Eden Bitton is the Director of Acquisition Marketing at Matomy.
With 2-4 times the retention rate of banners, 52% more viewability, and higher engagement rates, it’s no surprise that you’re interested in native ads. But despite the stats, creating a successful DIY native campaign isn’t nearly as simple as working with our old reliable banners and interstitials. So if you’re going to make the effort to go native, you have to do it right. And that means knowing when to do it yourself and when to accept the help of others.
When to Do it Yourself?
There’s a time and place for DIY campaigns, and typically they work best when you want to get your company’s name out – in other words, you’re looking for brand awareness. The reason for this is that as effective as native advertising is, many of the platforms that enable native ads are still fairly basic in their reporting, targeting, analytical tools, and general functionality.
DIY Native with Content Recommendation Platforms
Let’s say you’ve signed up to a Content Recommendation Platform and start your first campaign. The platform will offer scheduling, budgeting, targeting, and tracking. Great, right? Well, sort of. Targeting options are still limited to device and general location. On one hand you can narrow targeting down to a specific zip code, but on the other hand, you have no say on where an ad is actually placed. For some advertisers who are looking to get the word out, this may be enough, but for many, being able to target a specific site, such as CNN, Buzzfeed, People Magazine, Yahoo!… is key, especially when planning a successful user acquisition campaign.
Native Advertising with a Managed Service
Behind every killer acquisition strategy is the plan that’s going to get the best ad and content in front of the right eyes. And this is where working with an agency is far more beneficial than doing it on your own. First there’s the advantage of having a customized strategy and solution geared towards your marketing goals. Then, there’s the added benefit of working with skilled marketing professionals who have previous experience running native campaigns, know what and how to A/B test, and how to optimize campaigns to ensure your native ads are a success. Now you might be thinking, that’s why I have an in-house team. But remember, unlike our standard social media advertising, native hasn’t been around for eons, and CPC (cost-per-click) is typically higher, especially for top platforms. Having an experienced team that can find the most appropriate media placements and who has direct connections with them, is the best way to reach your desired audience.
But more than that it’s the advanced targeting, optimization, reporting and analytics. You can’t have a UA campaign without being able to pinpoint and target specific audiences or track conversions. And as of right now, this is a weak point for a lot of content recommendation platforms, as they have very basic reporting.
The Effort Behind the Native Ad
Remember the old adage that “Content is King”? It’s especially true when it comes to native adverting. Let’s say you have an enticing ad – with an engaging image, and clickbait headline. But since this is a native advertisement, you’re not playing by the same rules and standards of a typical banner. Your users are expecting an article, or landing page that directly relates to the headline and text that convinced them to click/tap, and you have to deliver.
What this means is that if you want an amazing native ad, there’s first the copy writing and design for the ad itself, content writing and design for the articles and site they’re hosted on, and a webmaster who will manage the CMS of the site. Of course, you could redirect users directly to the website, but the chance of losing them is too high.
Bottom line: All of the effort that goes into a successful native campaign adds up to time, resources, and money. It’s up to you to decide what is the goal of your native campaign and if it’s more effective to do it in house or with an agency.