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How To Get Started With Native Advertising

By Thomas | Thursday 20th October 2016

By now you should have a good understanding of what native advertising is and what it isn’t. If you’re unsure then you should check out the previous article in this series - What is Native Advertising?

In the previous article we learned that native advertising is designed to look like content and fit “in-steam” alongside relevant editorial, making it more valuable to the consumer. Taking what we’ve learned and setting up your first native advertising campaign may seem like a daunting task, but we’ve got some hot tips and neat tricks that make the whole process a cinch.

Step 1 - Pick Your Content

The phrase “content is king” couldn’t be any truer than when you’re working with native advertising. Unlike traditional display advertising, native adverts should focus on the content. Traditional call-to-action (CTA) buttons and sales-focused landing pages aren’t welcome here. Forget about them.

The easiest content to start promoting through native advertising is a blog post. Make sure that your post provides value to the reader and is relevant to the product or service on offer.

In this example, we’re looking at a solar panel company. Their aim is, of course, to sell solar panels and their installation to homeowners. To achieve this they've created an article that explains the benefits of solar panels and how to get a Government grant to reduce the cost. The content is informative and the savings calculator provides additional value to the reader.

Step 2 - Post Your Content

Once you’ve got your content, you need to get it in front of consumers. This is where native advertising networks step in. Native advertising networks act as a marketplace for publishers and advertisers. They give you, the advertiser, access to some of the biggest websites on the web.

There are many native advertising networks available to choose from, some of the biggest and most well known being Yahoo Gemini, RevContent, Outbrain and Taboola.

To get started, you’ll need to create an account with one of these networks. You’ll usually need to add some funds in advance. You’re then ready to create your native advert which will appear on the publisher’s website.

Notice how the advert text makes clever use of the user's location to boost its relevancy.

Step 3 - Measure

Great! We’ve created our blog article and our first native advert is live on some of the world’s most visited websites. Not bad for less than an hours work.

Our next step is to measure our advertising campaign’s performance. This means tracking how many impressions and clicks our advert has had, how much we’re paying per click (CPC) and what return we’re getting on our investment (ROI).

This is a little more difficult than our previous two steps. Ok, it’s a lot more difficult! Measuring your campaign’s performance presents two common pitfalls for digital marketers:

  • Data scarcity - impressions, clicks and click-through-rate (CTR) just isn’t enough information to make anything better than a “guesstimate”. You should be making informed decisions.
  • Data-blindness - with more data it becomes challenging to make head nor tail of what it’s telling you about your advertising campaign. You spend too long trawling through data.

Being able to effectively measure your campaign’s performance is essential to achieving our next step. But don’t worry - remember earlier when we said we had some hot tips and neat tricks...

Step 4 - Optimise

Stay tuned for the next article in our native advertising series, where we'll take a deep dive into optimising your campaigns to achieve the best results.