What Native Ad Units Are Best For You

There's plenty of native ad units out there, and choosing the right one is vital to your campaign's success. However, native advertising has become a bandwagon that everyone wants to hop into without proper research, especially in the digital world.

Okay. I'd like you to look around. Walk in the mall, browse Facebook, or search for something on Google. How many ads did you see? Which of these ads do you think is memorable? I bet you saw many ads, but none of them stuck in your mind. It's called banner blindness.

Banner blindness is when people overlook ads, including the good ones, when presented in a very noticeable or overbearing manner. It's exactly like driving down a road without noticing the beautiful and expensive billboards.

That's what can happen if you don't pick the right native ad unit.

According to research from BI Insider,

By 2021, native display ad revenue in the US, which includes native in-feed ads on publisher properties and social platforms, will make up 74% of total US display ad revenue, up from a 56% share in 2016.

So, native advertising works for both advertisers and advertising platforms, as explained in the research above. However, before you launch a campaign, you need to figure out what native ad unit will give your business the best ROI.

The first step in choosing the right native ad for your campaign is to find out where your target group is.

Finding Your Target Market

Native Advertising has many goals, one of which is to be at the same place and time where your target market is.

Suppose you're planning to launch a native ad. In that case, you should take advantage of an existing target market by publishing content on social media platforms like Facebook groups and pages and popular Instagram and Twitter channels. All of which are already established platforms.

That is why the question "Where can I find my target market?" is one of the most critical questions you will ask yourself when planning a native advertising campaign.

The answer depends on your business and your campaign's goal, but your target market is likely active on social media.

It's more a question of knowing which social media platform they use than if they use any. Your native ads have a higher chance of succeeding through social media because, let's admit it, many people are addicted to it.

1. Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Influencer marketing campaigns help connect businesses with their audience through traditional and digital media collaboration. Today, brands use social media influencers with to reach their target market.

Brands choose to work with influencers because they are more humanized, friendly, and accessible to their followers than traditional celebrity endorsers.

Native ad units - Working with influencers

You'll want influencers that check off some of the following qualifications if you're considering working with influencers for your native ad campaign:

  • Industry leaders who have a large, engaged audience.
  • Famous industry spokespeople.
  • Trusted product reviewers.
  • Micro influencers with an engaged audience.

2. Sponsored Content On Instagram

Launching sponsored content on Instagram is a great place to find your target audience. Instagram shows your ad to the most relevant and interested users, plus there's also a lot of influencers you can tap on the platform.

Sponsored content like in feed photos and videos and stories look and feel like everything else on Instagram. They are labeled "Sponsored", which replaces the regular post timestamp.

Native ad units - Instagram sponsored content

3. Sponsored Posts On Facebook

One of the primary reasons you should advertise on Facebook is to connect with your target market through sponsored posts.

A Facebook sponsored post is simply a post that you pay to appear in the news feed of your followers. It will be tagged "Sponsored".

Native ad units - Facebook sponsored posts

A sponsored post is easy to spot in a regular feed. It is simple to launch, which drives better engagement from followers.

You pay to make sure your Facebook followers see your content with a sponsored post. It means that you will only reach people who already follow your page. While it may seem less effective, the truth is that it can be vital to ensure your followers see your post.

4. Promoted Tweets On Twitter

If you want to target Twitter users who are not yet following your account, promote a tweet.

A promoted tweet is a Twitter ad type, which is like a regular tweet except for the "Promoted" tag.

Native ad units - Promoted Tweet

When creating a promoted tweet, you can choose a recent tweet to promote or create a new one with a specific advertising goal in mind. A promoted tweet will be shown in the feed on any device if Twitter finds it appropriate.

Like Instagram's sponsored content, promoted tweets blend perfectly within the Twitter feed.

