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Native Advertising Best Practices

Nov 13, 2014 / by Ildar Shar

In a Pulse post originally published on Linkedin, our CEO Ildar Shar -and after seeing many campaigns from a variety of advertisers, advises on the best practices of running Native Advertising campaigns, Original post here


It seems to me that marketers now fully grasp the concept of Native Advertising, as we got to the point where less and less folks are asking:

“What’s Native Advertising?”

Marketers clearly see the value in this new channel, but the bigger question for them becomes:

“How do I properly execute a Native Advertising campaign?”

So here I’ll try to outline some common Best Practises for executing a Native Advertising campaign that we’ve seen working for hundreds of campaigns we ran through StackAdapt:

Have Measurable Goals

It might sound too simple, but so many marketers still don’t define clear and measurable goals for their advertising campaigns. Native Advertising, as a channel, is no exception.

Understand what you are trying to achieve with the campaign, and measure accordingly.

Once you are clear on the campaign objectives, define 3 key metrics that you want to measure and focus on them. If you are focusing on too many KPIs, it’ll be hard for you to compare the performance between various vendors, and measure the true success of the campaign.

When it comes to Native Advertising specifically, you may want to focus on things like Ad Visibility (share of visible ads vs. total impressions), CTR, Time on Site, Average Page Views, Video Initiated Plays, Video Completion Rate, Conversions, Content Sharing, etc.

If you are unfamiliar with any of the above metrics, our glossary explains the meaning of many adtech terms and definitions

Drive Your Customers to the Page that Brings Value

Put yourself in your Customer’s shoes:

You browse through the site and see a “sponsored ad”. This ad has a specific look and feel and the specific message. It sets an expectation for your Customer. If your landing page is not living up to this expectation – the experience is broken. Your Customer leaves and that door is closed. Maybe forever.

Since users are usually in a “content consumption” mode when they are browsing through in-stream units (trying to find content they like), it’s safe to assume that users are expecting to click to another piece of content. If this content is engaging enough, then you used your chance to communicate with your Customer wisely.


Don’t run a campaign with one image, one headline and one body text variation. Experiment. Try different images and copy. Run these different variations side-by-side. Be open to surprises. Even with 4-5 different variations you’ll learn something valuable and can bring the findings back to your Client, and use them for future campaigns.

To conclude:

Native Advertising is a new channel, and with any new channel, it takes some time to understand the complete value for the user and channel’s position in overall marketing mix.

We have had clients running very successful Native Advertising campaigns in various ways: be it for Brand Awareness or Direct Response, in different verticals and with different pricing models. We have found that execution strategies are different in every case.


About StackAdapt:

StackAdapt is a programmatic native advertising platform. Integrated with all major native advertising exchanges, StackAdapt platform enables world's most sophisticated traders and programmatic buyers access native advertising at scale. With audience buying in mind, StackAdapt brings targeting and optimization capabilities to cross-platform, responsive native ad units previously only available for banner advertising.


Topics: Blog Posts, Resources

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