In New york Nielsen Neuro
Labs and Sharethrough recently discovered that native ads receive two times more visual focus than web banners , even when those banners are
placed in the feed of a publication as confirmed by announcements from Upworthy and The New York Times that their sponsored content is as popular as their editorial.
Now that we know the ads are being read, the challenge is making those impressions matter.That may seem a tall order for the headline and
a thumbnail.Fortunately, the same research confirming that native ads are being read also provides insight
into how to make those ads more engaging on a subconscious level. Below are five of the most actionable
insights for creating better native ads.
1. SPICE UP YOUR HEADLINES WITH A METAPHOR.
Metaphors are one of the oldest writing tricks in the book, going back to Shakespeare (“All the world’s a stage”) and even the Bible (“The Lord is my shepherd”). But they are more than just a literary device. Scientists at Princeton and the Free University of Berlin have demonstrated that metaphorical sentences are more emotionally engaging and persuasive than the
same sentences written literally.
Imagine two identical baby toys, one claims to amaze you, while the other promises to melt your heart. Which are you more likely to buy?
Comments: When it comes to native, don’t be so literal, breathe life into your words with metaphors.
2. DON’T FORGET YOUR THESAURUS.
Most creative briefs come with a list of brand keywords or core values. This was from a recent brief for a clothing company: “The copy should convey feelings of festivity, elegance and warmth.” With native ads, the temptation is to copy and paste those value words directly into the
headline or description: “5 Festive Outfits That Are As Elegant As They Are Warm” is an easy go-to.
While this approach answers the brief, your headlines can end up weak, boring, and repetitive. Rather than using brand keywords verbatim, try to come up with some synonyms.
Research shows that readers will associate a brand with a particular word even if that word is substituted with a synonym.
Comment: Brand synonyms allow for more flexibility and increase the number of versions you can create, which ultimately makes your creative
3. PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD.
Facial expressions are emotionally contagious.We’re more likely to think happy, positive thoughts after seeing a smiling face than a frowning one. This emotional contagion has a biological basis. As humans we’re wired to
respond to faces. There’s even a special section in our brains that specialises just in facial recognition.
What does this mean for content marketers? When selecting thumbnails, the facial expression should align with the emotion you want to telegraph to the reader. If you’re promoting a
yoga studio, pick an image of somebody smiling contentedly in Warrior pose not grimacing in Downward Dog.
Some other things to keep in mind: use images where the face is head-on. Finally, make sure it’s clear which emotion the face is expressing.
Ambiguous or neutral faces won’t have the same
Comment: More faces, more engagement.
5. MIRROR THE EMOTION.
Include images that trigger a sympathetic response in the reader’s mind. Have you ever watched somebody yawn and immediately felt
like yawning yourself, regardless of whether you were tired? This behaviour is caused by mirror neurons, which fire both when we perform an action (e.g. yawning) and when we observe others performing the same action.
Use the “mirror neuron effect” to your advantage by choosing thumbnails that provide the viewer with “cues of experience.” Think of those old commercials that showcases ice cream or chocolate being licked in a mouth watery way or noodles being walloped in an irresistible way.
For your next native ad, try using a thumbnail that has cues of experience to trigger mirror neurons in the reader’s mind.
comments: Monkey see, monkey do.
5. JOG THE READER’S MIND
This final tip may be the most important because it helps connect your content to your brand, a process known as neural networking.Do you recognize those iconic characters in old advertisements? Chances are
you do. In fact, you probably know a lot about them – their names, the commercials they appeared in, even the lines they speak most importantly
you know exactly which brands they represented back then.
This is the power of brand assets. Including familiar brand assets in your native ads can trigger memories and strengthen brand
associations. Celebrities, actors, iconic spokespeople, memorable lines like —if you’ve got them, use them.
Drop us your own comments thank you.
Additional credits: wallblog.
Edited & posted by: @djshyluckjimmy.