5. Sponsored Updates On Linkedin

Sponsored updates allow you to run a LinkedIn advertising campaign in the feed across desktops and mobile devices. It's an easy way to promote any post to a targeted audience's LinkedIn news feed. A sponsored update is also an excellent way to expand your reach and connect with new followers.

The sponsored update looks just like a regular one except for the "Sponsored" tag.

Native ad units - LinkedIn Sponsored Content

LinkedIn has useful information on users like job titles, education level, and their companies, all making excellent filtering when selecting your target audience.

With a sponsored LinkedIn update, you might not get as much traffic as on other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but you will get highly targeted leads.



Useful Tips On How To Create A Native Ad Strategy

Now that you know where to find your target audience let's move on to creating a native ad strategy. In this section, I will expand the scope a bit.

Native advertising should be combined with other types of advertising. Typically, native ads are part of a more comprehensive content marketing strategy.

Therefore, the following guide shows the process of creating a general marketing strategy that includes native advertising.

1. Define Your Goals

It is essential to know what goals you want to achieve with native advertising. Without defining a clear set of goals, you are like shooting blindly.

Here are some goals you may want to focus on:

  • Generate more sales leads.
  • Boost brand awareness.
  • Increase web traffic.

If you are new to native advertising, wait three months, and use your data to set up realistic goals.

After defining your goals, figure out how much you can spend to reach them. You need to allot resources and create a budget for your native ads campaign. Your budget must be flexible enough to react to online feedback and behavior as the native ads campaign progresses.

2. Who Do You Want To Reach

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is my ideal buyer?
  • Do I know the who, what, where, when, and how of my audience?
  • What are my target audience's interests, preferences, demographic characteristics, and geographic composition?

Remember that answering these questions will help you produce the right content and develop a relationship with your target audience.

3. How Do You Want To Reach Your Target Audience

This one is an essential step in creating a native ad strategy. 

Plan the native ad campaigns you want to run for the whole year. You don't need to dive into specifics about your content, but you need to set the timelines and budgets for each native ad campaign. 

It would be best to consider which platforms and formats to use for your native ads and each campaign's theme and goal.

Here are a few other excellent channels where you can publish your content:

  • Youtube for videos and vlogs
  • Medium for blogs
  • Pinterest for pinning blog posts with images
  • iTunes for podcasts
  • Quora for Q&A type of exposure

4. Develop Your Content Ideas

It's time to get into the specifics of your native ad strategy.

Start developing ideas for the content each native ad campaign will run. It requires a fair amount of originality and creativity, and at first, go with it.

First, find inspiration in the native ad campaign's goal and your knowledge about the target audience. When crafting the specific ads and other content pieces, keep the intended publisher's guidelines in mind.

Next, tailor each piece of content to fit the following:

  • Platform
  • Format
  • Goals
  • Target audience.

Remember that your ad content must seamlessly blend in with the rest of the content on an app, website, or publisher.

5. Measure Your Campaign's Performance

You need to know early and often how your native ads are performing. Measure the performance during the campaign and optimize it regularly to maximize the results.

Data is valuable.

Collect as much relevant data as you can to analyze and know your next actions. Experiment with different subject lines, images or videos, and CTAs, then collect performance data to understand what works best.

Choosing The Best Native Ad Unit For You

Here's the million-dollar question - what is the best native ad unit for you? Well, to keep it short, it depends.

Make sure your ads are targeted at your ideal client types and test, test, test.

However, there are some general insights you probably should consider when planning your next native advertising campaign. 

And that's how to choose the best native ad unit for your business!

Check out the recommended resources section below to learn more about this topic. 

Recommended Native Advertising Resources

5 Most Popular Native Ad Types

Is Native Advertising Right for You?

What is Native Advertising?

So what do you think about this article? What do you think is the best native ad unit for you?

Leave a comment below, and let's chat.

As always, it will be a great honor if you think this article is worth the SHARE.

Are you looking for more online advertising help? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising for Small Businesses.



Header image courtesy of Jumpstory.

About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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