It’s hard to deny that almost all advertising campaigns are expected to drive ROI, although it can be hard to attribute the performance all the way down to the sale. Typically with native advertising, content engagement is the ultimate goal for the campaign.
Campaign performance ranges from awareness goals, such as unique reach, to mid-funnel goals, such as social sharing, to direct response metrics, such as CPA. Since marketers largely view native advertising as an awareness tactic (83% according to eMarketer), a large focus is being placed on reach, efficiently driving users to content, and then tracking the user's engagement with the content. Many different factors contribute to the successful performance of a campaign: accurate targeting, delivering a quality message in contextually relevant content, landing page quality and, of course, creatives.
In this piece we'll be focusing on the importance of creatives, and sharing some tips to help you create in-feed native ad units that really "pop".
1. Get Visual
"People have grown tired of text. And with faster network speeds, their devices can load images just as quickly as they once loaded simpler applications. From the days of cave painting, humans have always been visual creatures. And as attention spans shorten and Internet speeds grow faster, it’s clear which we prefer." (Business Insider)
The visual trend can be found everywhere you look on the web. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat—the list goes on. Could it be why Twitter isn't gaining as much momentum in user growth as investors had initially hoped? Images, GIFs and videos are becoming a significant part of our daily browsing experience. This visual-driven approach to engaging users is particularly important on mobile where the screen is small. When creating a native unit, take advantage of consumers' lust for visual content and the large image size associated with native units.
Here are a few quick tips on how to have your images noticed:
- Keep the images uncluttered. Have just one main object or person
- Avoid text if you can. If you can't, stick to Facebook's Grid Tool. (Conveniently, StackAdapt's native ad unit images are also 1200x628)
- Stay away from generic stock images
Here is an example of a beautiful image that could be used for your native ad:
2. Intrigue, but don't click-bait
Last year, Facebook started battling click-bait ads and articles. Why? Because around 80 percent of the time people said that they preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before clicking through (Forbes). Click bait doesn't justify advertisers spending money on ads that drive users to a page, only to bounce as soon as they land. What's more, it can also create a negative perception of the brand in the eyes of the consumers. A representative and honest native ad is instrumental in having a user arrive at your content with intent
While it's important to motivate the user to click on the ad, it's best to avoid any click-bait sounding copy. "You'll never guess what happened next...” is an example of copy that should be avoided.
On the contrast, here's an example of text that can capture a user's attention without tricking them:
Headline (up to 62 characters): AT&T Park Like You Haven't Seen Before
Body (up to 120 characters): Visiting San Francisco? Discover ten events during the Giant's 2015 season you don't want to miss!
3. Think consumer journey
Elaborating on the theme of an honest user experience, it's important to consider the consumer's journey when creating a native campaign. When a user clicks on the ad, does he or she arrive on the page they hoped to arrive?
Native advertising as a distribution channel is largely leveraged to promote branded content. So, if a user thinks that when they click on and ad they'll be taken to the content they intended to read, but then find themselves on a landing page with a signup form, they'll likely end up feeling duped. To avoid disappointment, align your creative with the destination as closely as possible.
Now, if you pute all three tips together, this is what an effective in-feed native ad should look like when it's live:
Beautiful! Good luck and let us know if you need any more tips to help you produce captivating creatives.