“Native Advertising” is a term buzzing in the advertising world today. But what does that mean?
This term is not new, but it is being used with increased frequency, especially in light of all Google’s content updates of exotic animals (Pandas, Penguins, and the like).
Wikipedia notes: “Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. For example, an article written by an advertiser to promote their product, but using the same form as an article written by the editorial staff. The word ‘native’ refers to the content’s coherence with other media on the platform.”
That is a lot of words to explain a simple concept: Write for your audience. In other words, mask your intention in something that others can use. Television has been doing this for years. In 1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame begin to produce wonderful stories for television that brought a tear to the eye and an urge to buy someone a card.
In magazines, “Advertorials” plant advertising information in an editorial format. For example, an advertorial might explain the tests that were done on tooth decay while really promoting a toothpaste.
Within the new media, information that you previously needed to know is now masked as a way to drive intentional results to a particular product or way of doing things that just happens to have a link pointing to a company that does just that. True journalism may not be dead, but it has definitely checked out of the luxury hotel and now lives in a hostel. Driving traffic, manipulating semantics and shaping or supporting an agenda are some of the new goals for those informing the public.
If you are a purist, strive to find writers that will get down to your story and make your brand or intentions the sizzle behind your steak…and not just another bologna sandwich.