As businesses and entrepreneurs are reassessing their marketing spend during the global pandemic, native ads are growing in popularity.
74% of total US display ad revenue will be generated by native ads by 2021. The main reasons are two-fold.
First, native ads are 53% more likely to grab users’ attention without being intrusive, and, more importantly, produce a click through rate (CTR) that is almost 9 times better compared to conventional display adverts.
This is one of the reasons why native advertising platforms are now gaining more popularity for running ad campaigns among advertisers and publishers.
Regardless of the advertising platform, a native ad network is more likely to generate high quality traffic and leads for publishers. But which are the best native ads platforms out there? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Native Ad Network?
Before we discuss the importance and benefits of native advertising platforms, let’s explain what they are. Native advertising platforms are a medium that enables both publishers and advertisers to meet their advertising goals by synchronizing adverts with web content.
A native ad doesn’t have an ad-like appearance. Instead, it appears to be a seamless part of the web content that the user views. This helps native advertising platforms serve adverts in a non-intrusive way to ensure content discovery without hampering user experience.
71% of users said that they personally identify with a brand after seeing its native ads as compared to 50% with display ads, while more than 86% of impressions are generated through native ads.
Types of Native Advertising
Although native ads appear to be part of the overall web content, there is still sufficient room for publishers to display their native ads in different forms. Here are some of the most popular ways to show native ads:
1. Content Recommendations
These are native ads that appear as recommended content and articles. They usually appear below or in the middle of the article you are currently reading.
2. In-Feed Advertisement
These are native ads that appear like usual social media posts when you are scrolling down your newsfeed. They are widely used by platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
3. Search and Promoted Listings
These native ads appear right at the top of your search engine results when you are looking for a particular service or product. They may also appear in the sidebar.
Examples and Benefits of Native Ads
As compared to conventional display ads, native advertising brings a wide range of benefits for publishers and advertisers. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of native ads.
1. Improved Engagement and Impressions
Users and visitors are more likely to ignore traditional advertising as compared to native ads since they appear to be the part of the experience. They are non-intrusive comparatively, so even if a user doesn’t like them, he might not mind them either. Other types of display ads can be quite intrusive and distracting.
This is why customers are 25% more likely to view native advertisements and 53% more likely to interact with them. Higher rates of impressions and engagement can lead to better conversion rates.
2. Native Advertisements Are More Relevant
Since native adverts are designed to blend in with the content of the site or social network, they tend to have more contextual relevance. Moreover, they don’t appear to be preying on the user’s personal choices and preferences which helps in developing a sense of trust and loyalty. In the long run, this enables you to build a customer base of repeated and loyal buyers improving your brand cachet.
Apart from that, when the native adverts align with the content that is being displayed, they are more likely to be relatable for your users. This means that native advertisement has a higher chance of being shared as compared to a common display ad. The improved odds of being shared can lead to more effective marketing campaigns.
3. Publishers Get More Control with Native Advertising
Advertisers and publishers generally don’t have a way to determine where their adverts are going to be displayed and at what time. Native advertising gives them more control over the ad placement process as they can intentionally create an environment for displaying their adverts. They also can have more control over where the ad will be viewed and by whom.
These ads offer multiple targeting options to the publisher as they can be selected on the basis of intent, topic, and content to make them as relevant as possible for the audience. The more relevant the native ad is to the user, the more likely they could be to convert with quicker and easier content discovery.
4. Better Chance to Reach Target Audience
Since many ads today, including banner ads, could potentially break, distract or negatively impact the user experience in other ways, website visitors are relying more and more on ad blockers.
Like on the USA Today site page below, these native adverts look like they are part of the branded content and even if the user isn’t interested in them, he can simply choose to ignore it. These ads do not affect the user experience ensuring enhanced ad reach per month.
Higher chance of reach can also impact cost per click positively for the company as ad space isn’t being blocked by the user. This is one of the reasons why native adverts are gaining more popularity among all advertising options for brands as well as publishers.
5. Native Ad Networks Enable Device Responsiveness
Typical banner ads are mostly eliminated or heavily cropped to create a better user experience on devices with smaller screens such as tablets and smartphones.
In the Fox News example below, the banner ad on the right-hand side of the page will probably not be displayed on a mobile device. If it is, it is likely to make for poor UX as, with a smaller screen, users are more likely to notice a poorly displayed ad which gets in the way of his or her browsing. That’s not the case with a native ad.
A native ad can be made device-responsive with ease so it feels like a part of the mobile experience by blending in with the site content. It simply appears to be another normal in-feed article that the user can choose to read.
6 of the Best Native Advertising Platforms for Publishers
A native advertising platform is similar to other digital advertising platforms except it serves native adverts instead. This type of ad platform relies on advanced advertising technology to publish adverts that blend in with the content.
Now that you know what native advertising is and what kinds of native ads there are, let’s take a look at some top native ad platforms.
