I saw this example of “native advertising” today, and I thought you might benefit from the lesson it teaches you about strategic content:
Obviously, that native ad was on Lifehacker, a site dedicated to teaching its readers cool tips and tricks to improve their lives.
The information is useful, interesting and highly targeted to the specific readership. So, in all likelihood, it’s not an advertisement promoting the company’s product or service directly.
With that definition in mind, let’s dissect State Farm’s native ad:
- Is the information useful? Not really, other than in a trivia game.
- Is the information interesting? I think so, but you may disagree. It’s definitely got that, “Oh neat!” factor.
- Is the information highly targeted to the specific readership? Not really. I think a tip on how to choose better tires, or something like that, would be more in line with Lifehacker’s readership.
There’s a big disconnect with the fact and the plug for State Farm. It’s like they didn’t quite know how to connect their neat factoid with their insurance business.
Native advertising is going to be one of the big trends in 2015. Learning about how to use it effectively can give your business exposure your competitors won’t even know how to get until they’re too late in the game.
But you have to do native advertising right, or else it will be yet another waste of resources.
(Kind of like how everyone jumped on Facebook a few years ago before really understanding how to use it. Now, many businesses are actually closing their Facebook pages because they’ve realized the ROI is too low.)
PS: If you want to learn more about native advertising, Copyblogger has some all-time great examples of native ads.