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Native Ads & Video: 6 Ways to Leverage Content Marketing’s Future

If content marketing is about connecting with consumers and driving engagement, video is a tactic that must be employed. Video viewing, particularly on mobile, is surging. It shows no signs of slowing.

Native advertising shows similar growth for many of the same reasons. Native ads, like sponsored content at “The Onion” or BuzzFeed, don’t disrupt the viewing experience. They blend into their surrounding environments. People view, connect and engage with native ads much more easily than branded content.

Native video advertising builds on the premises found with video and native advertising. When combined, they become a powerful, and perhaps, unstoppable force. That certainly seems to be the case. Why else would Facebook and Twitter be implementing the media form?

While the social titans haven’t officially declared war on YouTube or Vimeo, their actions hint at a raging battle. Facebook already penalizes links to external videos. The organic reach found with Facebook’s native format far exceeds that of YouTube or other video creation sites.

In addition, Facebook’s in-feed video player makes YouTube’s look like an ugly duckling. Facebook’s native video ads receive preferential treatment with a beautiful, large, auto-play frame. YouTube? Not so much.

Twitter’s own native video ads still have some wrinkles to iron out. But brands already can create 10-minute videos with six-second teasers. Personal accounts can create 30-second spots. Neither personal nor branded videos currently have Facebook’s auto-play functionality; however, the feature is likely to be added in a future update.

What does that mean for your content marketing efforts? Six thoughts:

1. Go native.

Social Media Native Advertising Videos

If you want work to appear in social networks, you’re going to have to play by the network’s rules. Don’t abandon your other channels completely; go with a multi-channel approach. Facebook serves a different audience than YouTube or Twitter. Figure out who spends time where and create and publish content for them.

2. Augment owned content.

Facebook and Twitter may want to be your media publishing platform of choice. Don’t fall for it. You lose control of your content once it’s broadcast from a public social platform. You’re playing by the network’s rules and algorithms, and we all know how often those change. Augment owned content with native video advertising.

3. Use text.

But keep text short and don’t give away the punch line. Also avoid summarizing the video. Use text to tease as “Game of Thrones” did.

The raven brings #TheSight. Receive the power at: http://t.co/9fNrrJIGHG https://t.co/LknnRX0f4D

— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) November 25, 2014

4. Think serial storytelling.

Twitter purportedly will offer a “related” clips feature once a viewer has watched a video. It should act similar to the one found with YouTube.

In terms of content marketing, a related clips feature is cause to celebrate. You can create a series of videos, which will increase views and ongoing interest.

Want to drive an objective other than engagement? Include a CTA. Ask people to sign up for exclusive videos only available via email, mobile app, or gated page on your website.

Blog posts and newsletters falling short? Use the outside-the-box content ideas from our free white paper. Get it now!

5. Go Charlie Chaplin.

Charlie Chaplin - Video Native Ads - Content Marketing

Facebook’s and Instagram’s native videos feature a lovely attribute: no sound on auto-play. It not only keeps the videos from intruding upon the user experience but also limits the impact on nearby people. Your viewer may have time to watch a short video during a mid-morning work break; their coworker might not.

Videos have to work with and without sound. Audio, like text, should complement and build upon the image rather than be a required element.

Study silent movies. Also consider working with software that lets you separate the audio and video layers. Play them together and separately to gain an understanding of how they work individually and collaboratively.

6. Put the best frame forward.

You don’t have much control with what frame Facebook shows in-stream (mobile) or in-feed (desktop), so think through the first few seconds of airtime. They must be compelling if people are to watch.

Twitter is different since you can choose which six seconds to feature. Choose the clip most likely to draw attention and clicks.

Are you going native with your video content marketing this year? Let us know! We’d like to hear about your efforts.

Images: Insomnia Cured Here, Lee, jim simonson (Creative Commons)

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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