Native Advertising Best Practices

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Native advertising is an effective way for your brand to capture attention and build relevance

The goal is ultimately to promote the advertiser’s product, without blatantly showing a banner ad advertising that product or service. The key to success is to fit your content seamlessly in the environment it appears in, without disrupting the user experience, but instead adding value to it.

Sounds simple enough, right? But how do we make that happen? The following guide offers some best practices to help marketers create and implement successful native ad campaigns to build their brand and reach the people that matter most.

What is Native Advertising?

First, let’s start with the basics. What is native advertising? By definition, native advertising refers to content that appears in an online publication that resembles the publication’s editorial content, but is paid for by an advertiser.

So, rather than buying a banner ad targeting a specific audience that might be interested in buying your products or services, the “ad” comes in a different format - content - that is supposed to appear naturally in a particular publication. Native ads match the look and feel of the publication in which they appear, so they look like just another editorial piece in that channel.

The goal is to push a user to a strong piece of content that will capture the user’s attention. For that reason, native is useful for prospecting and promoting content. Rather than driving your audience to a product page with a sales pitch, engaging your audience has the potential to drive longer-term positive impacts.

What is Native Programmatic Advertising?

Native programmatic ads offer many of the same benefits of traditional programmatic advertising: automated media buying, effective targeting and audience insights to improve future optimization.

Combining the power of programmatic with the long-term benefits of native, you can extend your reach and offer value and insights to a larger pool of potential customers. You get the speed and reach of programmatic with the marketing power of native.

So, how can you make the most of your programmatic native advertising? Here are 5 best practices to keep in mind when building out your native strategy.

1. Understand Your Consumers

As with any targeted marketing campaign, the first step is understanding your audience. Who are you trying to reach? What problems are they trying to solve, or what are they looking for? Learning more about their interests and needs allows you to create content that is relevant and helpful to them. The last thing you want is for your ad to be the one extraneous piece among a handful of others that are useful for the viewer.

2. Target for Content

No matter how compelling, your ad will be ineffective if it’s not in front of the right eyes. However, because of the nature of native advertising, content targeting is almost more important than audience targeting here. You need to make sure that the content you are showing matches the type of content in its environment.

That being said, it’s important to make sure your ad appears in brand safe environments. Quality ad placements are more likely to be viewed in a positive light if they’re surrounded by other quality content. On the other hand, if your ad appears next to questionable content, your brand is likely to be viewed negatively as well.

3. Aim to Add Value

Native ads don’t work if you are going for the hard sell. Instead, aim to add insight and encourage interactivity in the industry. Share best practices, offer advice, and tell stories with native ads. Building credibility by adding value to the consumer will pay off in the end.

4. Create Compelling Creatives

Your native ad should draw attention without taking control of the entire page. Keep your headline concise but informative and your imagery compelling, to capture the attention of viewers as they scroll past their screens. When looking at the page as a whole, your ad should fit cleanly with the rest of the content and match the overall style of the site.

5. Combine Native with Other Channels

Native advertising is one important part of a holistic marketing plan, but it can’t live in a silo. The content and tone of your native advertising may be slightly different from your other marketing messages, but they should all be working together with your cross-channel marketing plans in display, mobile, search, and social.

As the largest independent trading desk, tdX offers access to 18 DSPs, search and social platforms to power high-performing campaigns for marketers and agencies across native, search, social, and display. Our proprietary platform grading system determines the best channel mix for your KPIs by assessing platforms on over 200 evaluation criteria, sorted by over 50 filters.

For more information about tdX and how it can help power your cross-channel marketing campaigns and high-powered native advertising, contact us.