Did you know that Twitter was launched less than 10 years ago? Or that Instagram is only five years old?
One of the most exciting things about the internet is the pace at which innovation happens. New products can quickly become an important part of the everyday lives of hundreds of millions of people in the blink of an eye.
The story is no different when it comes to marketing on the internet. While many of us are familiar with “tried-and-true” ways to acquire and retain customers online -- paid search, email marketing, etc. -- there’s a whole new wave of exciting technologies that are emerging right now.
What are they? And more importantly, how can you leverage them? To find out, let's take a look at some of today's most promising new technologies for earning new customers online, and how these new channels can influence retention.
3 New Technologies for Earning Customers Online
1) Native Advertising
Native ads are designed to “look and feel” like they belong with the content on the rest of the page.
According to research from Dedicated Media, native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads. In other words, native ads give you a better chance of getting the visitor to look at your ad and visit your page. Not to mention, spending on native advertising is expected to grow to $21 billion in 2018, rising from just $4.7 billion in 2013.
Source: Business Insider
More specifically, sponsored content is a form of native advertising that aligns with the subject matter and design of the page in which it is displayed. It serves as an excellent way to engage site visitors by crafting material that they're genuinely interested in reading about. In fact, when done correctly, it can even be difficult to figure out which content is sponsored.
Here’s a version of the Buzzfeed homepage which was highlighted in August 2014 in TechCrunch:
Can you spot the ads?
Were it not for the small yellow tags which read “Promoted By," it would be nearly impossible to distinguish between ads and the rest of Buzzfeed’s content, right?
Here's another example from The New York Times of how Allrecipes.com leverages sponsored content:
See how the advertisement adheres to the card design used on the page to blend seamlessly into the rest of the content?
“Many publishers like Allrecipes are also offering native advertising products, which are increasingly seen as an effective way to reach consumers. Excluding ads on social networks, the research firm Forrester estimates that native display ads will increase to about 15 percent of the online display ad market by 2020 …The goal is to give consumers something that feels less like an ad and more like content they would choose to read or watch,” explains advertising and marketing reporter Sydney Ember.
Native ads are also becoming increasingly popular on mobile. For example, Deadspin -- a popular sports website (and a favorite of yours truly) -- intersperses sponsored content with the rest of its articles:
This ad fits both Deadspin’s formatting and writing style exceptionally well -- it has the same layout, some type of graphics, and same writing style.