How to use native advertising for affiliates
Native advertising is one of the options you might want to consider exploring when it comes to placing affiliate ads to raise your profile and bring traffic to your website, or that of your partner scheme. Native ads are also sometimes known as advertorials or sponsored content, but all of these terms essentially mean the same thing.
If you are looking for new channels to use for your affiliate marketing ads or are asking yourself the question “what is a native ad, and what are they used for?” In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about native advertising and how to use it effectively.
What is native advertising?
So, exactly what are native ads? Well, the native advertising definition is “a specific type of advertisement that is designed to match the layout, style, and language of the platform that hosts it, in order to stand the best possible chance of resonating with the host platform’s target demographic.”
Why use native advertising?
Native advertising is great for reaching out to very clearly defined sets of audience demographics with a range of common traits, who use specific websites or other online platforms to explore their interests. Identifying a target demographic, finding out where they hang out online and targeting them with specific content designed for them is the key to success as an affiliate marketer – and this is where native ads really come into their own.
By creating an advert that very closely emulates the editorial style of the platform that is hosting it, you stand a good chance of not only getting your content seen by the very people you wish to target but engaging with them in the way that they are most likely to respond to. This enables you to bring in extra traffic that is valuable not only in terms of volume, but because of the high possibility that a significant amount of this traffic will be willing to buy or explore what you offer.
Types of native advertising
Online native advertising comes in many forms, including editorial-style articles, videos, and pictures or images. Promoted Tweets on Twitter and promoted posts and Tumblr are all types of native advertising. Native adverts can appear on websites (BuzzFeed, in particular, is well-known for hosting native ads), blogs, forums and virtually anywhere else you can think of too.
Native ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural or non-promotional content displayed on the platform that hosts them, so that a visitor to the site in question may not even consciously realize that the content they are viewing is an ad at all.
However, it is important to bear in mind that in most countries, rules and regulations are in place that dictates that native adverts or other types of sponsored content are clearly marked as such, in order to avoid misleading the site’s visitors.
Whilst this does undoubtedly have some level of impact upon the visitors’ perception of the native ad content itself, assuming that the ad provides value and gels with the prospect’s interests and purpose for visiting the site in question, it is still likely to prove effective.
How does native advertising work?
Native advertisements may be written or supplied by the advertiser in question, or commissioned from the team that operates the hosting platform. The former approach is more common, and in some cases, the only available option.
Native advertising for beginners
If you’re keen to get started with native advertising, you may be wondering how to reach out to the sites you’d like to connect with. Some websites and other online portals widely publicise their acceptance of native ads – which is often worded as being “PR friendly” in blog circles – whilst for other sites, you may have to tailor a personalized approach to appeal to the site’s owner in order to negotiate the placement of a native ad.
Native ads networks
There are also a number of native ad networks, advertising agencies, and brokerages that can arrange placement (and in some cases, construction) of native advertisements on your behalf.
When the article, post, or content is ready to go, it will usually need to go through checking and approval by the hosting site before it is scheduled to run. You may also be able to have some input as to when and how your native advertisement is posted, in order to give it the best chance of succeeding.
Native advertisements are a great channel to consider for affiliate ads, particularly if you have a good grasp on your target demographic and where and how they use the internet – and can speak their language, as it were, to drive your message home.
Again, ad agencies and aggregators can assist with finding the most appropriate platforms to use for native marketing, and provide guidance on audience analytics and core user demographics.
What is native traffic?
Native traffic is traffic that comes to your website or affiliate portal as the result of posting a native advert, rather than due to your own organic content or unpaid promotions. This type of traffic can be really valuable because if you target the right type of sites and so, demographics with your promoted content, most of the traffic you do receive will be receptive to your offerings.
Increasing native traffic
In order to give yourself the best possible chance of winning lots of high-value traffic for your efforts, it is important to follow these common best practices for native advertising.
• Choose a host portal with a high volume of traffic from your target demographic.
• Do plenty of research into the type of organic content that the site itself posts and hosts, looking particularly at their best-performing posts, articles, or other content.
• Emulate the tone of the host portal as closely as possible in terms of the language and writing style you use, the types of content you produce, and the format and layout of your native ads.
• Utilise meaningful clickbait with intriguing, catchy headlines that follow through on their initial promise.
• Incorporate clear and appropriately placed calls to action and internal links into your promoted content to drive traffic to your site.
• Ensure that your destination page or the content that prospects will reach if they click a link in your native ad doesn’t let you down – keep it relevant, on-message and easy to navigate, with incentives and promotions to help to encourage conversions.
Native advertising networks
Instead of reaching out to individual blog owners, website hosts you might want to set up a targeted advertorial or promoted post campaign with the help of a specialist native advertising network. These networks will have a directory of contacts serving different niches and audiences that are willing to accept native ads from third parties, and they can help you to fine-tune your content and determine the best way to write and improve it to appeal to your prospective buyers too.
This is often a better approach than trying to identify and negotiate with individual website hosts and bloggers because it will not only save you the time and effort of doing this yourself but will also allow you to benefit from the insights and insider knowledge that experienced native advertising networks can provide.