Native Platforms: How do they compare?

For those thinking of buying on Native, we’ve put together a rough guide to the top 3 platforms, Taboola, Outbrain & Revcontent, to give you an easy comparison.

NB: The below is simply our experience with the platforms and not guaranteed to be yours.

Overall a decent platform with a large variety of publishers and good quality traffic on sites such as Fox, Daily Mail, MSN, NBC, AOL, Business Insider. As long as you setup your targeting and bids correctly you should be able to find it fairly easy to get a decent ROI.

It’s a completely self service platform, meaning that you can signup, setup everything completely by yourself and go live. This isn’t to say that it’s as good as having a repped account with Taboola.

In order to be given an account manager, you are required to spend a minimum of £10k/month. Benefits of having an account manager include features which self-serve users cannot access such as; backend publisher targeting (WLs & BLs), ballpark CPCs to ensure you are competitive on the network, headline suggestions etc.

That being said, Taboola’s self serve is still hyper functional and there are a huge amount of tips and best practices in their help centre (headlines, images, LPs, optimisations, etc).

Before you start, things be aware of are:

  • You can’t create an account until you have added your credit card details. Once they have been approved, you will be granted access to Taboola’s ‘backstage’.
  • There is no bulk-upload content upload tool. This is apparently in the pipeline to be built out or could be circumnavigated by using a tool like Brax or The Optimizer.
  • Average content approval time is 24 hours.
  • If any content is rejected, they do not send out an email, instead you have to login to the dashboard to check whether the status of your ad has changed, there are several rejection statuses which you they go into more detail on their help center.
  • Time Zone – You can change it by sending an email to your account manager or [email protected]
  • Currency – you can choose according to which country you are from.

Next: Outbrain

The Common Pitfalls of Native. Don’t Fall In

We’ve managed individual campaign budgets of over $5 million across many native sources. Native advertising should be seamless and unintrusive, an ad format that compliments users online behaviour – not detract from it. Which leads to greater ROI and lifetime value. But, with so many native options out there now, it’s not always easy to get it right.

Some of the largest native networks have a lot of traffic and work with tens of thousands of publishers, meaning getting the targeting right is not always straightforward. Here are the two most common mistakes;

1. Ultra-niche targeting.

Whilst this sounds like a logical thing to do, advertisers often suffocate their campaign before it has time to convert. A too tightly targeted campaign could result in receiving traffic from a very small percent of the publishers. For example, a drone offer may work just as well if not better on a premium financial website than it does on a tech site. Put simply, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Test broad and then optimise out the sources that don’t hit target.

2. Start low and then scale.

Again sounds logical but if your budgets and CPC are set too low you’re setting yourself up to fail before you begin. Why would a network algorithm prioritise your ad over another that has a greater rate and larger budget. Start your CPCs too low and you will only receive the traffic sources everyone else has blocked. Instinct is then to lower CPC to offset poor performance, taking your campaign even further from the quality publishers. Test failed. Budget wasted.

Having knowledge of the network, algorithm and price points are key.

If executed in the right manner, native campaigns can find new markets and customers the advertiser didn’t even know existed. This is how to get the most of out your native campaigns. Don’t be afraid to test and step out of your comfort zone. Get to know the algorithm. If an ad is not generating a competitive CTR or enough impressions, and is not converting – kill it. But be careful when testing new creative, it can be a painful thing to suddenly see your CTR drop on your best converting creative at the same time your new ads take off without even converting. This can be hard to reverse once the algorithm has its teeth into something. Once you’ve found the winning formula, test sparingly.

And finally, it might sound obvious, but remember that your native account manager is your friend. They know the traffic and what works and what doesn’t. So it inevitably pays to listen to them and heed their advice.

If you want to know more about setting your campaign up in the best way to get results fast give us a call, we’re a friendly bunch.