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 engagements in a non-disruptive way to a hand-picked audience in the most cost-efficient way. But the problem is, there are so many tools and platforms available today, how to decide which one is best suited for your needs? Here we are with a mantra of 5 P’s which will help you to compare and analyze pros and cons of different platforms so that you can select the best native advertising product for your campaign.
The first and foremost thing you need to evaluate is the native advertising product itself. 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, which provide advertisers with access to thousands of publishers, ultimately serving relevant content to target audiences.
- Social media platforms, which provide in-feed advertising opportunities.
- Search engines, which curate content based on users’ search queries.
- Promoted listings, which 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 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 telecalling, 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. All the products available in the market have different reach depending on the type of users using that platform (in case of social media platforms), or the publishers with whom the platform has partnered (in case of content discovery platforms). While comparing different platforms, note the options and flexibility each of them provides to select from different groups of audience 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 while making any kind of decisions. For a native advertising product, the price, or more specifically, the bid range provided by the platform should fall under 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 particular bid prices and rank them accordingly. Also check the type of pricing models supported by the platform – whether they are charging for impressions, or 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 best.
Promotion, as a parameter to select native advertising platform, refers to the way your native ad will be be displayed on the publisher website. You could consider factors like the type and size of ad copy allowed, languages available for the ad copies, ad placement on the webpage, types of CTA allowed, types of media supported 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 and whether they can be integrated with your existing infrastructure.
In most cases it is always the process that matters the more than the end result. Find out how easy/difficult it is to set up campaign on different platforms. If the platform is too complex, you may not want to put in efforts just to set-up. At the same time, the platform should support you enough with data and real time reports to analyse the traffic, sales, volumes so that you can optimize your campaigns. Also assess the kind of customer support available with different platforms which can handhold you, when required. Process also takes into account the time it takes for various activities – eg. how soon/late the creatives are approved, the campaigns go live, invoices and payments are processed etc.
After comparing your alternatives on all the above P’s, you should finalise at least two to three platforms. To start with, test your campaigns with same creatives, texts on both the platforms and compare the performance on all in terms of click throughs, leads etc.
Finally bet most of your money on the best performing platform, while also keeping the campaign active on other platform to reap the most out of everything.
Happy Native Advertising to You !