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August 19, 2015

How to Build a Successful Native Advertising Campaign to Boost Your Marketing ROI

Image courtesy of ( David Castillo Dominici) / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Native advertising is booming. A new report from BIA/Kelsey suggests that the native/social category of mobile ad spend for a local audience is expected to increase from 14 percent in 2015 to 25.5 percent in 2019. Native ads are in-fact the fastest growing ad segment in the entire mobile/social ads category. This is a great piece of information for the advertisers as people are more interested in viewing ads that are synchronized with other media on the platform as opposed to those that can be clearly distinguished as ads.

Types of Native Ads

Native ads can be distinguished under six different types:

  • Search Ads – Normal text ads that we see on search engines like Google or Bing fall under this category.

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  • Promoted Listings – These types of ads are usually eCommerce product listing ads that match the look and feel of the given site. Amazon sponsored product listings is an example of this type of ad.

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  • Recommendation Widgets–Such ads are used by content recommendation services and they don’t form part of the main content. An example of a recommendation widget is provided below:

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  • In-Ads – Such ads contains contextually relevant links within the main text. Links sold by contextual link providers like Infolinks or Chitika fall under this category.

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  • Custom Ads – Such ads can match the look and feel of the site in a manner that does not come under any of the above specified categories.

Building a Successful Native Advertising Campaign – Guidelines to Follow

  • Define Your Goals and Identify Your KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) – The first step is the identification of goals. It is important to set realistic targets for your business. Consider the size of your audience, the type of interaction you wish to achieve and set various micro and macro conversions you expect as outputs of your campaign.
  • Spend Some Time Analyzing Your Current Competitor’s Native Ad Strategy – To have a seamless marketing strategy, first analyze what are the ad types that your competitors are currently running and on which channels. But, make sure that your target audiences fall in the same category as that of your competitors. It is important to know the competitors objectives, assumptions, resources and capabilities. Once you have the details, you can quickly analyze which channels will be more appropriate for you to target.
  • Develop Content that is Interesting/Engaging but Most Importantly Provides Value– Create original content and be creative focusing on a strong headline. Make the content relevant, authoritative, actionable, accurate, engaging and thought provoking.

Once you have the content ready, the next step is the successful promotion of content in social media. For large scale content distribution, social media management platforms such as Oktopost can come handy. It lets you leverage social media monitoring to gain real-time insight into what drives your target audience. You can deliver customized content and maximize brand reach. Moreover, you can measure social ROI using the intelligent social analytics feature.

  • Aims for Successful Collaboration of content Across All Platforms – Many brands often make the mistake of shedding of the universal brand image and objectives while segmenting their strategy across social media platforms. It is essential to develop a native advertising program workflow and involve both the external and internal departments for extensive collaboration.
  • Make Use of Content Recommendation Services Apart from Social Media – Native advertising is not just limited to social collaboration platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It indeed involves other channels that amplify earned and owned media and distribute content across the Web. Some of the well-known market leaders in this space are: Taboola, Hexagram, Outbrain and Gravity.
  • Ensure content portability – Advertisers must ensure that the campaign creative like text, images, infographics, videos etccan, wholly or in part, be used across a variety of platforms seamlessly in order to amplify messaging and increase awareness. Also, it is important to make the content easily shareable for maximizing the performance of the campaign.

Native advertising is revolutionizing the manner in which social and digital channels are being used for advertising. A survey from native advertising platform, adyoulike suggests that 16 percent of native advertising spend now comes from new dedicated budget, compared to only six per cent last year, and that 63 percent of agencies are now very confident that the native market is well regulated, up from only 33 percent in 2014. It’s time to gear up for the native advertising campaign if you haven’t started it yet.


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Joydeep Bhattacharya is an internet marketer and owner of the SEO blog, SEO Sandwitch. He has been associated with SEO, SMO, PPC, ORM and other activities related to online marketing for the past 5 years.

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