When it comes to native advertising, timelines are carefully curated, news channels are simply structured, and social media platforms are perfectly personalized, delivering ads in just the right place to build genuine exposure. Chinese consumers tend to be enticed by products and services that provide a certain level of authenticity, creating a strong sense of loyalty to brands that they consider authentic. Brands can generate this type of loyalty through the quality and scalability that native advertising adds to a marketing campaign. Rather than being the centerpiece of the content, and possibly hindering the consumer journey, native advertising delivers content in a way that compliments the user experience. For marketers advertising in China, this form of marketing can offer a killer combination of performance and engagement while building a meaningful connection with their target audience.
What is Native Advertising?
Performance marketing that consists of visually appealing and information-rich sponsored content that blends in with the design of the platform on which it is displayed. Native ads are often found on social media platforms or appear as recommended content on a website. These types of ads have a strong focus on the quality of the content and are user-centric.
Types of Native Advertising
1. Native advertising – Promoted Listings
Promoted listings are typically used by e-commerce sites to display sponsored products first. This form of native advertising matches the page function and fits into the browsing experience seamlessly.
2. Native advertising – Paid Search Ads
Paid search ads appear at the top of user searches and mimic the same format of organic search results. They are usually based on the user’s keywords.
3. Native advertising – In-feed Social Ads
In-feed social media ads are sponsored posts directed at a given audience directly in their news feed or suggested as a trending topic. They tend to promote a product or service while promising value to the user.
4. Native advertising – In-feed Ads
Not all in-feed ads occur on social media platforms. Sponsored content that appears within an article or alongside content is known as in-feed ads.
5. Native advertising – Recommendation Widgets
Recommendation widgets are a form of native advertising in which paid content ads are linked beneath or alongside content in the form of a widget. Widgets allow brands to drive traffic back to their website and are usually measured by views, likes, shares or time spent on a page.
Native Advertising Trends in China
Native Advertising has become one of the most powerful methods to pursue online advertising in China. The digital advertising market is set to grow from $15 billion this year to $85 billion in 2020 with native advertising being at the center, especially for in-feed style news, social and web page content on mobile devices. It’s important for brands and advertisers to diversify the types of ads they use and the platforms that they promote on. You will be able to achieve a higher level of visibility due to the powerful combination of efficiency, quality content and brand safety.
Currently, the most popular platforms to take advantage of native advertising include WeChat, Weibo, QQ, Toutiao and Baidu. There are many approaches to native advertising and each approach depends heavily on the platform that the ads are featured on. It’s important for you to have an understanding of the user behavior and demographics of each platform. These types of ads tend to cost more than traditional forms of advertising, but they are proven to be very effective.
Native Advertising Platforms in china
1. Tencent Social Ads
WeChat, Tencent News, QQ, Tencent Browser and Tencent Video. Ads tend to have a high user engagement, stickiness and are brand friendly. Competition is high and advertising content on the platform is strictly reviewed.
2. Sina Weibo Ads
Weibo operates an advertising platform that is known as Weibo Fans Channel, which offers 7 formats for in-feeds advertising with precise targeting including age, gender and location. Followers can easily comment and repost Weibo ads. It can be difficult to predict the performance though. Sina also has its own advertising network called FuYi, which offers advertisers with high-quality service. It can also leverage data from Weibo, making it lucrative for big data insights.
3. Toutiao Ads
Toutiao is the number one market leader of news aggregation and offers tailored made news that matches the interests of its users. It has a huge advantage with its machine learning and targeting approach, but the competition can be intense with local companies on the platform.
4. Baidu In-feed Ads
Baidu is the main search engine in China and uses in-feed ads to display advertisements on its mobile app, browser and forum. It’s based on targeting interests and keywords, but users tend to spend less time on its content feed vs other platforms.
Native Advertising Case-UNSW Global
UNSW Global aims to improve access to higher education and wanted to promote their new Engineering and Science diploma to Chinese high school graduates. The goal was to run a six month campaign to expose students and parents to the program. Sekkei Studio implemented a marketing strategy that utilized Baidu’s advertising ecosystem including in-feed ads with high precision targeting at a reduced cost. Using the Baidu approach, UNSW Global was able to accumulate 2.4 million impressions and 46,000 clicks, reaching a wide range of targeted consumers.
As native advertising continues to explode in popularity, it’s important to identify the appropriate channels and avenues to promote your brand. Users are far more engaged and interested in promoted offers that have high quality and genuine content. When you consider the quality of results and current trends, it’s hard to deny that native ads are a powerful tool that should be a part of any brands marketing strategy. Contact us to gain more insights on how native ads can benefit your brand exposure.
Local Solutions: 2019 Native Advertising Trends: 7 Approaches for Smart Marketers
Relevance: The What, Why, and How of Native Advertising