B2B native advertising: Delivering powerful brand credibility
Business-to-business (B2B) traditional online advertising has always been a powerful and effective channel for targeted and focused B2B marketing communications, when delivered contextually, and through appropriate channels. However this effective traditional route to business communication is now threatened by ad blocking systems, mainly deployed by those B2B website users who are weary of being bombarded by irrelevant and untargeted advertising during professional searches.
Maintaining B2B engagement
To my mind, whatever else we hope for, ad blocking will continue to grow and has increased by 41% globally in the last 12 months1. There are now 198 million ad-blocker users across the world2 so B2B marketers with an important story to tell will need to find another more visible channel. And there is such a channel, where advertising cannot appear unless a website owner or web-publisher has vetted the content, and approved it as suitable for display ahead of website inclusion: native advertising.
Native builds advertising credibility
Native gives Internet site owners and publishers the opportunity to shine. That is because native material needs to be embedded (physically included by those in control of the website), allowing them to properly assess and vet carefully the content they serve. This screening and selection process raises the editorial bar, and adds a perception of editorial and therefore advertising quality to a website and helps build an improved reputational perspective in relation to editorial integrity.
From a B2B marketers' point of view this is great news, because these site owners and publishers will now serve only credible advertising messages that have been assessed and judged to meet their elevated editorial reputational aspirations, creating an exclusive communications environment. With this, native advertising then attains a similar level of credibility and by extension your brand becomes more trusted, and viewers will not, and cannot, block these messages.
Native, useful and valuable
It is also a great opportunity for agencies to create helpful, related and highly relevant advertising that far from distracting B2B visitors, actually helps them in their decision making on the buying journey. This new elevated web environment not only adds to both the reputation of the website B2B visitors are now using, but your native advertising will be an inherent part of this reputational perception, making your messaging more credible and compelling.
Native credibility and helpfulness equal power
But there is one more important step to take to deliver the credibility and reputational power this situation can deliver: content. Credible and useful related content is critical in achieving the potential level of integrity native can offer in this exclusive situation, and you need to work for it. And that means creating content that helps and guides visitors, improving their industry sector knowledge and informing them in order to help facilitate in their decision processes. This is not a quick sale, it’s building on trusted brand perceptions.
Successful native is long-haul
What this means is that using native advertising, and now in an exclusive environment, you have the opportunity to nurture your brand through this prospect/brand collaboration, creating engagement away from any flash-in-the-pan advertising distractions. By taking this exclusive native advertising route and providing host website-related advertising content, you not only extricate yourself from the noisy world of irrelevant traditional advertising. But from the start, if working with a digital agency who understands your market and can deliver targeted and synergistic content, you are building trust in your brand that will, over time, deliver customers.