Native Advertising is all around us. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social networks or as Search results and sponsored content. As a marketeer, it is probably the best tool to achieve high user engagement in a non-disruptive way and hand-pick audience in the most cost-efficient way. But the problem is that there are so many tools and platforms available today. How to decide which one is best suited for your needs? Here is a mantra of 5 P’s which will help you to compare and analyze the pros and cons of different platforms to select the best native advertising product for your campaign.
The first and foremost thing you must evaluate is the native advertising product. Product here refers to the native advertising platform on which you are going to run your campaigns. There are broadly three types of native ad products:
- Content discovery platforms provide advertisers with access to thousands of publishers, ultimately serving relevant content to target audiences.
- Social media platforms provide in-feed advertising opportunities.
- Search engines curate content based on users’ search queries.
- Promoted listings are used by advertisers to feature sponsored products first, generally on a category page.
All these products have their own USPs and serve different purposes. Pick the one best suited, and is in sync with your company’s overall marketing strategy. For example, if you are a music teacher, looking to enroll more students in your academy through tele-calling, then probably promoted listing or Facebook ad with a ‘Call’ button is best suited for your needs.
The next thing to evaluate about the platform you are going to use is the People (audience) it is capable of reaching out to. Different platforms have different reach depending on the type of users using that platform or the publishers with whom the platform has partnered. While comparing different platforms, note the options and flexibility to select from various groups of audiences depending on your campaign requirements. For example, if you want to target French-speaking people interested in Banking and Finance, residing in New York using Android phones – Does the tool give you this kind of flexibility? Does the tool allow you to retarget customers?
Price is one of the most important factors when making any decision. For a native advertising product, the bid range provided by the platform should fall within your budget lines, while driving the desired RoI. While comparing different platforms, you can check for the features and functionalities each of them offer at special bid prices and rank them. Also check the type of pricing models supported by the platform – whether they are charging for impressions, clicks, or visits and whether that matches your desired performance metric. Calculate your approx CAC (Customer acquisition cost) from different platforms and shortlist what suits you best.
Promotion, as a parameter to select a native advertising platform, refers to the way your native ad is displayed on the publisher’s website. You could consider factors like the type and size of ad copy allowed, languages available, ad placements, types of CTA allowed, types of multi-media, etc. Also, check if there are any restrictions on the platform related to the content they serve.
Native ads, when clicked redirect a user to another web page. You should also consider these redirections and tracking options available with the platform. Check whether they can be integrated with your existing infrastructure.
In most cases, it is always the process that matters more than the end result. Find out how easy/difficult it is to set up a campaign on different platforms. If the platform is too complex, you may not want to put in the effort just to set it up. The adtech platform should provide data and real-time reports to analyze the traffic, sales, and volumes to optimize your campaigns. Also assess the kind of customer support available that can handhold you, when required. The process also takes into account the time it takes for various activities – eg. the creatives’ approval turnaround, the campaigns going live, invoices and payments, etc.
After comparing your alternatives on all the above P’s, you should finalize at least two to three platforms. To start with, test your campaigns with the same creatives and texts on both platforms and compare the performance on all in terms of click-throughs, leads, etc.
Finally, you put your bet on the best-performing platform, and also keep the campaign active on other platforms to reap the most out of everything.
Happy Native Advertising to You!