Native Advertising for Small Retailers
Can it Help You Sell More?
Native advertising is kind of like a lost puppy that follows you home. It keeps popping up, begging for your attention. But what exactly is native advertising and why is it important for your retail business?
How Retailers Use Native Ads to Sell More Ruby Slippers
Pretend for a moment that you are Dorothy, lost in the land of Oz (presumably post house-dropping incident). You go online to look for sparkly ruby slippers (what else?) and then later, between bouts of flying monkeys, you notice that you start seeing ads for said magic slippers cropping up every time you log on.
These targeted ads are user-specific in that they encourage interaction by subtly (or not so subtly) echoing the topics and searches you have shown an interest in. The idea is to lure you in with a combination of relevant content and targeted marketing messages designed specifically for your needs.
Why Native Advertising Works
Native advertising is designed to counter two specific problems in the marketing world: avoidance and lack of interest. Basically, consumers tend to greet superfluous ads with the same enthusiasm as a dental cleaning. Traditional advertisements are easy to identify and avoid.
Consumers are Skeptical
According to a study by the Association for Consumer Research, consumers tend to have a hefty dose of skepticism towards products that are new to them. After all, believe it or not, advertisers do sometimes make inflated claims about their products in ads (shocking, I know).
Subtle Ads and Hidden Come-On’s
Next, native advertisements allow retailers to present information that is important to a specific demographic or audience. The actual advertising is carefully blended with the content in the same style and tone so that it is not as easily distinguishable.
This creates a basis of implied trustworthiness to the consumer. The content itself (on the surface at least) isn’t meant to sell anything, only to inform and/or entertain.
How Native Advertisements Apply to Independent Retailers
All of this means that native advertisements are a powerful way to market your business. If, that is, you are willing to invest a portion of your advertising budget and work on crafting interesting material and well planned ads. While it is not right for every small retailer, it can increase awareness about your offerings and lead to increased sales conversions.
How it Works
Native ads can be added to social media feeds such as Twitter and Facebook, platforms like LinkedIn, or designed as web content pages. They can appear as headlines, blogs or other content, suggested posts (you might also like), or embedded images of something the reader has shown an interest in.
As a retailer, you should already have a strong digital foundation, including a blog, videos or other meaningful visual content. Native ads can be very effective, especially if you offer online purchases.
Content should be woven in naturally so that it can be shared across social media platforms to reach a wider audience. This can bring new customers to your website. Native advertising can be a powerful tool, but you should do a little digital homework to make sure the ROI is worth your dime. There are a wide range of videos and tutorials on YouTube and other sites that can help you get started, and most are free of charge.
Nova Point of Sale Systems
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