How to Get Started with Native Advertising for B2B

b2b native advertising

Consumer trust in the media is at its second lowest point ever, according to Gallup. While this technically applies more to mass media like TV and newspapers, we can logically expect spillover to digital media channels that are core to almost every brand’s marketing strategy in 2022.

It’s critical, then, that brands find creative and effective ways to build and maintain consumer trust in their online content.

Enter: B2B native advertising.

Designed to align with the content we already view, listen to, and watch on a daily basis, native advertising presents a unique opportunity to connect with users through ad content without the negative association that usually comes with it. To do it successfully, companies need to take a practiced and intentional approach.

That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. The sections that follow will walk through:

  • The definition of B2B native advertising
  • 3 important benefits of native advertising
  • How to get started with native advertising for your business 

Quick Takeaways

  • B2B native advertising is designed to fit with the content surrounding it.
  • Consumers report that native advertising feels significantly less intrusive than regular display ads.
  • Platforms like LinkedIn, Google, and Facebook have built-in native advertising programs that help companies design and target their campaigns.
  • Best practices for getting started with native advertising include choosing the right platform, creating compelling content, being transparent, and tracking results.

What is B2B native advertising?

Native advertising is ad content that fits in with the content around it, making it less obvious to the reader that it’s actually an ad. It can be fit into blogs, websites, social media, or even podcasts as hosts transition seamlessly from the topics they’re discussing to a sponsored ad for their show.

Below is an example of how you might see native advertising in a blog article:

Native advertising positioned as a recommended blog post.

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As you can see, at first (or even second or third glance) this advertisement looks just like a recommended blog post. It’s more likely, then, that a user will click on it than a banner ad or other PPC ad that they recognize more easily.

The Benefits of B2B Native Advertising

Less intrusive than traditional advertising 

One of the problems with digital advertising (and the adeptness at which consumers can recognize it) is that it automatically produces a negative feeling because it intrudes on what users are actually trying to do — like read an article or listen to a podcast, for example.

Native ads, on the other hand, are perceived as the least intrusive type of online ads by a wide sample of global consumers, according to research by Outbrain and Savanta.

Native ads are the least intrusive form of online advertising according to consumers.

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Even though native advertising serves the same purpose as traditional advertising — and still technically intrudes on the consumer’s current activity — it doesn’t feel like it does. As a result, it’s received better by consumer audiences.

Builds consumer trust

Brand trust is consistently reported as a top factor taken into consideration by B2B buyers as they evaluate potential providers. Building that trust starts with initial touchpoints like online ads. The majority of consumers (64%) report that when they see native advertisements, they trust the content it contains.

64% of consumers report that they trust the content contained in native advertisements.

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Higher engagement

The ultimate goal for any ad campaign is authentic engagement — AKA clicks from interested users who take further action to qualify as leads. Studies have shown that the click-through rate for native advertisements is 8.8X higher than traditional display ads.

How to Get Started with Native Advertising

Choose and leverage high-quality ad programs

Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, WordAds — these are all top programs for native advertising with built-in algorithms for targeting the right audiences. Leveraging the templates offered by these programs helps to ensure your content aligns with the tone, voice, and appearance of whichever platform you’re using. In addition, take care to choose the channels that naturally align with your own brand voice and audience behavior.

Create compelling content

The advantage of native ads is that they appear or sound like the content around it — and they should be equally compelling. Don’t skimp on content quality because it’s an ad vs. organic content. If anything, do the opposite — think about creative and authentic ways to make your native ad content interesting to users.

Consider the example below, in which Fidelity published a native advertising post on the Forbes website. You can see at the top there’s a clear indication the article is part of Forbes’ BrandVoice advertising program. Still, it has similar value (aligned topic, educational content) to the rest of the content posted by Forbes.

Example of compelling native advertising content published by Fidelity on the Forbes website.

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Be transparent

Make sure the platform where you’re publishing your ads is transparent about the fact that they are indeed ads. Native advertising already looks authentic to the content it’s mixed in with, but consumers don’t want to be overtly tricked into reading content by organizations who fail to tell them what they’re reading (or listening to, or viewing, etc.).

Track Your Results

As with any advertising campaign, tracking the results of your native advertising campaign enables you to continually adjust and improve it to earn greater ROI. Utilize the data tracking capabilities of the ad publishers you’re working with.

At the same time, use your own systems to track metrics across channels to see where you’re earning the best results and/or which channels need improvement or can be eliminated from your strategy.

Putting it All Together

Native advertising presents a unique opportunity to connect authentically with your audiences and fight the constant challenge ads encounter of being ignored or dismissed by consumers. With focus on the key tenets of any good digital marketing strategy — targeting, transparency, and compelling content — you can use native advertising to give your overall strategy a boost and generate quality leads for your pipeline.

RevBoss’s outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.