Why B2B Marketers are Flocking to Native Advertising in 2015

b2b-content-marketing-spendingThe stats from the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends on B2B marketers plans for content marketing spending in 2015 vs. 2014 were not that surprising.  Content marketing spending by B2B marketers is increasing in 2015.  Why is that?

We’ve been reading many of the same stats as most B2B Marketers that compare banner ads versus native ads:

We’ve also seen this on our own properties.  While banner ads have their place, a native ad, especially one with compelling image and title, is going to outperform a banner. 

Native advertising can mean different things to different people.  According to Sharethrough, native advertising is:

“A form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”

We think of it as content that looks like an article.  When you see it on our sites, it sits alongside other articles.  It can be either a sponsored article or can be a content marketing asset like a white paper, recorded webinar, etc.  Generally when we say content marketing piece, we are thinking of it as a means to generate leads – so there’s a regwall to get that asset.  Certainly you can have native ads that do not require registration – but then there’s no direct lead capture. But the bottom line is that native looks like an article.

One of the more surprising stats we’ve read is that while we often think of native advertising as primarily being content marketing for lead generation, 79% of B2B marketers state the goal of content marketing and native advertising is to raise brand awareness.   Given the brand lift of native advertising versus banner ads, it’s a compelling proposition for B2B marketers.

Given that native advertising performs well both as lead gen and brand advertising, what are B2B Marketers doing:

I’m very interested to hear more about this.  I’m happy to share more of what I’m seeing and hear what others are seeing happening around this.  Please comment or reach out to me at: tony.karrer@aggregage.com.

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