The Power of a Good Ad Set in Native Advertising Part 1: Headlines

headline copy in native advertising

Running a successful native campaign requires a great deal of preparation and forward planning. You need to find the right offer at the right time, you need to analyze your potential audience, choose and test numerous native traffic sources selecting those that bring conversions and don’t forget to allocate a working budget for tests and for real-time running. 

The work doesn’t stop here, however. As now comes the part that shouldn’t be neglected at any cost – content preparation. We can’t stress enough how important it is to make your native ads stand out in this era of banner blindness. You have just a few seconds to be noticed and if you don’t grab the attention  of the vast audience you’ll lose. Simple as that.


What is native advertising?

Let’s quickly remind ourselves that native advertising is a type of an ad that tries to blend in with the website or feed they appear on. Native ads don’t look like traditional ads: they are not invasive and create an impression of being native to the content of the website. 

Native ads have more visual elements – headlines and creatives – that work in your favor if you know how to master them. So how to make your headlines and creatives powerful and truly engage your potential clients? 

In today’s article we will start with headlines first and brief you on the most useful and working tips that can work like a charm.


How to write a killer headline for your native ad?

First of all, we can’t stress enough the importance of a good copy. So don’t be cheap and make sure you have a professional (person or yourself) working on it. And, yes, the headline is the most important element of them all. After all, if it doesn’t capture your readers’ attention – what will? So, here is some advice you can try to apply to your next ad! 

Keep it short

I guess everybody has heard thousand times already that the average attention span has been decreasing dramatically these past years. It means you need to make your headlines short and on point. Of course, different native traffic sources require a  different number of characters, but the shorter you keep them the better. 

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Create a sense of urgency

Nobody wants to miss out on a bargain. This is how our consumerism-centric brain works in today’s consumerist world. Create an impression of urgency and scarcity with your message. You snooze you lose!

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Questions = curiosity

You can also use an interesting phenomenon known as the curiosity gap. It’s when our brain gets a sense of deprivation from realizing it doesn’t know something. You can trigger this feeling by providing a bit of information leaving the brain curious to find out more details on this matter.  It works best with question-type headlines. A good tip here is to try to make your headlines relatable to people’s needs. Also, don’t write questions people could simply answer “no” to.

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Offer a solution to the problem + Use “How to

Start your headline with a ‘How to’ phrase and promise to bring good results. It works almost every time! Why is it so good? Well, it’s simple. People want to know as many life hacks, shortcuts, and band-aid solutions in their lives as possible.

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Use numbers

A recent study has proven that 83% of people find articles that have number references more reliable. 

Well, I actually made that number up just to prove that sentences that contain numbers sound more convincing. And numbers are easier to notice in the flood of text.

How 8 out of 10 people lost 10 kg in just a few months.

Surprise your reader

People are prone to look for something new and exciting. That’s why it activates their anticipation for new experiences every time they see something unusual or unique. 

Use curiosity-stimulating words such as “secret”, “unbelievable”, “surprise”.  Also, don’t be shy and activate your inner best sales manager with power words such as ”awesome”, “super easy”, ”mind-blowing” etc. And yes, they do the trick.

How she got this unbelievable result without any exercise!

Tell a story

Remember, I mentioned that you need to relate to people’s experiences? That’s exactly what telling a story can help you with. Tell something that people can relate to or associate themselves with. People constantly search for any confirmation that other people experience issues similar to theirs and that there is a solution to their current drama.

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Use listicles

We all like lists. They organize information in a more digestible way and let us grasp a lot of information with minimum efforts. That’s why they are so effective and so addictive.

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Don’t be afraid of negatives

Well yes, people also tend to be quite negative. Why else do you think the majority of news is always about something bad happening? Tt attracts attention, that’s why. And attention is exactly what we need. 

Using words like “don’t,” “stop,” and “avoid” often works well because we all want to know if whatever it is we’re doing right now is actually wrong.

Avoid these 2 exercises if you want to have ripped abs.

Check your grammar

I mean it! Maybe you think nobody cares, but the truth is almost all of us have this nasty little grammar snob inside, ready to jump on the tiniest mistake someone else did.

Should I mention that some native traffic sources treat this super seriously as well? You might have a mindblowing native ad but nobody will see it because a traffic source will reject your campaign due to spelling or grammar mistakes. 

Doesn’t it just hurt your eyes?

How to rwite the bestest headlines?


Final remarks

One more thing! Different native traffic sources can require a different number of characters. If you exceed this limit your campaigns will not even start bidding. For example, different native programmatic DSPs (including Voluum) make their clients’ lives easier by giving direct information on how many characters you can have for this or that ad exchange. 

Good, the headlines are all set for now. It’s time to switch to something that is even more fun! In the next article, we will talk about how to choose the best images for your native campaigns to have the highest CTRs possible.

Stay tuned!

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