Follow these steps to right your first native advertisement.
Step #1: Reverse Engineer The Sale
This is the foundation of a good native ad or any piece of content for that matter. Without this, you’ll just have a useless piece of content floating around the “interwebz”.
Reverse engineering the sale means to work backwards. In other words, instead of first deciding what topic you should write about, you first need to decide what your end goal is. This end goal will change from situation to situation, but here are some examples for you think about.
Engagement such as shares and likes or even just reading more content
Becoming aware of the brand or offers
Downloading a lead magnet such as a checklist or cheat sheet
Signing up for a free trial or demo of your software
Selling one or multiple products
What your goal should be will depend on your situation, but don’t move on to the next step until you’ve done this first.
Step #2: Choose The Topic
Once you’ve decided on an end goal, the next step is figure out what topic your native ad should be about.
There are a lot of ways to go about this, but one way you can go about figuring this out is by asking yourself “what does my potential customer need to know about my end goal before they can take action on it?”
It’s a specific enough question to get you to start thinking, but vague enough to allow for a lot of options.
Lets say I’m Apple and I’m trying to sell an iPhone. Here are some topics I can write about:
A list of the best smartphones in the world and why based on user reviews
How to film movie-quality video with an iPhone
A post about the 10 ways smartphones have changed the world forever
How to transform an iPhone into the ultimate productivity tool
Step #3: Create The Headline With A Hook
Master copywriter, David Ogilvy, once said “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”
In other words, the headline is the most important part of the native ad because it is the one thing that tells the reader whether they should read the article or not.
And to get your headline read, it must have a hook. Something that makes them want to read the rest of the article. Now this is a topic we can spend all day talking about, but the simplest way to get started is by…
Being as specific as possible
Using numbers if necessary, preferably odd numbers
Making sure it’s something your audience is interested in
I recommend you spend some time writing a minimum of 20-30 headlines so you can come up with a good one.
Step #4: Write Valuable Content
That’s the word I want you to think about when writing this part of your native ad.
A mistake I see a lot of copywriters and marketers make is to hard-sell their product in a native ad. Doing this can work in the short-term, but in the long-term it can do more harm than good.
Instead, focus on just sharing valuable information. If you did the prior steps correctly, then writing good content in this section will lead your reader to desire your product even more.
However, there’s a little copywriting trick you can do to up your conversions and make your content seem even more valuable to the reader.
Lets say you’re writing a native ad titled “How To Film Movie-Quality Video With An iPhone”.
When you’re writing the introduction for this article, make sure to mention the problem. In this case, the problem is that purchasing a separate camera can be expensive and bulky.
By doing this, you set up the iPhone as the solution to their problems in step #5.
Step #5: Place A Call To Action At The End
Here is where you go for jugular.
By this time, you presented the problem and have delivered great content that increased your readers desire for a solution.
In this section, all you have to do is wrap up your native ad and ask for the response.
Taking the “How To Film Movie-Quality Video With An iPhone” example, your goal now is to position the iPhone as the solution.
If the problem with making videos is that purchasing a separate camera can be expensive and bulky, then the iPhone is the exact opposite.
It’s built into your phone. That means you don’t have to buy a separate, expensive camera and it fits right in your pocket.
Add that to the fact that the iPhone camera’s quality is top-notch and the native ad you just wrote contains advice on how to maximize its potential, you now have yourself a nice sales pitch to wrap up this native ad.
Step #6: Hyperlink Relevant Text & Add CTA’s
Here is where you go back to the article and hyperlink relevant text so you can reach your end goal.
However, do not overdue it. Even though the point of a native ad is to get a response, you do not want to destroy your potential customers trust.
A simple linking strategy you can follow is by having 1 link in the introduction, 1 in the body, and then 1-2 in the conclusion.
By doing this, you will give your reader the opportunity to click through at whatever point he or she desires even if they skim or read only a portion of your native ad.
Step #7: Make It Easy To Consume
This last step is also an important one.
The truth is, your reader will not tolerate difficult to read content. Fortunately, there are simple fixes to this including:
Adding video and pictures to break up text
Making sure you have a lot of white space by keeping paragraphs short
Having a variety of sentence lengths
Using bullets, numbers…etc
By making sure your content is easy and enjoyable you consume, the more your reader will consume your content.
And when that happens, sales (or whatever your end goal is) will almost always go up if you did all the prior steps correctly.