The BizProfits Blog

Q&A: 12 Things You Need to Know About Native Ads

Written by: Sean Estrin Promotion Tips

Native ads

Note: We have already written on the topic of native ads in this blog post. Yet the topic is as hot as ever, that’s why we decided to expand on it a little and give you more insight.

What are native ads?

The definition of native ads is rather straightforward. These are ads that don’t look like ads, don’t interrupt the user’s journey through a website or an app, and thus have better chances of attracting clicks. On a more specific level, however, views on the exact native ads definition may vary, since different marketers and networks include different types of ads into this general category (e.g. social ads can be considered both – native and non-native).

The history of native ads in the non-digital format goes back to the beginning of the XX century, when the publisher of an agricultural magazine The Furrow, Jon Deere, started to integrate ads of his own agricultural products into tip-style articles on the same topic. The term “native” itself was first used in 2011 by Fred Wilson.

The fast development and spreading of non-interruptive marketing means proves that the future of native ads is as bright as it can be, with the possibility of it gradually replacing all other types of ads.

How do native ads work?

The drawback of the digital era is that consumers inevitably get more skeptic and start despising brands for trying to get into their minds and manipulate their decisions. Native ads draw attention of Internet surfers because they steer clear of interruptive experiences.

Native ads are among the must-have tools of Internet marketers because their click-through rates are through the roof as compared to other types of advertising.

The non-interruptive nature and improved user experience make all the difference in how native ads work as compared to display ads.

In terms of ad mechanics, an ad is assembled from the parts provided by the advertiser (heading, image, description, URL) to fit into the publisher website’s design and layout. Add programmatic serving (i.e. serving relevant ads based on the information about users viewing them) and you have a winning advertising formula.

Why use native ads?

We have already talked about why native ads work (their non-interruptive nature). For you as an affiliate marketer, the effectiveness of native ads lies in their skyrocket-high click-through rates and the ability to use them for promoting different verticals. In fact, native ad networks are in our top-5 best traffic sources for virtually all verticals.

The diversity of placements and formats is also among the advantages of native ads.

What are native social ads?

Social media are among the biggest suppliers of native ads opportunities. Major players like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest offer sponsored in-feed content units that may fall into the category of native advertising. Such content looks like posts by other users but usually has a “Sponsored” tag.

Native ads in social

At that, these are closed platforms, meaning that here you can promote only pieces of content created with the use of the same networks (e.g. sponsored Tweets, Facebook posts, etc.) Usually, such ads can be run from within social media accounts or with the use of external ad management services like AdEspresso.

What are native ads on mobile?

MMA Mobile Native Advertising Committee determines the following formats of native ads for mobile:

  • In-feed social (available through social media networks and ad management services)
  • In-feed content (News Apps, SoundCloud, etc.)
  • In-feed commerce (Amazon, Etsy, etc.) – integrated product listings
  • In-map – ads showing distance to the advertised location, navigation, directions, etc.
  • In-game – video ads that run in an ad container that matches the look and feel of the game
  • Paid search – ads integrated with organic search results that appear on mobile search websites and apps
  • Recommendation widgets that suggest further reading after users finish reading a certain piece
  • Custom sponsorship opportunities (e.g. branded filters on Snapchat)

What are native video ads?

A big chunk of native video ads is represented by TrueView video ad formats that run on YouTube and partner websites – in-stream and as video discovery. A nice touch is that you pay only for those videos that the viewers choose to watch. Video ads served through other platforms like Facebook can also be classified as native video ads.

Native ads video

What are Yahoo native ads?

Yahoo offers standard and interactive (carousel, tiles, video app install and mail) native ad formats purchased through its Yahoo Gemini platform.

How to identify native ads?

The majority of native ads are marked in a certain way, usually with a “Sponsored” label. The easiest way to understand which ads your competitors are using (in the course of preparation to running AM campaigns) is to subscribe for a native ads spy tool such as Adplexity.

What are the most popular native ads networks?

Traffic sources for native ads are numerous. Here are but a few of them:

  • Avazu mDSP

Native ads best practices and advice

  • Native ads are best paired with advertorial landing pages and eye-catching images
  • Tier 2 and 3 targeting is significantly cheaper but there is much less traffic there
  • Regularly update your ads – preferably every 2 to 4 days
  • Mobile and desktop formats differ, so run separate campaigns for different devices
  • Test before you drain the budget with at least 10 different images
  • Optimize your headlines for clicks as your CR will matter for how the network judges your performance in future
  • Watch for incredibly high traffic placements – these can be filled with bots
  • Sometimes traffic sources approve only a certain number of ads in a certain time. You can overcome this by creating multiple accounts.

How much do native ads cost?

As is the case with any ads, the cost of native ads is much higher in Tier 1 countries. To do native in the US or UK, you’d need at least a $10,000 budget. $2,000 – $3,000 is enough for other tiers.

Native ads problems

Are there any problems with native ads?

(!) The cost – native costs much more than pop or redirect traffic
(!) Most networks are rather difficult to use, since their backends are still being worked on
(!) Not all networks offer precise targeting options
(!) The approval process for your ads might take days
(!) Some networks may overspend your budget, which means you’ll have to monitor your campaigns VERY closely
(!) With some networks, your ads might end up on a website of the wrong category

Here at BizProfits, pretty much all available offers take native traffic, unless explicitly stated otherwise. However, we do recommend to consult with your manager prior to running campaigns to avoid costs and violations. In all other respects, native is the future of marketing, and affiliate marketing is hardly an exception.

Click here to choose awesome offers you’ll be able to run on native.

Join here to get access to exclusive offers and receive professional guidance from our affiliate team.

We’ll be happy to have you on board!

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Sean Estrin

Affiliate Manager


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