Outbrain is one of the leading native advertising platforms used by some of the top publishers including BBC and The Guardian. The ad network allows publishers to access top DSPs through programmatic native ad demand.
- The eligibility criteria of Outbrain requires you to have minimum traffic of over 10 million page views.
- You can also choose between CPC and CPM pricing models with the minimum payment being 0.
- With Outbrain, you can go for in-feed as well as in-article native advertising for both display and video ads.
If you think that Outbrain is one of those native ad networks that puts a high web traffic restriction, you have access to other ad networks for native advertising campaigns. There are a number of native ad networks that will allow publishers to scale native advertising with a variety of targeting options with minimal or no traffic restriction. For instance, Native is a native ad platform that doesn’t pose any traffic restriction.
Apart from Outbrain, if you are searching for a reliable native ad platform, then you would have heard about Taboola. It can be a great option for bringing in traffic and page views. It is used by The Huffington Post, USA Today, and other top publishers. Eligibility criteria requires traffic of more than 1 million page views.
- The only pricing model available is CPC with maximum CPM and RPM rate being approximately $2.00.
- The minimum payment threshold on Taboola is $100.
- Marketers also have the option to use modern advertising technology such as geo-targeting for placing their native advertising.
3. Yahoo Gemini
One of the top ad platforms in the United States, Yahoo Gemini serves native advertising for some of the top brands including Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch, and Huff Post. You can choose between a wide range of native ad formats including image ads, app install ads, video ads, carousel ads, Yahoo Mail ads, and Moments ads.
- You also have the option to import your ad campaigns from Google Ads.
- The website traffic requirement by this native advertising platform is only 10,000 page views per month.
Although you may not have heard of this platform, if you are an ad publisher for a media website then Nativo can be a great alternative. This particular ad network has served native advertising for Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, and Time Inc and doesn’t impose any traffic restrictions.
It offers a wide range of targeting options and ad formats along with AdStore that allows publishers to choose and activate different monetization partners simultaneously.
- There is no minimum web traffic restriction while the minimum payment threshold is only $50.
- You can also choose between eCPM and vCPM pricing models.
TripleLift is a programmatic advertising platform for native ads that enables OTT and native publishers to monetize their inventory through TripleLift’s demand associates and partners. The ad network provides the facility of having a dedicated account manager as well as a customer support team for delivering assistance in running ad campaigns. Supported ad formats include in-article, in-feed, carousel format, and video ads.
- The platform relies on CPM and CPC pricing models with maximum CPM rate being up to $3.00.
- There is no requirement for minimum traffic.
- Minimum payment threshold is only $50.
According to the ad publisher’s website, among all native ad networks, RevContent offers 250 billion unique content recommendations per month and has partnered with a number of advertisers and publishers including Forbes and Wayfair. The advertising network provides marketers with a self-service feature, so they are well-positioned to display native advertising according to their business needs.
- For this native advertising network, your traffic source must be generating page views in excess of 3 million.
- The native advertising platform supports both CPC and vCPM with minimum payment threshold being $50.
If you are one of those marketers who are looking to get started with a self-service platform, then MGID may be the platform you want. You can generate more ad impressions focusing on your business needs and marketing goals with MGID’s self-service option and a variety of ad formats. This native advertising platform also has the option to easily and quickly scale your company ad publishing scope with access to real time analytics.
- Minimum traffic required is over 90,000 monthly visitors. If your website’s traffic is below the threshold, you will have to look somewhere else.
- Pricing models include CPM, RevShare, and CPC with $100 being the minimum payment threshold.
How to Choose a Native Advertising Platform
When looking for the right ad platform for your company or business, you need to ensure that you are taking all factors into consideration including your website traffic, company advertising budget, nature of media or content you want to serve, and the type of network you are looking for.
Here are some of the factors to consider:
Ensure that the ad network you are going with offers the right setup procedure for you. For example, there are networks like Media.net that will require you to set up each website manually. Not to mention, each website will require a separate approval from the network making it a tedious and time-consuming process for advertisers.
Advertisers also need to make sure that per click pricing is adequate according to your marketing budget. There can be different pricing models including CPC and CPM. However, not all networks offer all of the pricing options. For instance, Outbrain doesn’t have support for the CPC model.
Quality of Ad
Although advertising networks can acquire ads to meet your native ad impressions, you need to keep in mind that ad quality can vary quite a bit. There are fraudulent advertisers who use these networks for purposes of traffic arbitraging which could take your visitors to fake landing pages. That’s why it is important that you review the quality of ads being served.
Ad Network Requirements
Review your stats and numbers before you make a final decision about choosing an ad network. Ensure that you have enough traffic, budget, and access to features you need before signing up for a big name ad platform.
Whether your website serves content or media, as a publisher you can benefit from serving native advertising. A native ad will blend with your media or written content to provide a distraction-free experience to your customers. Media ads that pop up or banner ads that get in the way can hamper the experience. This is why it has become imperative for advertisers too to rely on more organic forms of advertising. Native advertising provides exactly that.