A native ad appears to be a natural part of the user’s feed or part of the site’s normal flow of content suggestions. You’ve seen them everywhere; on Facebook, in Twitter feeds, Google search results, even embedded in blog posts. Some are so smooth and well designed that users hardly realize they are being advertised to. Native advertising creates a seamless user experience that allows users to view the content without the usual no-promo bias we all put up when we think we’re seeing a commercial.
Then again, you’ve also likely seen these native ads that do the exact opposite. Where other content blends smoothly, a clunky native ad interrupts the user experience, jarring them out of the smooth flow of the UI and other content. Part of this is the imagery and color scheme you use, which needs to blend pleasantly with the platform. But the other part is your call to action.
Native Advertising Calls to Action
Your call to action is how you turn an advertisement into action. You don’t want viewers to just admire your ad, you want them to click and then move forward with the conversion process. But the conversion you’re looking for and the way you get that click will change from platform to platform, especially with native advertising where the content blends with the platform itself.
This means that simply copy-pasting your call to action from one platform to another is not going to fly. In many cases, A big “Contact Us!!!” is not immersive because it breaks the spell of your content being part of the natural flow. Instead, you need to think about the content, your audience, and how to inspire viewers to take action without actually telling them to do so.
The Curiosity Click
Many successful native ad calls to action rely on curiosity. They create an ad that is smooth in the interface but somehow piques the viewer’s interest and desire to know more. This creates a desire to click to go deeper into the ad’ context, and that desire is generated inside the user’s own motivations instead of being told to click by the ad itself.
Curiosity clicks are done with linked images or embedded text links on the last two or three words of your blurb. If you successfully make users curious about the content behind the ad, their mouse will naturally gravitate toward that blue text or the button you have created visually. You will get the click that begins a buyer journey built on fascination. Of course, after your successful CTA, it will be your job to satisfy that curiosity while fueling the fascination for your brand and products.
Jumping at an Opportunity
Deals and discounts are challenging to slip into a native ad without seeming promotional. But it can be done with elegance and style-awareness. When you can get a user’s attention based on opportunity you can then inspire your viewers to click in order to take advantage of the opportunity. Especially if the deal is a limited window or something that your viewers may be highly motivated to jump for like half-off on Friday night pizza or a chance to get sold-out tickets to a big local event. But be careful.
Opportunities are highly risky of seeming too promotional and ruining the native immersion. In fact, this method works best for events where the limited window is not manufactured, it’s a natural part of the environment. Just like your native ad.
Discover or Continue the Story
You’ve heard that telling a story is a compelling way to get the attention of your viewers without directly marketing to them. So in the small amount of space and time you have with a native ad, open a story that viewers can’t resist finding out more about. Create a hook with an unusual romance, a pet that does something spectacular, or a thrilling tale. Catch the user’s attention and, in a few words and images, wrap them in a story they simply must see the end of.
If you successfully spark that curiosity and desire to find out the rest of the story, you’ll begin to generate completely natural clicks from a native ad that genuinely pleases your viewers. Platform users won’t think twice about diving in to hear a story because stories don’t feel like advertising. Of course, you then need to have the rest of a great story and more where that came from to keep those leads on-site.
Join the Discussion
Create a discussion that your users can’t resist joining. Make it about hot current events, or a controversial twist, or a desire to hear the real-life stories of real people on a particularly compelling subject. Or share something that someone else said that is inspiring and then invite the viewers to join the discussion.
A discussion call to action isn’t promotional, it’s user-focused. Invite your ad-responders to make the story about themselves. Telling a personal story after hearing other personal stories is natural, human, and natively brand-building.
Make a Difference / Join the Cause
If your ads relate to a charity or make a positive impact on communities, highlight this and make it a story that inspires action. Your readers could be saving children, making a difference, or joining the cause that they believe in. Tell them about the plight you are solving or the difference you’re making and invite your native-platform viewers to jump in and join the cause. People love to contribute to causes that are meaningful and will click for their own motivations, not because an advert told them to.
If you are experimenting with native advertising, it’s vital to optimize your content if you want to optimize your results. Those ads need to blend beautifully and feel like a natural part of the platform experience, inspiring clicks with the power of the content itself rather than through traditional marketing methods or direct calls to action commanding them to click. For any brand that could use a little guidance on optimizing each individual native platform, contact us today!