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Vitaly Pecherskiy COO StackAdapt

What Does Success in Programmatic Native Look Like?

Programmatic and native advertising dominate the ad tech space, accounting for 80% of all digital media and 60% of display spending in 2018 respectively. Unlike custom, manual placements of ads (usually executed on the publisher level), programmatic native advertising uses automated systems and machine learning to deliver content directly to targeted audiences. Because of their in-feed placement and adaptable design, native ads often see up to five to eight times higher click-through-rates than display ads. They are especially effective on mobile devices and tablets because of the share of voice for these placements, where individuals are spending an ever-increasing amount of time.

If you are considering adding programmatic native to your media mix, here are a few considerations for building out a successful campaign:

Targeting
Like other formats such as banners or video, native can now target relevant niche audiences. Marketers use native advertising channels to deliver branded content to consumers milliseconds before the purchase decision. For example, CPG brands can leverage native advertising to target users who are within a specified radius of their retail locations and who have read online recipes that require their products. The precision of such targeting results in lower cost per acquisition.

Measurement
When it comes to measuring native advertising, time-on-site is a key metric for determining the relevance of your content. (Today, time-on-site can be measured right from some platforms.) To get a fuller picture of native advertising performance, marketers now combine the metrics of online actions like leads and sales with those of offline events such as store visits and lift in sales. Because marketers who use native advertising frequently rely on post-click success metrics (clicks, time-on-site), connecting the dots between ad engagement and offline activities is a lot more attributable than impression-based success metrics, which are more commonly found in banner or video advertising.

Valuable Content
Native advertising is an organically integrated preview of branded content. Because they are found on prime editorial real estate (the feed), native ads give brands an opportunity to interact with their audience through content. This opportunity, however, requires both restraint and resources. To make the ad experience seamless, content marketers today must leverage high-quality photography and avoid sensational headlines (read: clickbait) as well as overly aggressive CTAs. Data shows that 57% of consumers prefer educational or information-rich content over marketing fodder. When developing copy for native ads, therefore, it is imperative to strike a balance. Remember: Effective content must provide value without being overly branded.

Success story: Porter Airlines
After launching their blog re:porter, Porter Airlines used StackAdapt to find users who actively researched destinations on their network. This targeted group of users would then encounter a native ad with information-rich content, including trip ideas, cultural hotspots, and restaurant recommendations, on the city they had just looked up. Using content as the entry point, Porter optimized the campaign to time-on-site metrics and then retargeted users who didn’t end up buying a ticket. The result of this campaign was instructive: Porter lowered their cost per acquisition by a staggering 35%.

For more native advertising success stories across retail, finance, travel and more, check out other case studies.