Written by Amanda Walgrove at Taboola
There are many different traffic channels in the affiliate marketing and ecommerce space, but lately, ClickBank customers have increasingly turned to native advertising to send traffic to affiliate offers.
So, what exactly is native advertising, why is it so popular, and what are some native advertising examples that can inspire your own campaigns?
Read on to find out!
What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is the process of creating and distributing promotional material that matches the format and context of their surrounding content.
A selection of recommended stories — sponsored by affiliates or sellers — placed at the end of an article is a form of native advertising, for example. Sponsored search results on Google are also native ads, paid for by businesses trying to reach specific audiences.
Due to the success and flexibility of native ads, brands continue to increase their investments in this area. As eMarketer reported, native advertising is driving the most spending growth for US digital display ads — right behind video, which, in many cases, can be distributed natively. In fact, US native ad spend is expected to jump by 21% in 2021, reaching $57 billion.
To compete in this saturated space, advertisers need to have their native tools and strategies ready — so they can use real-time data to reach target audiences at scale.
That’s why we’re presenting this guide to native advertising, including the native advertising case studies, best practices, and platforms you need to make the most of your native ad operation.
Let’s get started!
The Pros of Native Advertising
There are many advantages to launching native ads, such as:
- Grabbing your audience’s attention. Native ads generate 53% more views than traditional ads, according to Acquisio.
- Driving better campaign performance. Native ads drive 18% higher purchase intent compared to traditional display ads.
- Optimizing targeting capabilities. With native ads, brands and affiliates can reach built-in audiences of readers across premium publisher websites. This way, they can ensure they’re getting in front of people who are already engaging with related content and interested in consuming something new.
- Building trust among your customers. Adweek reported that 90% of consumers like custom content from brands and over 65% of Gen X and Z consumers trust branded content more than they do traditional ads.
- Increasing clickthrough rates. Native ads drive a 40X higher CTR than traditional display ads.
Who Benefits from Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a win-win-win strategy for everyone involved, including:
- Brands/product owners. Advertisers get to launch targeted, relevant ads across publisher sites, reaching engaged audiences of readers who generated awareness, clicks, leads, and sales.
- Publishers. Any affiliates who operate their own blog or website can sell native ad inventory that fits naturally into the user experience, monetizing content and driving valuable revenue beyond just traditional ads and paywalls.
- Users. Tired of pop-ups and pre-roll ads, users can enjoy native ads that sync seamlessly into web page and feed, exposing them to customized content and services that meet their interests.
3 Native Advertising Examples
Native ads can be seen across search results pages, social channels, and websites.
Here’s a look at a few native ads out there in the wild.
These top search results for “running shoes” are native ads, taking the form of the organic results below them.
This tweet by The Ascent is a native ad. It takes the form of other tweets in its feed but includes a necessary “Promoted” disclaimer.
These recommended stories at the end of an article on USA Today are native, providing personalized suggestions to readers looking for new content to consume.
The Benefits of Running Native Ads on the Open Web
While advertisers have their choice of distribution channels, it’s best to run native ads on the open web compared to social and search platforms.
The biggest reason for this is because businesses like Facebook and Google lock advertisers’ data behind walled gardens. Meaning, yes, you can run ads on these channels and reach large audiences, but you don’t actually own those audiences or the data you gather from them. That makes it hard for advertisers to truly understand their reach and ROI, and use those native ad campaigns to move users down the funnel or even over to their own website.
Meanwhile, on the open web, advertisers can use content discovery platforms to reach readers across millions of publisher sites and collect unified data on all of those touch points.
Additional benefits of advertising on the open web include:
- Access to many different native ad formats and placements, such as on the homepage and sidebar
- Always being next to relevant content thanks to contextual targeting and lack of user-generated posts
- Placements in more trustworthy environments; as IAB reported, 84% of consumers said seeing ads in their news sources increased or maintained brand trust for those advertisers
- Reaching more engaged users; according to research from OpenX and The Harris Poll, 56% of people are more curious and amenable to learning on the open web while 30% zone out on social media
Which Native Ad Units Are Best For Your Brand?
