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6 Reasons Why You Should Add Native Advertising To Your Media Plan (#4 Might Surprise You)

Written by: Pedro Campos, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


For most business owners, native advertising is still a bit like that new restaurant you've heard your friends talk about but haven't tried yet. The fact that there's isn't much information out there on the subject, doesn't make things easier. Rest assured, I'm here to make a change.

The truth is native advertising has been around for a long time. It started to gain traction in the early 1900s with the appearance of advertorials presented in sort of a cartoon brochure format. A few decades later, as radio and infomercials hit the scene, it led to the creation of something called recommendation-based content, what we now know has modern native advertising.

Over the years, I've used and tested most of the major paid media channels you can think of and while some provide great value, nothing comes close to native, from my perspective. To illustrate this and show you it can be a viable option to accelerate your company's growth, here are 6 reasons why.

1. Builds More Trust

When I discovered native advertising for the first time, I couldn't believe this. It just didn't make sense. Once I started diving into the subject and running campaigns, it all became clear, and stats proved it. For instance, a study concluded only 41% of American consumers trust social media platforms as opposed to websites such as Time, CNN, or The New York Times, where trust levels can reach as high as 65%.

Since native ads show on these publishers' sites, they're immediately trusted and as stats show, trusted more than social media ads. On Twitter, trust levels amongst consumers are even lower, at 33%.

Another study from a leading native platform, Outbrain, reveals that native recommendations are 27% more trusted than social media ads. This isn't to suggest social media ads are completely useless but definitely less effective in creating a bond with audiences.

All of this means consumers on social media will typically go through your funnel more skeptical compared to someone reading a news article on CNN, for example. Since trust is the main ingredient in business, sometimes it can get more difficult to make social media prospects convert. It may require you to do more selling and convincing, making your sales cycle longer than it should be.

2. Higher Quality Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of any digital business. But like many other things, not all traffic is created equal. Google paid search traffic is different from Facebook's, for example. While on Google, someone is in the market to buy something, on Facebook, people just want to be entertained and are not there primarily to buy stuff, they just happen to buy something when an advertiser grabs their attention and triggers their emotional side.

Native attracts more engaged users that are either staying up to date by reading the news or learning something novel on a lifestyle article. In fact, one study shows native ads get between 20 to 60% higher engagement rates than display banner ads.

For instance, on social media people are typically in what I call “auto-pilot mode”, in most cases, bored scrolling through feeds hoping to find something that catches their attention. This is one of the many frames of mind your prospects find themselves in and it affects the types of customers you attract to your business.

If you're selling high-end products or marketing to high-net-worth individuals, do you think those people are wasting time scrolling social media feeds or reading financial news articles? I think we both know the answer.

Even if you're not selling high-end products, you can still get a more engaged user through your funnel coming from publishers across the web.

In many cases, you'll find audiences on premium publishers you won't find anywhere else. For example, Outbrain has some amazing advanced targeting features such as MSN exclusively and high-impact placements that give advertisers access to some of the highest converting placements the open web can offer.

3. Brand Safety Controls

This is a topic not a lot of people talk about but it's certainly becoming increasingly important. The internet is expanding by the day with more content ‒ there are almost 2 billion websites on the internet, as of today.

Similar to traffic, not all placements are the same. Some ad placements might actually damage your brand long-term. That's why native or discovery platforms such as Taboola, Outbrain or Revcontent have brand safety and content quality controls, allowing advertisers to take ownership of where their ads show up within the web publishers ecosystem.

Pretty much the same way you select campaign targeting, with just a few button clicks, you can select which placements and level of safety you want. You might not want to show your ads on content related to alcohol, drug, hate speech, or celebrity gossip.

With these advanced brand safety controls, you can further filter the types of traffic you get to your website and offers, at a deeper psychographic level.

As you probably already know, psychographics is far more important than demographics. The first is focused on your customer's personality, attitude or values, while the latter only reveals basic or surface-level information without any context of the customer's emotional drivers. Brands that leverage psychographic information will always create more effective advertisements and attract higher-value customers.

4. Lower Ad Costs

This might be a surprise for most, especially if they've never heard of native advertising. I also found that mentioning the words “premium publishers”, where native ads show, can scare people off and make it more expensive in their minds.

