Not So Sneaky Native Advertising

In the last 5 years, Facebook has increasingly become the platform for people to promote their original content, driving traffic and awareness to their personal and professional blogs and websites. If I'm scrolling through Facebook, I often see articles from The Odyssey Online or Thought Catalog that have a catchy title that will bring me to their site.

Just last week, I was perusing my Facebook timeline, and I found my way to an article that really struck my interests. (as I was most likely in the target audience)

"This is How I Afford Luxury Travel on a Super Low Budget"

As a broke college student with a strong desire to travel the world, I thought this article would be super insightful and give me great tips to go on adventures without having to break the bank.

It turned out, that the article was merely a 250-word promotion for Honey, a Google Chrome add-on that automatically applies discounts and promo codes to your cart before you make an online purchase. Basically, it has nothing to do with travel, but you can use it for traveling.

Native advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your website, however, if your native advertising isn't relevant or subtle underneath engaging content, you can run the risk of your audience feeling like they fell victim to click-bait.

Yes, a catchy title and a pretty picture will get your website or blog some clicks, but you have to have substantial material in your article. Otherwise, you run the risk of ruining your relationship with people online, especially your target audience.

I recommend using the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content is content your audience wants to consume - concrete ways to actually afford exotic travel on a super low budget. The other 20% is the product or service you are trying to promote - Google Chrome’s Honey, in this case. This way, your audience is happy reading an article that meets their expectations, and you are happy because you are successfully using native advertising for your business. Now that’s sweeter than honey.  

Story by: Clara Sims