On the open web, native ad buyers can choose their preferred native ad units depending on their campaign goals, creative resources, and user behaviors.
For example, you might choose from the following placements:
- Publisher homepage. This is the best option for brand awareness and thought leadership campaigns, helping you build trust through association with leading headlines.
- Mid article. This is best for reaching mobile users with full-screen exposure and increased viewability.
- Below article. This is recommended for performance advertisers who want to reach audiences when they’re open to discovering something new and clicking through to a different page.
Native Advertising Creative Trends
Taboola Trends provides you with real-time data about which native ad images, videos, and headlines generate the most clicks and engagement.
Among US audiences in October 2021, images with these qualities are proven to drive higher CTRs:
- People, specifically women
- Photos instead of illustrations
- No animals, food, or text
- Close-up shots
Meanwhile, videos with these characteristics drive higher completion rates among US audiences:
- Winter landscapes
- No text, food, or people
- Illustrations instead of live-action shots
- Color instead of black-and-white footage
When it comes to choosing the right headlines for your native ads, you can use Taboola’s Title Analyzer to test different options and identify the ones with the highest predicted CTR.
In this example, we can clearly see that “8 Fall Fashion Looks that Will Turn Heads” is expected to drive more clicks than its counterparts.
Taboola Products to Fuel Your Native Ad Campaigns
Taboola also offers a range of additional tools that you can use to fuel and optimize your native ad campaigns, including:
- Bidding Solutions
- Smart Bid. This tool automatically optimizes your bids across campaigns based on your goals and audience behaviors.
- Targeting Solutions
- Contextual Targeting. We use machine learning to help you show ads alongside content your audiences are already responding to.
- Audience Targeting. Our editorial marketplace offers a deep, comprehensive understanding of who your audience is and what they want to see.
- Taboola Audiences. Tap into hundreds of pre-packed and customized interest segments, ready for targeting with your campaign.
- 3P Audience Targeting. Reach customers based on work experience, age, behaviors, and products they want to purchase.
- First Party Targeting | Direct CRM Onboarding & Lookalikes. Onboard your CRM data to deliver personalized customer experiences across platforms and build lookalike audience segments of your most loyal and high-value consumers.
Native Advertising Case Studies
See these tools and best practices in action with case studies from successful native advertisers.
Placetel, provider of a leading cloud-based calling and collaboration solution, wanted to increase brand awareness beyond just social and search platforms. So they partnered with Taboola to distribute native video ads at the end of publishers’ articles and pages, where users are most likely to engage with content. They also used SmartBid to optimize their budget and Taboola Pixel to track and retarget engaged consumers.
As a result, Placetel drove 80 million impressions and saw a 750% increase in native sign-ups.
Banco Sabadell, one of Spain’s largest banking groups, wanted to reach more customers interested in their mortgage product and drive qualified traffic and leads to their website. By incorporating native advertising into their media mix, Banco Sabadell was able to reach audiences across news, entertainment, weather, and niche publisher sites where people were ready to discover new content. The company also suppressed existing audience members to make sure they were only reaching new prospects.
The result? A 30% higher CTR than other campaign channels and 17% increase in conversions.
Boost Your Affiliate Marketing with Native Advertising
If you’re an affiliate looking to diversify away from Facebook and other saturated paid media platforms, we recommend a look at native ads.
Since native advertising employs more personalized, visually dynamic content that fits seamlessly into the customer experience, you can use it to:
- Increase your website traffic
- Target more specific audience segments
- Promote high-quality content like articles and videos
- Engage people at just the right moment in their reading or viewing experience
- Expand your reach across publisher websites
Launch Better Native Ads with Taboola
Ready to build or optimize your own native advertising operation? As the world’s largest content discovery platform, Taboola can help. We’ve launched personalized ads across over 9,000 premium publisher websites and collected data from 22 billion monthly page views and over 500 million daily active users.
Your brand — and your audience — can be next.
Contact us to learn more.