Native advertising is booming.
The recent Global Native Advertising Market Research Report by IT Intelligence Market forecasts the annual growth rate of native advertising to hit 21% or higher through 2025.
So, as you’re stepping up your investment in native advertising you’ll obviously want to choose a native advertising platform that can help you to achieve your digital marketing goals.
There’s no shortage of native advertising companies, but how do you choose the right one?
Let’s run through a checklist of important variables and qualities to consider when examining native advertising platforms.
The publishing partners audience
Some native advertising platforms offer access to premium sites and some don’t. What’s premium? It could be:
- Reach — A short list of publishing partners delivering clout in the form of millions of eyeballs and highly reputed journalism.
- Relevance — Contextual relevance is all-important in native advertising, especially for discovery platforms working outside the walled gardens of search and social sites. If relevance is at the core of your strategy, inquire about if and how the native advertising platform works with websites that target specific audiences (e.g. food, entertainment, travel, fashion, technology, etc.).
You need to understand whether or not the native advertising company you’re working with has direct relationships with the publishers in its networks. Many don’t. When they do, you’ll have a solid grasp of where your ads will appear, gain greater visibility, be able to verify all activity, and be better equipped to combat click fraud.
Your experience and know-how in native advertising (or lack of) should determine the level of account management you’ll require. If you believe your interests are best served by help from professionals, inquire about the assistance you can get with the creative aspects of running campaigns and the guidance you may or may not receive to optimize results.
For example, in our estimation, a process to optimize ROI calls for experimenting first with run-of-network placements, then examining and refining results. While, of course, you optimize according to your own needs and processes, if you need experts on the job be sure to confirm media professionals are available to you.
Again, you either get assistance with your native ad development or you don’t. If you lack experience in native advertising, having access to a creative strategy team that can recommend headlines and images is invaluable.
What about video? If you’re considering weaving in-feed video into your strategy, you may want expert help with things such as overlays, end-slates and editing.
You may want to also look at what’s working best across various platforms, in specific geographies and languages, and even digital platforms. The very best native advertising platforms offer robust data that helps reveal the trends that produce the highest CTR.
Tracking and reporting
Multiple conversions… custom audiences… URL-based conversions… Yes indeed, juggling conversion types with different values and understanding ad attribution gets complicated. Next-level tracking and reporting capabilities — based on the use of tracking pixels — makes campaigns easier to manage and refine.
Want to maximize campaign performance by automatically adjusting the baseline bid of impressions based on the likelihood to drive conversions or page views? This feature isn’t in the wheelhouse of every native advertising platform. Ask your potential native advertising partner if they can offer ‘smart’ bidding to ensure you produce the optimal bid at the right times.
Want to target millennials who like chocolate? This is just an example, of course, but the gist is you can advertise with the aid of audience segmentation on the open web. If laser targeting — with buyer intent — sounds good, find out if your native advertising platform offers a performance-based solution integrated with third-party data companies to help drive results and scale.
Retargeting enables marketers to target people who have already shown interest in their product. It’s proven extremely valuable for increasing conversions. Campaigns are retargeted based on pixels or on previous campaign clicks.
Lookalike targeting is the process of modeling the behavior and characteristics of your current customers and using the data to target similar audiences. Select native advertising companies enable you to build lookalike audiences by uploading a list of hashed emails, using your own first-party data.
With some native advertising platforms, location-based targeting is by zip code — or by targeting countries, but excluding specific zip codes.
Campaign scheduling is another targeting tool worth exploring. Targeting your reach for specific dates (holidays, launches) or even by time of day may increase conversion.
Be sure your native advertising platform supports multi-variant testing of creative elements. This feature enables you to benchmark each ad against a baseline click-through-rate and increase the frequency of the winners.
The option to choose ‘even traffic allocation‘ helps improve the campaign test’s integrity by ensuring every creative execution receives a fair shot, before unleashing larger ad buys.
You’re reading an article on the blog of an established, leading native advertising platform. Taboola provides deep resources to customers, prospects and anyone in the marketing business interested in learning more about native advertising.
If you haven’t yet discovered the resources beyond our blog, do so now:
- Engineering blog
- Case studies
- Best practices
- Taboola Trends
- Native advertising insights
When it’s all said and done, you want a strong product.
Strong native advertising platforms intersect three key areas: strong relationships with publishers and other digital properties; strong targeting capabilities; and strong performance.
To sum it up, you’re looking for:
- Publishers and partnerships that make sense for your brand
- The support and expertise you need for success
- Advanced targeting capabilities
- Proven success with other advertisers
Once you’ve checked those boxes, you can move forward with the native advertising platform that works for you.