We're here to answer the question: what is native adverting? How can it help publishers and advertisers?
If you've been around the content industry you may have heard about native advertising. But what is native advertising exactly? When it comes to running a website, there are two important things which are typically difficult to achive, but are critical to the success of your website.
- Monetize your site
- Drive more traffic to your site
Both of these tasks require a full blown strategy around both of them. To monetize your site the right way, you need to find ways and means of blending the "monetization" with the usefulness to the visitors of your site.
Driving traffic to your site is of course a whole industry all by itself.
But what if you could combine the two with one winning formula? Does such an opportunity exist?
It does. And it's known as Native Ads. In this article we'll go through all of the benefits and why you really need to understand what is native advertising.
What are Native Ads and why are they revolutionary?
In a day and age where users have gotten completely used to ignoring and tuning out normal banner ads and traditional display ads - the effectivness of these types of ads has become less - both for the publishers and the advertisers.
CTR rates across the industry have been falling to about 0.17% across the industry - which makes the profitability of maintaining a website for the purpose of monetizing content a very tough act.
It's high time for a new form of advertising.
Native ads are the solution to this problem. With native ads, the content looks and feels like editorial content. Complex algorithms are able to display sponsored content which is similar or related to the content which the visitor is reading right now. This makes the users much more likely to engage with these ads, because they are giving them more of what they would like to see at that point in time. This is particularly important on mobile advertising, where banner ads are very intrusive and much more likely to be ignored (or distract a user).
Since publishers (website owners) can blend this advertising content with their regular content - the CTR rates will soar, making this type of advertising more effective both for the publishers and the advertisers. Publishers are able to monetize their content more effectively, leaving more money in their pocket - whilst advertisers are getting what they paid for. Win-win situation for all.
The advertising market is changing - native advertising helps you adapt to the new realities
Google AdWords and it's counterpart Google AdSense can also be seen as contextual ads. It is quite an easy method to drive traffic towards your site. Yet the cost of using AdWords to bring traffic to your money pages keeps rising and rising. The reality is, Google AdWords using an auction mechanism, which is a race in which you are always going to be on the losing side. As more and more advertisers get on Google AdWords, it's a race to the bottom-line, everybody will keep squeezing their marketing budgets as much as they can get.
Of course, we've also all come to realise the difference between real content, organic search results and such things as display ads and search ads. That's of course one of the primary reasons why CTR rates keep falling and falling. Users have become mostly immune to all of these types of advertising. The right side of a website (where most banners advertisements are placed) have become a blind spot - with little to no attention being devoted to content which is present there. Getting a user's attention to traditional advertising keeps getting harder and harder.
This is what native advertising is all about - it is a new way to bring users the content they need, in the context and form they want it in.
Some reports such as from BI Intelligence estimate that revenue from native advertising will keep rising until it reaches $36 billion in the US by the year 2021.
Benefits of using native advertising for publishers
When trying to learn what is native advertising, it's best that we discuss the differences between traditional and native advertising.
Improved CTR Rates
First things first- we started this article discussing CTR rates and how they have been declining across the industry. Well, native advertising is the way to bump these rates right up. With native ads, the average CTR ratio is more than 500% more than with banner ads, seeing a CTR ratio average of 1.15% - that's a very significant different and will see your website monetization revenues skyrocket.
Adoption by influential sites such as Forbes and HuffingtonPost
You know something is great when you see it on influential sites such as Forbes, CNN and the HuffingtonPost. These sites which get massive amounts of traffic have adopted this method of advertising to boost their online revenues. Of course, if these ads where giving their users a negative user experience, these sites would stay away from these forms of advertisements. The fact that these influential sites are using native advertising shows that this is the way forward.
Non-english sites can join native advertising
Traditionally, most ways of generating revenues for a publisher where mostly restricted to English language sites. Although English makes up a significant portion of the content on the internet, there's plenty of other languages used for creating content - particularly for sites focused on local communities.
