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During the first half of Local Media Association‘s Native Advertising Summit the obvious and frequently asked question of how exactly to define native advertising was the first topic to be addressed.

Native advertising sets itself apart from other types of advertising because it is “naturally embedded into a site’s content stream and, while clearly marked as an advertisement, is found to be more impactful than banner ads,” says Ron Josey, summit key note speaker and Managing Director at JMP Securities.  Or as Todd Handy from Deseret Digital Media put it, “it is in the content, engaging, and highly shareable.”

Once the “what” was established, next came the “how.” How does one participate in native advertising effectively? According to David Arkin, VP of Content at GateHouse Media, there are three overarching content goals when it comes to native advertising: it needs to make readers smarter, connect with them emotionally or offer them a solution for a problem.

So how do we accomplish these goals? Arkin answered this question with another list, First you need to establish a focus for your brand (articles, social posts, their site, your site, etc.). Then it is essential for the content to meet the standards of your newsroom. Quality is key. It is also important to produce interesting content that goes beyond the business profile and Q&A — it is not an advertorial. Finally, you need to work with a great company to help you accomplish all of this.

Now that we understand what native advertising is and have a pretty good idea of how to do it, the big question is, why do it? To put it bluntly: because it is effective. “Native ads have ten times the click through rate of traditional display ads,” says Josey, and “32 percent of native ads are shared as opposed to only 19 percent of banner ads.”

With stats like that native advertising is likely to explode in the future.

To learn more about native advertising and content marketing in general, check out BIA/Kelsey‘s latest insight paper Content Marketing: The New SMB Paradigm.

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