’s Used in Affiliate Marketing
Native advertising is frequently used by big brand companies, but it’s also an extremely useful technique for many affiliate marketers. Some affiliates may already be promoting campaigns that way and not even realize it.
For example, if you’re promoting a fitness offer from MaxBounty and you operate a blog or website that provides work out plans. Integrating the text link for that campaign directly into a post is native advertising. You’re incorporating the ad into the content in hopes of making a smooth transition for the user when they go from content to an advertisement. They’ll feel less like their being told what to buy and more that their legitimately being suggested a product or service that’s relative to their interest.
Another common area where native advertising and affiliate marketing work well together is on social platforms. Affiliates who operate niche oriented Facebook pages can utilize sponsored posts to help them promote offers that are relative to their page’s content. You’ll also frequently see Instagram pages promote content related products every 10, 20 or however many posts. This is an effective way to monetize a social page through native advertising.
Utilizing a Custom Landing or Squeeze Page
Custom Landing and Squeeze pages can be a great tool to have in your arsenal if you’re using native advertising in your promotion. If a user clicks on a link but is directed to a page with too much information on it, the experience can quickly become one of confusion. A Custom squeeze page can be angled to match your specific strategy for promoting the offer. This also creates the opportunity for additional tracking analytics to enable testing and optimization.
There are many forms of native advertising that can be used in conjunction with affiliate marketing, and new strategies for doing so will continue to pop up as the online experience involves. More importantly then getting caught up in the ‘how to’s of those methods, is to remain conscious of what native advertising is and the benefits it can provide. Whenever there’s an opportunity to integrate promotion with content to break down the obtrusiveness of advertising, it should be seized. You AND the user will both appreciate it.
Pinterest and affiliate marketing have always had a bit of rollercoaster of a relationship at best. Some have claimed it’s not an effective traffic source while others have padded their wallets utilizing it as just that.
Regardless if you’ve found it an effective means for obtaining traffic or not, once Pinterest removed the ability to post affiliate links, the social platform’s usefulness to all affiliates obviously bottomed out. In the last few months that has changed, as has Pinterest’s minds on allowing affiliate links.
Pinterest’s initial reasoning behind removing affiliate links was because they believed spammers were abusing them, which is a fair reason for doing so. Since then, they claimed they have bolstered their detection system, making it easier to distinguish between legitimate affiliate links and those leaning towards spam territory.
Besides the ban being lifted, not much has changed or will change If you’re an affiliate looking to promote offers through Pinterest, as Adelin Cai – Pinterest’s Head of Policy, states below.
“If you use affiliate links on your site, you don’t have to do anything differently—just keep on Pinning as usual.”
The company seems to understand that there is business to be made by allowing affiliates to use the platform for promotion, and that there are users who are doing so honestly. This is good news for anyone who was previously using the site to promote offers at MaxBounty, or perhaps you never had the chance to try using it the first time around. If you’re looking to try something new with an offer that allows social traffic, this could be a great choice.
It’s getting hot up in The 6 this weekend as MaxBounty and other industry professionals head to Toronto for STM’s Local Network Event. Everything kicks off at of course 6pm on Friday at the Drake (no relation) Hotel’s Sky Yard in Toronto. The first round of drinks are even on the house!
Affiliate Manager Brody Curtis will be MaxBounty’s rep at the event, and this is a great chance to talk with someone from the company face to face if you’re able to make it to Toronto. Whether you’re interested in becoming an affiliate or advertiser at MaxBounty, want to discuss improving your promotion strategies, or have questions about specific campaigns, we’d love to help you while creating or strengthening a relationship at the same time.
If you’re part of the Stack That Money forum and in the area, you may already know all about the event, but this networking is open to non STM members as well. We’d especially be happy to meet some other fellow Canucks, as affiliate marketing events in this area are typical sparse.
If you’re interested in coming you can find out more info at the event page here. You can also email Brody directly if you have any questions or want to let him know you’ll be attending and looking to meet up at the event.
This summer you’ll be able to meet MaxBounty for the first time at Affiliate World: Europe! We’re packing up our booth and ourselves and heading across seas to Berlin in July to exhibit at the globally renowned affiliate marketing mega conference.
We’re hoping that this provides the chance for our over seas affiliate base to come see us at a conference. We want to strengthen relationships with ALL of our affiliates and understand that the North American conferences may be difficult to attend for some. Nurturing current relationships is important to us, but so is creating new ones, so we also hope to meet with an entirely new geographic clientele.
The conference takes place July 18th-19th in Berlin, Germany at the Berlin Congress Center.
We’ll keep you updated on more information as the conference gets closer, and let you know how you can set up a meeting with either our Affiliate or Merchant team for the show. Don’t miss this opportunity to talk with the #1 voted CPA network on the planet!
Head to affiliateworldconferences.com for additional info on the event.
Instagram is one of the few remaining social platforms to maintain a chronological ‘newsfeed’, but they’ll soon be following the trend set by Facebook and Twitter before them. A post on the Instagram blog states that”To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.”
Essentially the content on user’s feeds is going to be re-ordered, aiming to deliver the contest the user is most interested in before anything. How is that going to be determined though?
It’s likely to be partly based on how user’s have interacted with each account previously, as well as it’s popularity among the general userbase and the specific posts that are being organized. If a user like’s a lot of posts from a specific account, then that account will be given priority on the user’s newsfeed. The time at witch the photo or video is posted will still have some bearing on it’s placement as well, so expect a chronological aspect to remain in the new algorithm.
How will this change the way Instagram is used as a traffic source in affiliate marketing?
If you use the photo-based social platform to aid in offer promotion, it’s possible you’ll need to re-strategize the type of content you post, depending on what you post currently. The biggest thing to take away from this is that engaging attractive content will become even more important in order to entice likes, and therefore a prioritized placement in your followers news feed. Increasing the amount of video content could be one way to increase engagement and to ensure you’re posts aren’t lost in the shuffle.
There’s no exact timeline for when this change will be implemented, but one could expect small changes beginning to happen over the next few months.