5 Native Advertising Mistakes that Sabotage Campaigns

Native advertising is a relatively new form of digital advertising, and as part of the programmatic landscape, it’s been noted that there are few formal educational programs. Many marketers are learning how to effectively use the technology on the ground and mistakes are bound to be made. In order to make your native advertising efforts as effective as possible, here are five native advertising mistakes that sabotage digital ad campaigns on a daily basis:

1. Expecting Immediate Results

We live in an age of immediate gratification. So it’s no surprise that many of our customers expect immediate results from their native advertising campaigns. But the truth is, great things take time, and when you are running a conversion based campaign, you have to first gather enough data to optimize: “Although it varies based on budget and CPA goal—it normally takes at least a week to gather enough data to start optimizing, and then it’s an ongoing process of optimizing towards best-performing metrics,” says Customer Success Manager, Isaac Bunn.

2. Not Having Clear KPIs (or Having Too Many KPIs)

The amount of data available in today’s marketing landscape can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to be distracted by the wrong numbers. Though all Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics, not all metrics are KPIs. In order for your campaign to generate the results you want (ultimately, acquiring more customers), it’s integral to understand which metrics are key to growing your business. For example, Cost per Click (CPC) may be a good indicator of campaign efficiency, but based on your goals, this may or may not be a key indicator of overall success. According to business expert Jay Liebowitz an effective KPI is one that “prompts decisions, not additional questions.”

3. Wasting Time Searching for Your Ad in the Wild (or Asking Your Customer Success Manager to Produce One On-Demand)

The things that make programmatic native advertising is so effective: immense scale and targeting accuracy, are the same reasons that finding your ad in the “wild” is almost impossible, especially on demand. This is why StackAdapt invented our Ad Preview tool. Ad Preview allows you to preview how your ad will look across contextually relevant sites. You can share these screenshots with your colleagues and clients to make sure your ad is everything you expected. For example, if you or your client is a health & wellness brand, you can see how your ad will look in Reader’s Digest’s health section:


4. Assuming You Know What Will Resonate With Your Customer

As marketers, it’s easy to make assumptions about what will resonate with your target demographic. After all, it’s your job to be an expert, right? The reality is, as a Harvard Business Review report points out, “marketers suffer most by pledging allegiance to a mass of suppositions, assumptions, and habits.” At its heart, marketing expertise should be based on data, and then we can let creativity soar. According to Campaign Optimization Specialist Sarah Bui, “It’s best to split test as many ad variations (images, headlines, copy) as possible to observe which drives better performance for your campaign instead of putting all your eggs in one basket by testing only one ad.”

At StackAdapt we’ve tried to make this as easy as possible by building out tools that automate the creative process and by integrating with major creative companies like Shutterstock to provide free access to thousands of images.

5. Not Split-Testing Different Audiences

People are complex creatures. A common mistake many marketers make is bucketing their audience into stereotypical groups, and ignoring audience pools they assume will have little to no interest in their product or service. But if you don’t research and test out a number of different audiences, you may be missing out on a huge number of customers. A good way to make sure no one falls through the cracks is to start with broad strokes and then narrow your audience pool as you begin to understand what works and what doesn’t.

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