The ad tech space isn't what it used to be anymore. Long gone are the days where Google or even Facebook were affordable platforms. These days, in competitive markets, such as insurance, banking or even B2B services, you can pay over $100 per click on Google search. On the other hand, Facebook ad costs keep raising like a rocket while targeting capabilities are getting weaker, more recently, aggravated by Apple's iOS updates. Studies also show advertising on Facebook is now 33% higher than it was in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

Native presents itself as a more affordable option, with average cost-per-click ranging from $0.15 to $3.00, while providing excellent targeting, brand safety controls, state-of-the-art smart bidding technology, and a variety of ad placements.

Does this mean native will always be cheaper than most channels? There are no absolutes in life, in some cases, you can actually pay more but still get a better deal, so to speak, since native ads are proven to increase purchase intent by as much as 18%.

5. More Scaling Potential

There's a reason why platforms such as LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, or TikTok are called “walled gardens.”

It's not just because these companies have tremendous control over their ad technology and advertisers, it's also because you're limited to the amount of traffic or search volume existing in those same platforms. There's another important distinction here. You advertise “on” Facebook but you advertise “through” Outbrain. Facebook or Meta owns their properties, Outbrain doesn't own the publishers they partner with to show your ads there.

When we talk about native media, specifically on publishers, we refer to it as advertising on the “open web.”

The open web is like a universe of possibilities waiting to be explored, from passionate niche blogs with highly engaged readers to authority news sites that attract huge audiences.

All of this means you're not relying on ad platforms but on publishers to deliver your message to an audience. So, advertising through Taboola, Outbrain, Revcontent, Mgid, Nativo, or any other content discovery “platform”, is essentially irrelevant, to a certain extent, if you can reach your ideal customers on all of them, making native advertising much more flexible and scalable as a traffic channel. If you can, why not reach your customers on all of them and benefit from everyone's exclusive features?

6. Better User Experience

If you've ever been annoyed by someone trying to sell you something you don't want on a YouTube ad when you're about to watch your favorite music video, you're not alone. You experienced that feeling because the ad was intrusive.

Intrusive ads not only lead to poorer user experiences but can also diminish your brand's credibility long term. The most hated ad type is the old famous pop-up, with a 74% disapproval rating amongst consumers.

Instead of annoying, native ads on publishers' sites are highly engaging and valuable. This is true by the simple fact that they blend in with the website content. In fact, studies show consumers have a hard time distinguishing sponsored content from editorial.

Better user experiences don't just benefit the user, they also reward the advertiser with increased brand affinity, lower ad costs and higher return on ad spend.

Native is often compared to display, coming out on top in pretty much every KPI. They also help you avoid “banner blindness” ‒ a phenomenon where people simply ignore banner ads. One study even shows consumers view native ads 53% more than display. From my experience, if you're going to invest your marketing dollars on display, it's best to use it for remarketing.

How Strong Is Your Media Mix

I'm assuming this isn't your first rodeo. You've probably been doing marketing long enough to know “walled garden” ad platforms can quickly and unexpectedly change, leaving entrepreneurs frightened and uncertain about the investment they make on ads.

Sometimes, those changes can seriously hurt a business, like iOS updates on Facebook.

In the digital marketing world, changes are coming, that's the only guarantee we have. The question is, how will you adapt and make your advertising even more effective and profitable?

I've seen the dangers of relying too much on the “walled gardens” first hand ‒ that's why it's critical for your company to diversify the media mix as much as possible, and one of the best ways is to invest in native advertising.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Pedro Campos, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Pedro is a Portuguese-born who fell into the media buying world by chance after watching an ad online. Despite being mentored by some of the best advertisers in the world early on, his first attempts to succeed at digital media left him bankrupt three times. He then realized in this industry, there was a bigger price to be paid to obtain mastery. That's the price he's helping companies avoid. He's the founder of Advertongue, a native advertising agency helping global brands grow and scale efficiently online. Over the years, he's been responsible for million-dollar budgets and made appearances in publications such as Content Marketing Institute, G2, or Funnel Magazine, to name a few.



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