These sites had very little ways of earning revenues with their sites.
Native advertising on the other hand with sites such as AdNow allow publishers to monetize sites which are not necessarily in english.
Moderated content in native ads
Distracting ads with dodgy content is the last thing you'll want to see on your website. That's why most forms of native advertising have a full moderation team, which runs all content submitted by advertisers through a manual review and safety check, to ensure there are no unsafe codes on the websites.
Customization options to blend the ads
Although native advertising by default looks like editorial content, there are usually good customization options to make sure that the content completely blends in with your website. Of course, the better the content blends into your own, the better CTR rates (and revenues).
More info for publishers using Adnow can be found here: http://adnow.com/publishers.
How Native Advertising can drive more traffic to your site
We started our "what is native advertising" article, by postulating a way in which using one formula, you could drive revenues whilst boosting traffic. So far, we've spoken about native adveristing mostly from the side of the publishers. However, of course, somebody has to actually advertise - somebody has to create the content which will feature in these ads.
The great thing is that as a publisher, you can be both earn revenues from adding native advertising, but you can also become an advertiser yourself. You choose to advertise your own content as an advertiser. That way, you'll be making use of the same formula to drive traffic to your site, from users who are actually fully interested in that content - the best type of visitors!
This is of course why we suggest that you use native advertising both as a publisher and as an advertiser. Whatever revenues you generate as a publisher can be used to offset the cost of your advertising campaigns.
We're going to take an example of what is native advertising and how use it to generate traffic using AdNow as our example platform.
Using native advertising, is quite similar to start a campaign with other forms of advertising such as AdWords. You can start by creating a campaign and then start configuring the campaign. In terms of configuration, native advertising parameters include
1. Cost per click - you can choose the price you want to pay for each click you get - essentially, the more you pay in CPC, the more traffic you can generate.
2. Geotargeting - of course you are able to select the countries which you want to target with your advertising campaigns
3. Devices - Rather than just choosing whether the ads are shown on mobiles, tablets or desktops, this configuration option goes much further than that. You can select the telecoms provider (e.g. Vodafone, T-Mobile etc.), the operating system (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS etc.), and the internet connection type (e.g. ISP, Mobile, Government, etc.)
4. Images and creatives for the ad - once you've defined the above parameters, you can create the actual ad which will be shown on the widgets which we described above.
Once you are ready you can actually add the creatives and descriptions of the links you would like to advertise.
As you can see, this is fairly simple way to create campaigns which will drive traffic to your money pages. As you can see native advertising is similar to other forms of creating marketing campaigns, with the added advantages that we are discussing in this article.
Benefits for advertisers using native advertising
Whilst discussing what is native advertising, it is essential that we discuss a few additional advantages that advertisers can take benefit of
- Traffic is constantly monitored, to ensure that no fraudulent traffic is being to sent to your site - all traffic is real, visitors who are actually interested in your content
- CPC is kept low due to the better effectiveness of this form of native advertising. This is the result of the fact that native advertising looks like a part of the content, effectively translating into a high CTR and more engaged traffic
- Native advertising platforms such as AdNow will full support, help with creatives and provide advice on landing page design
- There is an option to control your ad spending by using the option of setting daily budget limit per campaign
- As discussed previously, campaigns can be very targetted, such as by browser, by all the OS options, by carrier and network
- You can also target campaigns by the best days (or hours) for conversion
- Macros ID's will help you to track everything about your campaigns
- You can create your own black and white lists to prevent or allow specific ads not to be shown on particular websites
- AdNow have their own RTB (Real-time bidding) platform which brings with it several advantages.
You might want to check out more details about AdNow advertisers here: http://adnow.com/advertisers. You can also join the discussion with AdNow on DigitalPoint here: https://forums.digitalpoint.
Will you be testing native advertising?
Now that you understand what is native advertising, have you got any plans to make use of it on your web properties? Have you already used native advertising and have results you can share? We'd love to hear about your experience.