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How Publishers Can Get The Most Out Of Their Native Ads

March 17, 2022

For many publishers, native ads have the potential to accelerate their revenue generation without causing them to alienate search engines, users, or advertisers. However, some publishers still make mistakes as they try to take advantage of these natural-looking advertisements. To truly use these ads to complement their content and appeal to users, publishers can take certain steps to increase the efficacy of their native ads.

In this article, we’re going to:

  • Briefly explain native advertising.
  • Touch on why native ads are so effective.
  • Share our top tips on how publishers can maximize on native ads.

Let’s start with a quick recap of native advertising.

What Is Native Advertising: A Quick Recap

Users don’t like intrusive ads, and publishers are always looking to make advertisements appear more natural next to or within their content. Enter native advertising - a strategy that revolves around making sponsored content and ads blend in naturally with the content surrounding them. Since they don’t always look like advertisements, native ads are typically marked with a tag that says “sponsored” or “advertisement” as required by law.

Native Ads examples from Softonic.com

Why Native Ads Are So Effective

Ads are everywhere, all the time. Users can’t browse the internet without encountering at least two or three advertisements, even with ad-blocking software. Unfortunately, many of these advertisements are intrusive, annoying, or irrelevant. Consequently, users have developed “banner blindness” - they start to ignore ads automatically, tuning out the creatives and scrolling by.

Native ads combat banner blindness by appearing naturally on a page, blending in with the surrounding content. They’re designed to be interesting and eye-catching without being intrusive and disruptive. As a result, native ads have higher interaction and viewability rates which, in turn, appeals to advertisers and allows publishers to boost their revenue generation.

How Publishers Can Make Their Native Ads More Effective

Even though native ads can be extremely effective, their efficacy depends on several factors. These can include placements, ad sizes and creatives, optimization, and more. Everything, from the content and layout of a page to the advertisers available on your chosen network or exchange, can affect how well your native ads work. That’s why we’re going to share a few of our top tips on how publishers can make their native ads perform to their full potential.

Use The Right Kind Of Targeting To Keep Ads Relevant

There are many ways to target site visitors, but many of these methods rely on third-party cookies. Not only will these cookies be phased out soon, but they often show users ads that aren’t relevant to their current situation or query at all.

Contextual targeting is a fantastic way for publishers to target users. It’s extremely effective, often boasting much higher click-through rates, making it highly appealing to advertisers. Some publishers swear by contextual targeting, claiming that their advertisers will pay as much as 50% more for these ads rather than standard display or native ads.

By using contextual targeting in conjunction with native ads, publishers can provide users with relevant advertising and a non-intrusive experience all at once while boosting their revenue and appealing to advertisers.

Labels Are Not A Bad Thing

The biggest draw of native ads is that they are designed to blend in with surrounding content seamlessly. Unfortunately, that caused some concern about users being tricked into clicking on ads while thinking they’re about to view more content. As a result, some visitors feel conned by the brand and lose trust in it.

That doesn’t mean publishers shouldn’t use these ads at all. On the contrary, research suggests that many people, particularly millennials, don’t mind short ads, sponsorships, or even product endorsements from influencers or content creators they trust. However, they do prefer that these ads be clearly labeled.

Native advertising shouldn’t be thought of as “hiding ads in plain sight.” Instead, publishers should consider it a non-invasive way to share interesting products or sponsored content with their visitors responsibly and ethically.

Less Is More - Quality Over Quantity

Native ads tend to blend in with the surrounding content, but that doesn’t mean publishers should stuff every open space on their site with native ad slots. There are those publishers that focus on quantity, raising their ad density percentage as high as possible. The acceptable upper limit is 30% of the total page (not just the viewport), but some sites have a much higher density. Unfortunately, this strategy can backfire - even with native ads - as your ads may be blocked, costing you a large chunk of revenue.

It’s more important to focus on quality. Make smart use of your page layout, employ best practices, and avoid violating ad density standards. If possible, we recommend working with a partner, like Rev·Amp, who understands your website, industry, and content and can help optimize your ads in the best possible way.

Always Keep Analyzing And Improving

No native ads strategy will work perfectly right from the get-go. There are just too many factors that can impact whether a publisher’s strategy will work or flounder. That’s why it’s critical to continually analyze and review the results of your ads, spotting and solving any potential challenges before they become significant problems.

It can also show you which of your native ads are delivering the best results and allow you to raise the minimum bid on these slots.

Partner With A Trusted Ad Services Provider

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ad exchanges, networks, SSPs, and ad tech and services providers. Each has its own approach, tricks, expertise, and unique technologies and methodologies. The real challenge is finding the one that meets your needs the best. For example, at Rev·Amp, we’re known for working with some of the top technological brands in the industry and connecting them to our trusted publishers.

The right provider can help you optimize your native ads to work best with your content and for your viewers.

Conclusion

Native ads appeal to advertisers and users alike, making them a must-have for any publisher. Since the ads seamlessly blend in with the surrounding content, they’re far less disruptive to a user’s experience while combating banner blindness at the same time. However, despite the many benefits for publishers, native ads need to be used correctly for the best results. With the right placements, monitoring, and optimizations, native ads can boost a publisher’s revenue.

is a digital advertising performance expert and the Director of Rev•Amp at Softonic. As a business unit leader, Fréderic is responsible for the monetization and the success of the Softonic Publisher Network. Within Rev•Amp, Fréderic oversees Product, Business Development, and Account Management functions.
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