Native Content: Small But Mighty to Reach Your Audience

​As outlined in last month’s dealership marketing article, list rentals with reputable media companies can be an impactful way to reach your target audience and expand your email marketing list for future communications and promotions. In addition to sending a customized email through a media outlet, there has also been an increase in native content or sponsored content opportunities available with media partners. This content can live on a media partner’s mobile and desktop website and within direct e-newsletter communication.

Native (or sponsored) content, is editorial content that as an advertiser, you provide to be included within a vendors content. There are many variations in the amount of content you can provide, and it typically can be a combination of text, image and video. A typical example includes a headline, 50-75 words of text, a logo or photo and a link to your website. This content is noted as sponsored, but in many cases, appears alongside other articles and content which can provide greater readership and engagement. One important factor to think about when providing native content is that the content is meant to feel editorial in nature and some media partners even require approval of native content before it runs on their site or in their e-newsletters. Research studies have shown that consumers are open to sponsored or native content as long as it relevant to the content they are already viewing or have subscribed to, and as long as it’s transparent to the reader that the information is “sponsored.”

Similar to customized e-blasts, explore A/B testing, or options with the vendor to “test” more than one piece of content to see which one outperforms the other. Insights from the performance of these tests will help optimize the messaging for future promotions and tactics.

In general, when comparing to customized e-blasts with purchased email lists, performance on sponsored content with a media vendor sees higher engagement and interaction, especially if that content is editorially relevant. The only trade-off is the limited amount of content you can provide for these types of promotion; but with a good landing page to take the reader to for more information, native content opportunities can be a quite impactful marketing tactic to reach your target audience.

About the Author
Lisa Bocklage is an account director at Osborn Barr, a rural-focused full-service marketing agency. She supports the Equipment and Outdoor Group, providing marketing solutions for some of agriculture’s largest machinery, tire and building companies. She lives in rural Missouri, five miles from the family farm.