This wiki screenshot says it all. No need to re-invent the wheel or get into more details.
A native ad is just an ad which blends nicely into the website it’s placed on so that it looks like content from this website. Native means it does not look like an ad, or not enough to overcome ad blindness and trigger a click.
This is the ultimate goal: get the click from targeted people visiting the website. For advanced advertisers it’s a bit at the opposite of RTB (real time bidding) where you bid for a visitor and you don’t really care on which website your ad is placed on. This is used a lot for retargeting for example.
But native ads support a different approach. They complement the user’s experience by providing valuable content which cannot be found on the website the ad is placed on. It needs to be relevant of course, and also be nicely blended.
Here is an example of an ad we use to promote this exact blog:
Is this an ad, a featured entry… It uses the codes from the context of the website it’s placed on: same structure (icon, category, line break, then article title and when it was published and how many views it gets).
This is what we mean by “match the function”. And this ad matches it perfectly. You now know it’s an ad, because you’re reading this article.
It also matches the form quite well, although we wanted to stand out, so we made it bigger and more prominent. But it’s logical as well as it can be seen as a featured article (33 minutes and 479 views will intrigue people who will think it’s worth checking). And that’s the goal.
Of course, the content is fully relevant to the website we’re advertising on, since it’s an Affiliate Marketing related website.
Does it sound too complicated?
Of course not. It took us 5 minutes to create the banner ad (we made sure to use the exact same font as used on the target website).
We redirect people to our landing page. Just click this link to follow-through the funnel.
Now, this ad gets a 4% Click-Through-Rate (CTR) which is amazing… and then our landing page does the rest (around 40% conversion rate)
Now, there’s a lot of fuss regarding Native Ads, just like if it was something completely new and a major breakthrough in online advertising. That’s just BS. Native ads have always been there, but marketers needed a new way to describe things so that agencies could sell more of their service.
Many years ago, if you remember, Adsense ads were the first to support Native ads. We tried to blend the Adsense ads as much as possible into the sidebar so that they looked like navigation link! I am sure you remember those good old days. Then Google decided that too much blend was not good for your health.
But with online advertising, you only have 2 chances to get a click:
– Provide great contextual value and get a click by making your ad look like a piece of content (that’s native ad).
– Provide great contextual value and get a click by targeting the exact user visiting the website (real time bidding). These are the ads you see all day long once you’ve visited a travel website for example.
Random banners you place on random websites NO longer works. People know what they are, and you’re ending up paying a lot to get your ad displayed just to target a few interested visitors. The bulk is not interested.
With increasing advertising CPC and cost per visitor or impression, you must use efficient advertising and make sure your cost per visitor is as low as possible. You don’t want to pay $1000 a month in advertising to target 100,000 visitors and only 10,000 might be interested in your ad, and probably only 300 or so will click.
You want to pay for advertising, so THAT EACH IMPRESSION OF YOUR AD is of value to people seeing it.
That’s what you need to take away from this article. You only want to pay for a “valid” impression, an impression that truly reaches the audience you’re targeting.
We’ll discuss native ads a bit more shortly, as well as RTB as they are of utmost importance for any Affiliate marketer (how do you plan to drive traffic to your offers?) and to any online marketer.