Hi everyone, Peter here.
This is the final part of the ‘Creating the Perfect Native Ad’ series, and it’s a fairly short post just to introduce what is a massive topic and the most important part of the ‘process’, and can determine the success levels of your campaigns.
In the series, we’ve looked at creating a suitable ‘big idea’… writing a killer headline…. And choosing good imagery for your ad…And by now, you should have all you need to start creating winning ads that get people clicking!
In this final part, I just want to briefly mention some ideas about maximizing the success of your campaigns.
You see, for every winning big idea you create…
For every killer headline you write…
And for every impactful image you manage to find…
There are certain variables you will NEVER be able to control.
You can’t always tell what your audience is thinking… what they want… or even what they need… And that’s because things change. People adapt. Industries develop.
One day, your advert may be absolutely ‘crushing it’ in the native ad world…
The next, it could be getting no clicks at all.
First of all, don’t worry. It’s natural. And it happens to the best marketers around.
But wanna know the secret to being a top marketer? Actually, it’s the whole point of this blog post…
Test. Test. Test a bit more. Tweak. Test. Test. And Test again.
Out of breath?
hehe – me too.
In short… it’s all about optimization.
You can have the most superb headline in the world… the best angle… but your image could KILL your ads chances at performing well.
Or maybe you have a powerful image that directly-targets users pain points, and achieves an incredible sense of ‘need’… but your headline sucks, so they look elsewhere.
While we’ve covered many aspects of creating the perfect native ad…
No one can predict how an ad will perform. Which is why it’s so important to continually refine and adapt your campaigns.
Let’s look at 4 important optimization techniques you should ALWAYS consider in order to make your campaigns as successful as possible.
#1 – Test different Ad Creatives
Don’t rely on your opinion, produce a few versions of an ad, try 5 different headlines, and 5 different images and mix them up. See which combination outperforms the others. You will know which one is the most successful as it will overshadow the others by a huge margin. If nothing stands out then create some more ideas and test them.
You always have to bear in mind the networks algorithms for which ads are getting shown, and adjust your bids accordingly. Quite often a network will show one add which appears to be doing better than others because of the volume of views, however relatively it is underperforming. In this instance you can move the downtrodden ad out into it’s own campaign and see how it measures up.
#2 – Adjust Your Actual Bid Amount
If you’re seeing one of your campaigns underperforming… or simply want to do even better… then you should consider testing different bids. As you increase your bids, you’re more likely to get your ads served to more users, and this can increase visibility and grow results, but at the same time will cost you more.
3qdigital.com have some great ‘rough figures’ for where to set your bids.
They recommend – for brand/awareness or editorial-focused campaigns, you start with bids between $0.40 and $0.60 CPC, and go from there.
They also say that typical advertorial campaigns tend to include higher costs, with the recommended starting bid between $0.50 and $0.70 CPC.
Nothing’s ‘set in stone’, but these are some good general guidelines to get your campaigns started, and as you develop, you can look to increase/decrease your bids dependant on the performance levels you’re seeing.
#3 – Optimize Your Landing Pages
It’s all well having the perfect native ad, but if your traffic is being sent to ‘dud’ pages, you won’t recuperate any investment, no matter how hard you try.
Landing pages are actually one of the most overlooked parts of a native ad campaign – even though they’re one of the most important – so it’s really important you get it right.
Some marketers will say a longer-style landing page will work best (think headline, Subheadline, introduction, bullet points, and CTA) …
Others say short-form pages’ work best (purely a headline, Subheadline, and CTA).
While it’s all dependant on your market, your offer, and the traffic, in general these days, shorter landing pages ARE out-performing longer styles, so bear this in mind.
Set up a few different landers, using different headlines, positioning of text, and images– you can never test too much, only too little, so try multiple variations, and see which one works for you and your campaign.
#4 – Advertise On Different Networks
Just because you’ve started running your native campaigns on one network, doesn’t mean you can’t switch things up and try different networks.
One of the really cool things about the native ad industry, is that Networks are always evolving, and they’re eager to get new advertisers on board – that’s why you can often find some really great offers and ‘deals’ to incentivize you to join them.
If you notice your offers aren’t doing as well on the bigger networks (Taboola, Outbrain, revcontent etc), then try your hand at a smaller network.
This has a few benefits, one of the main being that you can often get better CPA/CPV rates than on the larger networks – this lets you test traffic more affordably, and means your budget isn’t eaten up quite so quickly if things don’t go to plan – although bear in mind their outreach won’t be as large.
Start thinking about how you can apply these 4 simple optimization techniques and take your campaigns to new levels.
There are tons of other tricks which come with experience, we will get into these in depth in future posts.
Keep experimenting and postulating…think like a scientist… and remember – don’t get disheartened when things don’t go to plan – if it was *easy*, everyone would be doing it!
If you want an exclusive insight into how other marketers are running their campaigns, check out NativeAdBuzz.
It’s basically a way to legally spy on your competitors. And you can see exactly what IS working… and what isn’t.
You can search different ads by keyword, so you can easily find ads similar to yours! This means you can cut out all the guesswork, and see exactly what’s proving successful, and what’s not. Then…
While we don’t condone just copying others ads…
You can certainly use your competitor’s ads as inspiration!
It’s well worth the tiny investment, and I guarantee you’ll find tremendous value inside.