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Three Reasons Your Native Advertising Campaign Isn't Performing

Jun 03, 2015 / by Daniel Kohler

native advertising campaign_peter

Ouch! We are sorry to hear your native advertising campaign isn't delivering the results you hoped for. But on the bright side, you have come to the right place to get help! We've run hundreds of campaigns for our clients and here are the top three reasons campaigns may be performing sub-par. 


1. Click destination is not content

In its Native Advertising Playbook, one of the core six questions IAB encourages buyers to address when purchasing native ads is Function:




While IAB doesn't say whether it’s right or wrong to have native ad function that is not aligned with content around it, at StackAdapt we believe that native advertising is largely a channel for content distribution. That means if we integrate in-feed native ads in the website's content feed, the page that users click to should be actual content, not landing pages or signup forms. 

When planning a native advertising campaign, always think of the user journey. If the users think they will be taken to content, but arrive instead at a landing page with a sign-up form, they will likely be disappointed and 'bounce.'  


2. You recycle banner ad creative

In-feed native ad specs vary across different platforms, but most of them (including StackAdapt) adopt Facebook ad specs for their units. Unfortunately, too many native ad buyers take the 1200x628 native ad image size and build the creative the same way they do for banner ads. 


When developing the creative, we suggest basing it on visuals, not text. That is, capture the user’s attention with a striking image rather than a banner-esque call-to-action. If you must use text in the image, we suggest keeping the text centred and use Facebook's Grid Tool to ensure that the text doesn't take up more than 20% of the image. 


3. You don't measure behaviour post-click

Unlike banner ads, when the engagement happens on the impression level, native advertising and the content it promotes are all about the actions a user takes after he/she clicks on an ad. Impressions and clicks are important metrics to keep in mind, but when it comes to content-driven campaigns, we want users to actually read (or view) the content. Therefore, we suggest all our buyers track user behaviour using either Google Analytics and adding UTM codes to the click URLs, or platform-specific analytics. 


By understanding user engagement after the click, we can also make a data-driven decision about the optimization of the bids. Imagine site X drives users at $1.0 CPC, but produces twice the average time-on-site over site Z. Obviously, you wouldn't double down on site Z even if its CPC was $0.90. 


Post-click analytics will answer a simple question: Are you paying for users who actually engage with the content you present to them?




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Topics: FAQ

Written by Daniel Kohler

Director of Sales

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