5 Best Practices for Buying Native Programmatically

May 10, 2016
by Tim Sims – VP of Inventory Partnerships

The beauty of native advertising entering the realm of programmatic buying is that marketers can now deliver engaging content preferred by consumers at massive scale. Consumers agree — nearly two-thirds of them find native advertising interesting and informative, according to the Association of Online Publishers. And a third are more likely to trust native ads over other traditional advertising formats such as display banner ads.

With so much marketer and consumer attention on native advertising, it’s surely an opportunity not to be missed. Here are five best practices to get you started with programmatic native:

1. Think holistically

Your omnichannel campaign will benefit from a consistent story across channels and devices. Native provides that opportunity — within the ad format itself — across mobile, video and desktop display. Plus, you can measure the performance of these creatives to determine how your marketing dollars are best spent.

2. Select the right ad format

There are several types of native ad formats such as social, sponsored content and in-feed. It’s important to understand the benefits of each in order to get the most from your marketing efforts. For example, in-feed native uses technology to dynamically create an ad that integrates with the content on the publisher’s page, while sponsored content is a result of the advertiser working directly with a publisher to create content. Knowing the pros, cons and capabilities of each format will help you make the decision on what’s right for you.

3. Think like a publisher

The key to a successful native campaign requires full integration with the publisher site and its content. Make sure you’re conscious of the look of the page, the tone of the editorial and style of photography to ensure that consumers will relate to your ad. Perhaps most importantly, make sure you add value to the content to gain reader trust.

4. Set realistic goals

Successful native campaigns are highly dependent on implementing the right strategies to achieve your goals. In terms of programmatic native advertising, those goals are likely branding and engagement. However, be mindful of the type of native unit you’re using. Sponsored content is best aligned with top-of-the-funnel metrics, while in-feed ads are measured more like display with metrics such as click-through rate and cost per action.

5. Measure and optimize

There are many flavors of native advertising, and each has appropriate measurements of success. One thing to remember is that programmatic native in particular allows for the ability to optimize based on performance data — just like display or mobile campaigns. Make sure you always test images and copy to see what resonates with consumers, and then optimize based on the results. 

There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year with the merging of programmatic and native. As with most digital innovations, the industry will discover new opportunities and define standards that have yet to be determined.

As originally published by Adweek

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