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 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?
What is a Native Advertising Platform?
Native advertising platforms allow advertisers to create ads that blend seamlessly into the organic content on a particular website. Social media networks, for example, display ads that appear similar to organic posts in the main news feed. Taboola places ads that appear identical to publisher content on popular blogs and news outlets.
With the growing popularity of native advertising, many advertisers and publishers opt to work with professionals to determine and execute a native advertising strategy.
All of the best native advertising platforms have something in common: they’re a handy tool for advertisers to increase lead generation, conversions, and sales and for publishers to monetize their websites and improve user experience. This holds for every platform, but each has specific areas that set it apart.
- Facebook Audience Network
- Google AdSense
- Verizon Media Native (formerly Gemini by Yahoo)
Facebook Audience Network
If you’re looking to focus on mobile native advertising, Facebook Audience Network may be the right choice for you. They report that 86% of impressions on the Audience Network come from native ads. According to Facebook, “Native ads are often better for engagement and make higher eCPMs.” Facebook sends minimum payouts of $100 to publishers who display image, video, and carousel ads.
Google AdSense has an extensive network of advertisers and publishers, including wikiHow and Japan Times. They offer a wide variety of ad types and have over two million users. Google offers publishers in-feed and in-article native ads, paying each month when they reach $100 in earnings.
Yahoo Native (formerly Gemini by Yahoo, and later Verizon Media Native) offers search and native advertising that reaches 1 billion monthly active users. They work with publishers such as AOL, HuffPost, and Techcrunch.
ReklamStore specializes in high eCPM ads for small to medium-sized publishers through a self-service tool. With 51% higher user awareness than traditional ads, header bidding, and 100% match content, publishers can generate additional revenue.
AdPushup offers various revenue optimization tools and product features such as Header Bidding, AMP Ads, and Ad Layout Optimization. They work with publishers who are already generating over $5,000 in monthly revenue and offer an average uplift of 33% in revenue.
The Nativo Ad Platform reaches over 220 million monthly unique visits in the US with native display, native video, and native article ads. Advertisers can use the self-service platform without spending requirements.
Native Ads helps publishers increase their ad revenue with header bidding, programmatic advertising, intelligent analytics, and superior ad quality. Publishers with over 100,000 visitors per month (50% from the U.S.) can get paid on a Net 45 – Net 60-day basis with a minimum payout of $25.
(Source: Native Ads)
MGID Native Ads Platform reaches over 850 million monthly visitors with 325k exclusive ad placement opportunities and ads with a 60% higher CTR than display. Publishers with over 90,000 monthly visits can generate ad revenue with smart, in-content, and sidebar native ad widgets.
Taboola is one of the largest platforms for online content discovery, audience acquisition, and native advertising reaching 1.4 billion unique users per month. Publishers in the Taboola network include USA Today, The Weather Channel, NBC, MSN, Business Insider, Bloomberg, CBS, and Fox. Taboola offers publishers with over 500,000 monthly views CPC native ads in the form of sponsored content and videos.
How to Choose the Right Native Advertising Platform for Your Campaign
Let’s run through a checklist of essential variables and qualities to consider when examining native advertising platforms.
1. 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 shortlist 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.).
2. Partner relationships
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.
3. Account management
Your experience and know-how in native advertising (or lack of it) should determine the level of account management you’ll require. If you believe you need 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, a process to optimize ROI calls first for experimenting 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.
4. Creative assistance
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 reveal the trends that produce the highest CTR.
5. Tracking and reporting
Multiple conversions, custom audiences, URL-based conversions… Juggling conversion types with different values and understanding ad attribution gets complicated. Next-level tracking and reporting capabilities — based on tracking pixels — make campaigns easier to manage and refine.
6. Bidding optimization
Want to maximize campaign performance by automatically adjusting the baseline bid of impressions based on their 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 previous campaign clicks.
9. Lookalike targeting
Lookalike targeting is the process of modeling your current customers’ behavior and characteristics 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 first-party data.
10. Zip-code targeting
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 winners’ frequency.
13. Traffic allocation
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 more significant 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 and native advertising examples
- Best practices
- Taboola Trends
- Native advertising insights
When it’s all said and done, you want a strong product.
Robust 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.