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Learn why native advertising boosts audience engagement

BY: Elise Oberliesen on October 10, 2018

The digital world constantly evolves as new technologies emerge into the media and advertising landscape.

native advertising

Busy professionals hungry for more knowledge are quickly becoming lifelong learners who depend on a healthy dose of informative content.

Let’s assume you want to reach a bigger audience by delivering informative content that nurses want to read or to grab more clicks on job posting ads.

The question is — how do nurses find your content, so they can connect with your brand?

Two words — native advertising. First, let’s define it.

“Native advertising is paid advertising where the ad matches the form, feel and function of the content of the media on which it appears,” according to the Denmark-based Native Advertising Institute. The two common types are newspaper advertorials and sponsored ads on platforms like Twitter or Facebook, according to the institute.

Native ads are designed to bring “relevant and useful content to readers” in a format that elevates the reader experience, according to the institute. Anyone who surfs the web or reads social media feeds already consumes native advertising.

It is estimated that by 2021, native ads will be responsible for 74% of ad revenue, according to an article in Business Insider.

Without a doubt, there’s a growing demand for native advertising products. That’s one reason why we decided to offer it in our mix of advertising solutions.

native advertising

Adia Noel

“Customers have been mentioning that they want native advertising and native advertising has been growing across the board,” said Adia Noel, director of product management and marketing, Advertising Solutions with Nurse.com.

Product comparisons in a nutshell

Native advertising is paid online advertising that has a similar presentation to web content. The audience does not necessarily realize they are looking at advertising, said Tyler Ross, business development manager at Nurse.com by OnCourse Learning.

We created native advertising products for nurse recruiters, HR professionals and marketing professionals at nursing schools to help increase the reach of their message — to both seasoned nurses and prospective nursing students, Noel said.

Native advertising products show up across various websites where nurses can easily discover them. It’s common to see these ads on heavily trafficked third-party web portals like MSN.com and AOL.com, or multimedia news sites like CNN.com, Ross said.

Native advertising products you can use

Targeted display includes two native advertising products — Intuitive programmatic display and branded programmatic display.  Ads reach millions of nurses across various browsers and millions of websites.  The target audience sees content on any device and any platform.

native advertising

Tyler Ross

Targeted display ads use filtering capability database integration from our database, so you can filter the target audience based on current level of education and nursing specialty. When nurses click the ads, it drives them back to your landing page or website.

“With targeted display, we could target nurses who we know do not have an MSN degree and then show them ads for an MSN program,” Ross said.

#1 — Intuitive programmatic display — Sponsored content that looks like a display ad with a link that sends readers back to your landing page, product page or content rich article or blog post. These ads appear on websites across the entire internet. Intuitive programmatic display uses “interest-based targeting,” which means it reaches an even larger audience, compared to targeted display, Ross said.

With intuitive programmatic display, targeting capabilities include: specialties, academic level, geographic location and position. Plus, it targets higher education interests and purchase behaviors related to online higher education, Noel said. In addition, HR professionals can target non-nursing professionals in areas like behavioral health or pharmacy, to name a few, she said.

“With intuitive programmatic display, you can only use about 45 to 60 characters, which is a headline. It’s one or two lines of text, so it can flow into any site,” Noel said.

Even though it’s your content, it resembles the look and feel of a third party’s website, like MSN.com, she said. The clickable ad then drives nurses back to your site.

#2 — Branded Programmatic Display — Think of this product as a display ad designed to your organization’s brand specifications and style. Branded programmatic display helps increase brand awareness because nurses continually see your branded ads on third party websites.  And with continued ad exposure, it helps grow your brand’s reach, Noel said. Examples include a display ad for a job posting that sends readers back to your landing page or website.

A key difference between intuitive programmatic display and targeted display is the targeting capability of intuitive programmatic display is interest-based, Ross said. It tracks users’ web activity such as which sites they have recently visited and the algorithms allow it to anticipate user interest based on historical information.

native advertising

Reap the benefits of native advertising

A major benefit of the native advertising format is that it helps build trust in two distinct ways.  For starters, native advertising encourages readers to “dig in and read article after article because [the content] mimics the existing website so it’s less of an intrusive ad,” Noel said.

Readers trust the website where the content originates from since the look and feel of the content seamlessly integrates into that website.

Newsfeeds are another way to build trust with readers. Studies show that readers are more focused on the content when it’s delivered in a newsfeed. Additionally, newsfeed content is considered fun to read, according to industry professionals.

“With intuitive programmatic display, it’s a soft sell, it’s not in your face and it has this implied trust also because it falls into your newsfeed,” Noel said.

Another benefit of intuitive programmatic display is customers report a higher volume of user traffic, Ross said.

“A key reason intuitive programmatic display increases volume, it blocks ad blocking software so it circumvents that process compared to a standard display ad,” Ross said.

Analytics reports show even more web traffic when both native advertising products are used together, Noel said.

“With 43% higher average viewability, intuitive programmatic display combines well with branded programmatic display to boost traffic and leads,” Noel said. “Intuitive display ads are located in areas on a webpage with higher viewability than traditional display ads.”

Both products come with their own set of benefits. If the goal is to grow your brand, Noel said programmatic display is beneficial, while intuitive adds more exposure and trust.

For all AB testers who love to delve in and compare results, native advertising products include a tracking feature. By running two different ad campaigns, you can compare which ones performed better, Noel said.

“We will be tracking impressions and clicks for customers,” she said. “Or customers can run their Google Analytics reports on their own.”

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Elise Oberliesen

Elise Oberliesen has 15 years of combined media and marketing experience. Her work appears on corporate blogs and publications, such as the LA Times, Chicago Tribune and AARP. Her specialties include healthcare, high tech and finance. Elise is a member of the Association of Healthcare Journalists and founder of Big Mountain Media.