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Everyone seems to be offering native ads simply because they offer marketers another advertising channel, one that seamlessly blends into content and leads to some nice upticks in clicks. This kind of integration makes the ads very attractive for those who have large networks to get in on the game.
You may not know it, but there’s a good chance you are already showing native ads. You probably already know that Yahoo offers native ads out of their advertising platform, Gemini. What you may not know is that Google AdWords also has native ad formats. Another bit that could be a surprise to you: Bing Ads now serves native ads.
Don’t be alarmed! The amount of impressions for native ads across Google & Bing is pretty small – we’re talking roughly 1%. However, it is important to keep that option in mind as traffic ramps up into Q4. It’s also a good thing to keep an eye on when that 1% starts to grow.
Here’s what you should know about native ads as we head into 2016.
What are native ads?
According to one of the least credible sources on the web, Wikipedia, native advertising is defined as “a type of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears.”
Here is an example from Yahoo:
Where do I go to start showing native ads?
There are already a great deal of native advertising publishers across display. But it wasn’t until recently that native ad formats have been integrated into paid search publishers, such as AdWords, Bing Ads, and Gemini.
Google Management & Reporting
In AdWords, you currently don’t have access to view reporting for native ads. They will show if you are running text ads across the GDN. You can’t really do anything but wait until Google rolls out more features to support them. Don’t worry; the percentage of clicks coming from native ads less than 1% right now.
What Google has found in testing native ads:
-Consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than banner ads*
-Native ads register 18% higher lift in purchase intent & 9% lift for brand affinity response*
-Native ads have an average conversion rates of 4.5% and CTR of 0.2%*
*Native ad research from IPG & Sharethrough
How Google Native Ads Are Created
So how are Google Native ads created if AdWords does not have support to manage them? What happens is that Google creates the native ad based off text from your normal text ads in GDN and takes your logo from your G+ profile or a 3rd-party image repository. You may be able to work something out with your account manager with the image, so it’s worth asking about.
Here is a Google Native Text ad (the Chromecast listing):
If you’re looking for more information around native ads in Google, reach out to your account manager.
Bing Ads Native Ad Setup
In Bing Ads, native ads were released as a beta not too long ago. Just like with Google, click volume from native ads will be less than 1% of your total click volume. Unlike Google, Bing Ads provides management & reporting for native ads.
Here is the process in getting native ads set up in Bing Ads:
Step 1: Create a new campaign
Step 2: Enter text & keywords as normal
Step 3: Native ad bid adjustments
Step 4: Use image extensions – plays a key role in driving volume!
The campaign is set to run, and you can view it in your campaign list with a summary line for native metrics!
Bing Ads Native Ad Management & Reporting
Beyond testing different images and ad text, bid adjustments can be made to native Big ads. Here is how to do that:
Step 1: Choose your campaign that is serving native ads
Step 2: Jump into campaign settings and scroll down to advanced settings
Step 3: Select either increase by or decrease by, then enter the percentage by which you wish to adjust your participation in native ads. Max increase is 90% (enter this to use primarily native ads); Max decrease is 100% (use this to opt out of native ads).
Here is a Bing Native Ad example:
If you’re looking for more information around native ads in Bing Ads, reach out to your manager or refer to this post.
Native Ads in Yahoo Gemini
Gemini is farther along with native ads, which make up the backbone of the channel. Soon you will be able to manage your text ads across all devices for Yahoo properties; while they excel in native ads, they are playing catchup with regular text ads.
Setting up native ads in Gemini is pretty easy. Here is a quick guide to get them running:
Step 1: Select “New Campaign” on the “Campaigns” tab within Gemini
Step 2: Select your campaign objective; “Download my app” will be a different experience than what’s illustrated here
Step 3: By default, the campaign is set to serve on search and native networks – in order to select just native, you have to scroll down to the “Enter your settings” portion of campaign setup and select the “Modify” link (see below)
Step 4: Finish your campaign settings and select “Start campaign.”
Gemini Native Ad Examples
Yahoo put together a good amount of examples. You can find them here.
If native ads aren’t on yet your list for 2016, I’d recommend testing them out and seeing which channels work better. Done right, they’re potentially a great source of traffic and awareness you can’t get on other channels.