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Native Ad Strategy: How to Test and Succeed

native ad strategy

A decade ago, creating a successful marketing strategy was all about standing out of the crowd. But, modern consumers are extremely savvy when it comes to advertising, so direct marketing tactics don’t generate the same results as they used to. As a matter of fact, a lot of people prefer to learn about products on their own terms and not through traditional channels.

This is the main reason why native ads have become such a massive hit. It is now a powerful tool for affiliates in multiple verticals. That said, putting together a successful native ad campaign with high-profit margins isn’t always easy, especially if it’s your first time testing out this type of ad.

Below, we’ll go over 5 critical elements that can help you design a solid native ad strategy.

Why are Native Ads Different to Other Formats?

As the name suggests, native ads are adverts that are designed to look like part of a website’s content. These ads are engineered to mimic the function, feel, and overall look of the platforms where they are displayed.

In essence, these adverts don’t really look like ads, which means that they can deliver messages without making users feel like they are being influenced. This, in turn, translates to consumers that are more receptive to your message and have higher chances of interacting with your ads.

Because they don’t look like ads, you have to carefully craft each creative and ensure that the landing page users are redirected to is relevant to the content they are currently seeing.

5 Key Elements that Can Help You Design a Success Native Ads Strategy

Like all other formats, there are many elements that will affect the success of your native campaign. In order to build a great strategy, always remember to focus on:


Looks horrifying? Actually, it’s a Forex ad!

Your creatives are the heart and soul of your native campaign. Affiliates that already have push campaigns can choose the ads that perform best and repurpose them for their native efforts. As a rule of thumb, your adverts should be catchy, but not salesy. And, they should read like a headline or title found in a blog post or a news article.

You’ll also want to create different sets of creatives that use various approaches in order to find the best way to attract your audience’s attention.

Here’s a good read: How to Promote Content with Native Ads and Push Notifications

Whitelists and Blacklists

Whitelists and blacklists allow you to identify the ad zones that are delivering stellar results as well as those that aren’t performing up to standard. This is extremely important as ad performance can vary depending on the placement on the page and several other factors.

By using these lists, you can target the areas that are generating the best results and avoid zones that are either too expensive or deliver poor performance. If you ever launch whitelist campaign, but you notice that the CTR has dropped 30% or more, it may be time to change up the ads you’re displaying.

Bidding Model

There are many different bidding models you can choose. If you’re not sure which one is suitable for your setup, simply start with a CPC campaign and use it to gauge the quality of the traffic. And, you can also start creating whitelists and blacklists at this stage.

If the CPC campaign performs well and you have a CTR higher than 1.2%, you can test out a CPM campaign to verify which one is the cheapest and most profitable.

Ad Frequency

The frequency of your ads will dictate how often your creatives are displayed. Start by putting the ad frequency on the low setting in order to reach more people. If you notice your campaign is underperforming because of low traffic, you have tried raising the bid already, and the CTR is relatively high, it may be time to double the ad frequency.

Are you into reading? Here’s a long article about Ad Frequency and Scheduling

Broker Traffic

Broker traffic doesn’t come directly from an ad network, but instead, it’s acquired from a third-party. While some of these may deliver awesome results, it’s important to test each traffic source to ensure it has good performance. If not, you can always choose to turn off this option.

To Sum Things Up

  • Make it look like a real content. Use catchy images
  • Always use custom audience lists
  • Start testing with CPC. Great results? Create a CPM campaign to reduce your expenses
  • Start with a low frequency
  • Test broker traffic

Native ads are taking the affiliate work by storm, and for a good reason. The tips above should help you build a successful native strategy, regardless if you’ve never tried this ad format before.

Feel free to discuss Native ads on our Telegram chat!


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