Your competitors are generating TONS of leads and sales through native ad campaigns.
Nada. Zero. Zilch.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Not only did you spend thousands to run your native ad campaigns, but you even spent hours putting together the copy, and images, among other materials, only to be ignored by your audience.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could fast-track your knowledge of how successful native ads work? That way, you can formulate campaigns that have better chances of generating meaningful results.
If you’ve been nodding your head all along, then you’re in the right place.
Sit tight and put your learning cap on.
We’re about to take a deep dive into how native ads work.
What is native advertising?
Essentially, native advertising is paid content that looks organic.
A native ad is seamlessly weaved into the content experience, often appearing as a post or page element that follows a platform’s structure.
Paid search ads are a great example of native advertising. While their placements are paid, their format is nearly identical to that of organic results.
Image Source: Google.com
Native advertising vs. sponsored content
Sponsored content refers to paid posts created to promote a brand.
Similar to native ads, sponsored content also follows the publisher’s distinct editorial or content style, be it on their blog or social media. But instead of just a small clickable section, sponsored posts use full-length content—from videos to long-form articles.
Image Source: HealthyTippingPoint.com
In contrast, native ads usually only have a headline, description, and featured image.
The goal of native ads is to get clicks and take traffic to the advertiser’s own page. Sponsored content, on the other hand, offers the full content on the publisher’s site.
Native ads vs. display ads
Display advertising is another type of paid marketing campaign that uses visual ads to get clicks.
Display ads and native ads share a few similarities.
Both may include a headline, CTA, featured image, and supporting ad copy. But, unlike native ads, display ads don’t blend in with the platform it’s published on.
Most types of display ads, particularly banners, stick out like a sore thumb. This may help garner more impressions, but they don’t translate to more clicks.
Image Source: NomadicMatt.com
Various native ad formats
In addition to native search ads, here are other native ad formats you should know:
1. Social native ads
Native ads on social media look like regular posts that users can see on their feeds. A small “promoted” tag allows users to distinguish native ads from real posts. Other than that, users will see the ad’s title, caption, and featured image.
Image Source: LinkedIn.com
2. Content recommendation native ads
Plenty of websites show a “recommended from the web” section that appears to point to another post within the same website. In truth, they’re native ads that will take users to another site when clicked.
Image Source: SportingNews.com
Recommended native ads can appear below articles, on the homepage, or in the middle of posts. They can be identified by a “Sponsored” tag, the advertiser’s domain, or both.
3. Direct native ads
Some social media networks like LinkedIn allow brands to promote using direct ads, which are visible as direct messages.
These ads appear like genuine messages from other profiles—complete with a profile photo, name, and message preview. The only indication that they are native ads is the “Sponsored” tag, which appears directly below the advertiser’s name.
Image Source: LinkedIn.com
4. Native video ads
Social media platforms with short-form video features, like Instagram (Stories) and YouTube (Shorts), inject native video ads into the experience.
Most native video ads are easy to identify because of the actual content. However, some advertisers use organic scenes to make the user experience more authentic.
The surefire way to tell if a short-form video is a native ad is to look for the “Sponsored” tag.
Image Source: Instagram.com, @domestika_en
What are the advantages of native advertising?
Below are several advantages of using native advertising.
- Native ads are non-intrusive: Native ads meld with the platform it’s published on, making sure it doesn’t disrupt the user experience in any way. Successful native ad strategies also show users exactly what to expect through the native ad’s caption and title.
- Social native ads include user engagement: Some native ad formats on social media allow users to interact with them. For example, users can react, share, or leave comments on native ads on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Guaranteed visibility: Direct and video native ads guarantee visibility by positioning content in sections users routinely check. This is a huge advantage over banner ads that don’t guarantee visibility.
- Beat banner blindness: Banner blindness refers to the tendency of users to avoid banner-like information. Native ads let advertisers maneuver around this problem by presenting ads in an organic fashion.
- Multiple formats and platforms: Native ad platforms and social media websites offer native advertising solutions that give brands more control over their content strategy. If you want to use native ads, you can create blog posts, videos, direct message copy, and so on.
How to create native ad content that sells
The content is the most important aspect of any native advertising campaign. This includes both ends of the experience: the content for the ad itself, and the content for the landing page.
Below are the best practices you should consider when creating native ads.
1. Identify your goal
Before you write your native ad content, define clear marketing objectives for your campaign.
Do you want to generate more leads for your online business? Are you trying to promote a product and close more sales?
Setting clear goals helps with almost every aspect of your native advertising campaign—from creating ad headlines to building landing pages.
2. Build your offer
Unless your native advertising goal is to sell a product, think of content types that will help reach your marketing goals.
For example, if you want to generate more leads, create a lead magnet that will encourage users to take that final step to conversion. Popular lead magnet ideas include eBooks, white papers, and gated content.
If your goal is to simply get traffic and increase brand awareness, create an authoritative blog post that showcases your expertise and helps users overcome their problems. That will be your offer.
3. Choose your native advertising platform
After creating your native ad offer, you need to choose a publishing platform to promote it on. Make sure your offer type matches the content pieces that are normally distributed there.
Here are some of the best native ad publishing platforms you should consider:
- Google: Native search ads on Google promote specific pages of a website. It can be a blog post, landing page, contact page, or anything that aligns with the search intent behind your target keywords.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn in-feed ads can be a blog post, landing page, or product page. Advertisers can also use message ads to promote their content straight in their audience’s inboxes.
- Twitter: On Twitter, all native ads—from text to video—appear on users’ “Home” feed with the exception of “Trend Takeover” ads. Trend Takeovers allow businesses to advertise in the “Trends for you” section of the app.
- Facebook: Facebook advertising relies primarily on in-feed apps that can contain videos, images, and text. Another option is to run Messenger ads, which appear in users’ messages list.
- Native advertising networks: A native ad network like Taboola will help your ads get picked up by trusted publishers on the internet. The platform supports different ad channels and units, including social media, mid-article ads, and publisher homepage ads.
4. Create your ad content
The next step is to prepare the content you’ll roll with your ad.
In most campaigns, this involves the ad headline, featured image, and caption. As a rule of thumb, model those elements after organic posts in your chosen platform.
For example, if you want to use content recommendation ads, create a headline and featured image that matches the publisher’s own content. This will make your native ad look and feel like a natural part of the publisher’s website.
5. Focus on user value
Your native ads should point to content that provides value to your target audience.
Remember, those who click on native ads are looking for valuable content. Showing them a sales landing page that provides zero value will only frustrate your audience.
Native advertising content: FAQs
How does native advertising work?
Native advertising involves creating ads that seamlessly match the publishing platform. Native ads on Twitter will look like tweets, native ads on Google will look like search results, and so on.
Why is native advertising so successful?
Native advertising works better than display advertising because they’re overall better for the user experience. It is unintrusive and focuses on providing users real value through high-quality content.
Is native advertising ethical?
Native advertising is approved by regulators as long as they use clear labels (“Promoted,” “Sponsored, etc.). As long as this element is present, a native ad campaign can not be considered misleading or unethical.
Create native ads that magnetize clicks
Are you ready to reap the full benefits of native ads? You’ll need writers who can produce winning content that generate truckloads of clicks.
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