The native advertising consumers that is; those people who are increasingly the lifeline that is holding our media world together. While giving things away won’t necessarily stop your sales figures getting scalped, a little goodwill gesture can help you to bond with your readers and hopefully to encourage them to engage.
Because engagement is the real problem; without engagement you can talk until you’re blue in the face and nothing gets heard, you can have the most amazing offer since the beginning of mankind, but if there’s no engagement with the audience then it’s just so much hot air passing over the heads of a disinterested and distracted market.
Anyone who has watched their techno-savvy youngsters managing to watch American food eating contests on the telly, while engrossed in a movie on their tablet which they are simultaneously discussing with their friends via Facebook on their mobile, knows that getting engagement isn’t going to get any easier in the short term. The advertising world, and that includes native advertising, has to realise that the window of opportunity to win the hearts and minds of the people out there has come down to nano-seconds.
Gone are the heady days when you had a whole second, maybe even two, to grab the attention of your target and bond. Even with the power of native ways of working, translating the spirit of what you want to say into the language they want to hear, may not be enough to show that you are deserving of their time; worthy of the effort of their attention.
Some in the business are turning to considering methods of simply buying that engagement, offering ready cash (albeit virtual cash) to secure a brief audience with their target’s brain receptors. This strategy has come from the ever innovative depths of the gaming industry and reflects the despair they have been feeling trying to find revenue streams to support production and game development; at a time when there’s just so much free stuff around.
Enter native style thinking. What if the players’ engagement with the revenue generating ads was rewarded with something relevant to the game player world; free credits, more weapons and ammunition (again virtual of course) or perhaps some cheats to get to the next level. We all have our price, it’s just down to the publishers and advertisers to find it.
Give-aways have a long and colourful place in the chequered history of advertising promotions. Those who remember the hideous plastic flowers that would come with a box of Daz soap powder in the 1960s are probably well into their three score years and ten by now. But the thing is, people used to queue up for them; if one store had run out of the flowers they’d go to the next. Now that’s engagement.
So, native strategists, it’s time to come up with the next stage of the game plan. We’ve found an amazing tool to overcome the growing natural resistance to banner ad beatings; with native we know we can build real relationships with our customers, but let’s not forget to say thank you with a little gift now and again.