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Whether you ask an individual affiliate marketer or a representative from a huge digital agency “What’s the biggest thing these days?” the answer will be the same: native advertising.
If we look at US trends: “The average daily time spent with digital media is expected to increase from 470 minutes (seven hours and 50 minutes) in 2020 to just under eight hours in 2022. Higher consumption for 2020 was partially attributed to the coronavirus outbreak, with daily consumption of traditional media such as television, radio, newspapers, and magazines also recorded for that year.”
Various studies show that users respond much better to native ads than to standard banners or traditional media ads and are more likely to convert.
There’s no doubt that native advertising is worth the investment. So if you want to find out what the absolute must-haves for native digital marketers are, here’s the list:
- Ad Intelligence Tools
- Traffic Source
- Tools for Preparing Native Ad Copies
- Account Manager
You see our list and you say: “well, these can be replaced or done without” or “they seem to be irrelevant”? We say: “you are wrong!” Why is that? Just think about four phases of doing native ads: planning, running, optimizing, scaling, and break them down now:
Before you start serving traffic to your ads, it’s crucial to get to know what other people are doing and understand the market trends.
To start driving traffic, you need a traffic source – the absolute must-have for any digital campaign.
To make sure you create successful campaigns and you craft the best ad copies, you can’t do without a tool for preparing the content. Then, once your campaigns are up and running, an account manager will help you to spend your budget in the most efficient way and turn your ads into profit.
To ensure stable growth – a simple notebook and a tracking tool will both prove useful if you want to keep tabs on your progress.
Believe us or not – the most successful digital marketers have them all.
Ad Intelligence Tools
Spend your time getting familiar with traffic sources, get a good grasp of the traffic, check the widgets on some of your favorite websites or apps and see what others are running there: what verticals, what images or headlines, and so on and so forth.
The most convenient way to keep tabs on your competitors’ native ads is to use an ad intelligence tool. There are many solutions on the market, so go ahead, check them out and choose the one with a cool, easy-to-use interface, countless categories, relevant insights about top geos as well as “low-competitive” countries. The most popular ones for native advertising are:
- Adplexity – where you can find tons of data related to the world of native, eCome and affiliate marketing. With Adplexity, you can get to know market trends, product value, and what’s most important, keep track of what your competitors are doing.
- Adbeat – which lets you discover profitable publishers, ad copies and landing pages.
- Anstrex – providing insights into digital campaigns from 27 native ad networks.
- Native Ad Buzz – where you can learn the secrets of top affiliates running native ads.
Some of them offer free trials or webinars, so you can get to know them better before you make your choice.
Picking the right traffic sources ensures that your ads will be seen by the customers you want to get. It’s super important to choose the source where you can reach your target audience and where your content matches the requirements of the network. Some native ad platforms are more affiliate-friendly whereas others are totally brand-safe. So do your homework before you make any investments in a traffic source platform.
You can buy native traffic directly from networks, negotiate some PMPs or use a DSP. DSPs have platforms where advertisers can make specific requests for traffic that range from which country the user visit comes from, down to the language of their browser. DSPs offer granular targeting and extensive reporting to ensure the best results for their Advertisers. To find out more about DSPs read this blog post.
Tools for Preparing Native Ad Copies
Native advertising is all about the content. The more powerful your content is, the better results you get. Powerful content means it’s eye-catching, relevant to your audience and timely, meaning it talks about topics that are happening around the world and are engaging to your target market. Remember that in native advertising your unique “image+headline” will be the first break through the advertising noise (without having to depend on a steady stream of rapid-fire promos that you can find literally everywhere on the web).
So, spend your time preparing successful visuals and engaging headlines. This will help you create headlines that are bound to be noticed and clicked on. You can use free tools for evaluating the emotional value of your headline. There are tons of them available – just to give you a few examples:
- Advanced Marketing Institute – here what these guys say about their technology: “your headline will be analyzed and scored based on the total number of EMV words it has in relation to the total number of words it contains. This will determine the EMV score of your headline. In addition to the EMV score, You will find out which emotion your customer’s your headline most impacts”.
- Capitalize my Title – no, it’s not only about capitalizing headlines, it’s much more! Their Headline Analyzer Tool “uses over 50 different data points to evaluate your headline, email subject, or ad title on a scale from 1-100 for the following categories readability, SEO, and sentiment (emotion)”.
- Sharethrough – interestingly enough, Ad Exchanges like Sharethrough, also offer their own tools for analysing how engaging your headlines are. Their Headline Quality Score “is based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm built on the principles of Behavior Model theory and Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising research”.
We, in Voluum DSP, also created a special post about the power of a good headline and creative, don’t hesitate to check it out.
You have to agree with me that the help of a sharp-minded account manager who understands your business and gives you good insights is simply invaluable. Whether you are just starting or you are a digital marketing dinosaur, you won’t gloriously succeed without a dedicated AM. AMs know their platforms and traffic best, they are always up to date with the latest trends, they can give you tips like: “hey, this campaign needs just a little tweak to double the ROI”.
Voluum DSP is one of the few programmatic native dsp platforms where you get your dedicated AM the moment you register your account. Once your application is approved, you get a welcome email from your account manager who offers an onboarding session. Use this opportunity to explore the platform and its features, find out what’s working, talk business and make new friends 🙂
Share your Skype and stay in touch with your guy who will support you in optimizing and scaling your biggest native campaigns.
Tracking your digital campaigns is like (to bring this whole business more down-to-earth) tracking your food delivery or taxi – if you lose track of it and are left hungry or in the middle of nowhere, having no idea what’s going on, you start to realize it’s total chaos, nothing is under control.
As a digital advertiser, you always need to monitor performance and have everything in your toolbelt to react quickly. Ideally, you should be able to have everything in one place; this is why Voluum DSP is built on the infrastructure of Voluum Tracker and you get free access to extensive reporting the moment you start driving traffic through the DSP.
It may seem obvious, but consider the following stages: researching, learning, arranging your budget, learning, planning content, learning, planning your daily routine, learning, executing, learning. Yes, basically you are learning at any stage, so a simple notebook will prove useful for saving your learning materials, all types of findings, links, videos, book titles, dates of conferences that you might want to come back to in future, but also creating your to-dos, calculating your budget, gathering tips from your AMs, keeping a track of your proceedings, essentially anything you like.
Use a notebook of your choice, it can be anything from Evernote to Trello (even though it’s designed for organizing projects), an Excel file, or even an old-school leather notebook.
Let’s Sum Up
If you want to dig deeper into the subject of native advertising and figure out why native ads are more effective, we’ve put together a separate blog post about it. One thing is certain: done right native ads can not only boost your conversion rates and ROI but also help you build customer loyalty.