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Standing Out By Blending In

Why you should consider long-form native advertising for your next digital campaign.

Native advertising is nothing new. From advertorials to infomercials, native content has existed in some form or another for over a century. In the age of digital marketing, however, native advertising — specifically long-form, branded native content — has gained prominence.

Today’s biggest publishers, including the New York Times, ESPN and Condé Nast, are all embracing native content. Though many of these publishers have in-house marketing teams who produce branded content that runs on their websites, Hirons has established partnerships with platforms that allow us to place native content on a network of relevant websites while still maintaining control over every element of the campaign.

From writing the articles to selecting detailed targeting, we ensure our native campaigns are relevant and informative to audiences. The best native ads are unobtrusive — they blend seamlessly with the surrounding material.

The goal of long-form native ads is always to educate — never to deceive. Promoted articles must always be adequately labeled, and ours always include multiple disclosures to make it clear to readers that they’re reading promotional content. Clear labeling helps build credibility with consumers. If the content is compelling and relevant, readers don’t mind that it’s coming from a sponsor, but they do need to know it’s sponsored.

With most long-form native articles running between 250 and 500 words, the format presents opportunities that other digital ad formats don’t. That much context allows us to tell compelling stories that help build emotional connections with audiences.

Just as important as the content itself is the surrounding material. If a native article is running on a popular parenting blog, for instance, it obviously needs to appeal to parents. We ensure the relevancy of our native content by only placing articles on suitable outlets. As a general rule, we stay away from outlets that promote controversial topics.

Effective native advertising should be seen as the first step in developing a relationship with audiences. After educating audiences about your brand, many will feel motivated to visit your website and learn more.

Bottom line: When executed properly, long-form native advertising presents huge potential for brands and shouldn’t be overlooked.

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