Using Native Advertising And Content Marketing Together
Online advertising is dead!...
These days, if you pay attention to the business media, you hear marketing slogans and other “conventional wisdom” sayings like this all the time. And often, they just are not true.
I believe advertising can still work. And I also believe you need to do much more than merely “write content” for your content marketing efforts to be successful.
You hear a lot about “content marketing vs. advertising” these days, but perhaps this isn't an “either-or” situation. Maybe content marketing and advertising can work together powerfully.
Perhaps advertising can complement content marketing, and maybe content marketing can give a boost to advertising. Let's explore these ideas today.
But first, what makes for effective advertising and what makes for effective content marketing? If we are going to use these two tools to support each other, don't we need to be able to produce both engaging marketing content and persuasive advertising?
I don't believe advertising is dead, but a lot of advertising is pretty much guaranteed to not work. Why? It violates one of the most basic rules of marketing, copywriting and sales.
It focuses on the company doing the advertising and its products, not on the reader and helping him solve a pressing problem.
Your potential customers don't care about products – yours or anyone else's! But they do care about solutions to painful, nagging problems. They care about reaching their cherished goals and dreams.
And they will be immediately interested in an advertising message or content that focuses on them and clearly demonstrates to them that you can help them do that.
Do You Talk To Yourself?
If you want to get their attention, focus on joining what copywriting and direct response marketing legend Robert Collier referred to as the “conversation in the reader's mind”.
Your potential customer is constantly talking to himself, maybe even subconsciously, about something, and it's not your product or company. Much of his internal conversation is about his problems and how he can find a solution.
Let's say he's desperately trying to increase sales in his struggling small business. He's reading an article in an online business magazine; the article promises to show him how he can do just that. Chances are this will catch his interest, don't you agree?
So, to recap, effective advertising focuses on the reader, not your product or company.
So what makes for effective marketing content? A lot of the same factors that make for solid advertising. Effective content grabs and holds the reader's attention.
It focuses on the reader and a solution to a problem he's facing, not on the company or product at hand. It embraces the rules of persuasive copywriting and compels the reader to take action, instead of merely educating him.
You can have the most fantastic piece of marketing content ever, but if it never gets noticed and read by your target audience, so what? Your content has to get noticed. If it never gets noticed, it won't get read. Not only do you need great content, it needs to stand out from the tsunami of available content on the web.
Drowning In Content!
Think about it. We're drowning in advertising, but we're also drowning in content, especially in the B2B world. When your prospects go looking for content with the goal of finding a solution to their nagging problem, they have lots of options.
When they do a Google search, they'll immediately have plenty of links to click on that will take them to websites where they can access a lot of content.
Why would they choose your content? Your choice of title or headline is critically important here. But even if you have a compelling, curiosity-arousing title, why not give your content and yourself an extra advantage?
Why not advertise your content? Whether it's with a sidebar ad on a social media site or a PPC ad, advertising your content offering could be a very effective way to draw new prospects into your marketing funnel.
Are You Marketing Your Marketing?
Why don't we do like Jay Baer recommends and “market our marketing”. To quote Jay:
“The launch of your awesome content – so inherently useful that customers would pay you for it – is not the end of the journey, it’s the beginning. To win the war of information you must market your marketing.”
Let's say you are a B2B marketing director and your team has just produced a fantastic new white paper or maybe a very informative new webinar. That's great, but remember that your content still has to get noticed. And a lot of content doesn't. A lot of carefully crafted, quality content is effectively invisible the audience its producers want to reach.
Don't let this happen to you. Don't just let your groundbreaking new piece of content sit quietly buried on a “Resources” page deep within your site. Announce it! Tell the world about it. It's a key part of your online marketing. Obviously you want to mention it through your social media channels.
But “selling” your content through advertising may give it a very nice added boost in readership and help you add more prospects to your funnel and email list.
There's another way content marketing and advertising can work together powerfully – native advertising. So what is native advertising? Let's define it by illustrating an example. Let's say you are visiting a physical fitness blog reading about “exercise strategies for fat loss”.
An ad is strategically placed on the sidebar for that article – but not necessarily for other articles on the same site – and its goal is to take you to a page offering a course on “nutritional strategies for fat loss”.
Do you see the very relevant connection here? The ad is directly related to the article you are reading.
A big reason a lot of online advertising fails is that (in addition to blatantly ignoring the rules of good copywriting) viewers don't see it as being relevant to them. Well, if you are reading an article on exercises for fat loss, it's probably safe to assume you are interested in nutrition for fat loss as well.
This kind of advertising does a great job of adhering to Robert Collier's notion of “joining the conversation in the reader's mind”. Let's agree that content marketing and online advertising doesn't have to be an “either-or” proposition. They can work together quite nicely.
The End Goal
So what's the end goal of using your content marketing and advertising together? More sales! And to have the highest degree of online sales success possible, you need landing pages.
Landing pages let you eliminate many of the conversion-killing distractions on the web and focus your prospect's attention on the task at hand – the decision to buy or not.
But a poor quality landing page won't get the job done for you. You need solid, persuasive copywriting, the right offer, conversion-friendly graphics and design and so on.
And it helps you to have an “unfair advantage”. What advantage is that? Lander. We offer you an array of landing page templates engineered to help you enjoy a higher conversion rate. Our landing page templates are loaded with features that provide you with a host of valuable benefits. Features like
- Advanced A/B testing
- An intuitive, easy-to-use editor
- Built-in video support
At Lander, we get that not everyone has the same online marketing needs. So we offer you five different rate plans. You can switch plans or cancel at any time.
And you can try out any of our plans free for 30 days.
Got any questions about how Lander can help you launch your online marketing results into the stratosphere? Contact us today!