Wondering what this native ad business is all about? You should be! If you don’t know what it is, now is definitely the time to find out. According to eMarketer:
[In 2018], 58.3% of US digital display ad spending will be for native placements, which match the form, function and feel of the content in which they appear. That’s up from 54.0% in 2017.
OK, so it’s a trend. But what does it mean?
Sharethrough’s Native Advertising Insights, 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.” In other words, a native ad is an ad designed to look like it isn’t an ad at all. The Federal Trade Commission defines it as “content that bears a similarity to the news, feature articles, product reviews, entertainment, and other material that surrounds it online.”
Technically, a lot of ads fit this description. Google and Facebook both have ad formats that look like the rest of their content.
Native Advertising Networks
In fact, eMarketer says that “almost all social advertising is native.” Any time an ad is designed to fit in with free content, you could consider a native ad. But often when people refer to native advertising, they’re thinking of ads served on networks like Taboola and Outbrain. Ads like these “commonly consist of a headline, often combined with a thumbnail image and a short description, which, if clicked or tapped, lead to additional advertising content.”
Here are some examples of native ads:
Benefits of Native Advertising
Native advertising is a great way to get a lot of exposure and to fill the top of your funnel. These ads are being delivered to people who are in the mood to read content, so if you pair native ads with your own compelling content, they can be a great way to introduce people to your brand a build credibility. You can even use native ads as part of your lead generation efforts by including an irresistible offer within your content.
Additionally, while most internet users have learned to tune out standard banner ads, native ads are disguised to get over that hurdle.
Remarketing with Native Advertising
Ad networks like AdRoll and Criteo allow you to serve native ads to your remarketing list. This way you can serve ads to prospects that are lower in the funnel. Just remember to write a title that will make your target audience curious enough to click it. These types of ads are notorious for clickbait style headlines. Try not to go that far, but again, you do need to craft intriguing headlines that will get them clicking.
Targeting Native Ads
Make sure you target these ads properly, and make sure your copy is designed to speak to your intended audience. This is especially important for your top of funnel campaigns. If you’re targeting a broad audience, you want to make sure you’re not wasting money on worthless clicks. Make sure your ad is narrowly tailored to appeal to your target audience so you’re not paying for clicks from unqualified people.
In fact, if your product or service is too niche, you may need to forego top of funnel native advertising entirely and just focus on remarketing.