How you can use programmatic native ads to drive a powerful (and affordable) online campaign

Traditional advertorials have found new online life in sponsored content – paid articles in major online publications. But you don’t need to spend five figures to leverage this powerful advertorial-based technique. Discover how to use native advertising combined with self-published content and programmatic remarketing ads to attract and nurture your customers.

Advertorials work because people don’t go to a newspaper, magazine or online publication in order to read ads. They’re not seeking them out or browsing through for an interesting one. Ads have to work their asses off in order to grab your attention away from what you’re really there to read.

An advertorial, designed to look like an article and offering truly interesting information, offers a natural, organic flow into the marketing material.

Thus the rise of online native advertising, initially represented by the “sponsored post”, an article on the publication’s website, prepared by the publication, but flagged, in one form or another, as advertising.

Sponsored content native advertising sample - Meaford, Toronto Star

Of course, a sponsored post in The New York Times or the Toronto Star is going to cost you. Big time.

But the introduction of another form of native advertising, or content discovery advertising, has opened up the opportunity to get the best of all worlds.

  • Reach readers from popular publications and websites at a fraction of the cost of a sponsored post
  • Enjoy a placement and format that flows naturally from the content they’ve come to read and suggests the blessing of a respected publisher – the “halo effect”
  • Interest them, and bring them to articles, videos, and other content you’re hosting on your own website

What are these native ads?

You’ve seen them already. Prefaced by phrases such as “recommended for you” and “you may also like”, they appear to be part of the publication’s own content and recommendations. And they appear on such major online publications as CNN, People, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider.

Native ad sample

Celeb alert! Yes, you have seen these ads featuring “What these 10 celebrities looked like before cosmetic surgery” and other such cerebral fare. But don’t tell me you haven’t been tempted to click. If those trashy ads can catch your attention, imagine how much more likely you are to click on ads that offer something you’re really interested in. As the increasing number of SMEs and major brands using these platforms proves, they work.

How (and why) native ad campaigns work

Banner ad blindness

Banner ads have been around for decades now, and as with those traditional newspaper and magazine ads, we’ve learned to ignore them most of the time. Flashy GIFs and videos can even seriously irritate you on the small landscape of a mobile screen. So people turn to ad blocker apps.

By contrast, native advertising appears to be part of the publisher’s content. Indeed, just by virtue of appearing on the site of a major publication, you can earn some brand points. The halo effect of appearing on a premium publisher’s website carries over to their impression of your company.

Relevance makes your audience receptive

By defining the demographics of your target audiences, the devices they use, and when they’ll see your ad – along with selecting the publications you want to (or don’t want to) appear in – you dramatically increase the relevance of your “recommended reading” to your most likely prospects.

They get a payoff

Your ad placement and creative (headline and image) are important. Even more important is the experience you provide once they’ve clicked. The content you invite them to must provide value – the information, entertainment, insight, or problem-solving “as advertised” in your native ad. If it doesn’t, they’ll simply click away, or worse, feel cheated – and you’ve more than wasted your time and money.

It’s the start of a relationship

Once they’ve landed on your content, use these 4 techniques to get action or nuture them further.

  1. Get action. Encourage a call or get them to submit a form.
  2. Continue to provide value. Encourage them to read further with additional relevant content.
  3. Get their names and email addresses. Offer incentives, such as an e-book, 5-part lesson, or case study.
  4. Remarket. Reach them with additional informative advertising on their favorite websites and publications, based on their interest now.


Take the first steps to your successful online content advertising campaign

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