Native Ads and Why You Need Them

Today's Ask the Expert column features Patty McNease, director of Marketing for Homes.com. 
 
Q: What are native ads, and why should I incorporate them into my advertising mix? 
 
A: There are a lot of ways to advertise online. Banner ads have been an advertising mainstay in real estate for a long time and social ads are continuously gaining in popularity, but real estate has lagged behind when it comes to one of the most powerful ad types: native ads.
 
Native ads take a more subtle approach to reach potential clients. They sit among the actual page content and are designed to blend in. This may not make much sense with the traditional ad logic that says you have to yell the loudest to be noticed among the millions of ads on the internet; however, with banner ad blindness becoming a more prevalent problem, native ads have proven themselves a popular and effective alternative.
 
What are native ads?
You've probably already seen—and possibly even interacted with—native ads even if you don't know what they are. They're designed to blend in with the content an audience is there to see, so they typically show up in-line with the page content. They're non-intrusive, getting in front of an audience by providing them with the kind of content they were looking for anyway, such as a suggested post on Facebook or a recommended video on YouTube.
 
What are the benefits?
With increasing banner blindness, savvy agents are diversifying their approach to get the best results, and native ads tend to receive more attention and trust than other online advertising methods. A study by Sharethrough found that consumers looked at native ads 53 percent more frequently than display ads.
 
Native ads are also more shareable. Sharethrough's study found that 32 percent of respondents would share a native ad with family or friends, while only 19 percent said they would share a banner ad.
 
Also, because native ads give viewers the kind of content they're already looking for, they feel more empowered in their decision to buy or sell. The relevancy of native ads also helps build trust in the agent who is providing valuable information to the potential buyer or seller.
 
You can also reach a more engaged audience with native ads. By advertising in relevant buyer and seller content, you're more likely to find actual buyers and sellers, rather than people who may not be interested in an actual real estate transaction.
 
How can you get ahead of the competition?
Leveraging a variety of ad types across multiple platforms is a good way to appeal to different audiences. Just remember to track your results to figure out what generates the best results for your business.
 
Social media is one of the platforms that has enthusiastically embraced native advertising. Homes.com Social Fuel can help you reach your social media goals by managing your Facebook ads, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, online reputation, and more.
 
Learn more about Social Fuel and managed Facebook ads designed specifically for real estate professionals by visiting http://bit.ly/hdcsocialfuel

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