Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

Tips & Guides — 15 Oct 2020

Advertising Campaigns: Best Practices

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Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

We caught up with Sydney Mann, content writer at Taboola, world’s leading discovery & native advertising platform, to find out the latest trends and examples of best practices in native advertising.

Each and every day, people turn to editorial sites to stay up-to-date on news, entertainment and information around the world. According to Pew Research Center, 37% of U.S. adults report consuming their news online. 

But, even more than just turning to these sites, people put their trust into editorial sites. When we surveyed 5,000 people in the U.S. earlier this year, we found that participants reported trusting news sites 3x more than social media

To approach the idea of trust from a different angle, we also asked participants where they might expect to find a Fortune 500 company advertising. To that, 63% of participants answered on news sites.

If you’re thinking to yourself at this point, “okay, so news sites are trustworthy, but how do I actually go about getting my ads there?”, then look no further than native advertising.  

What exactly is native advertising?

We left off above with a question, and now let’s pick up with another one. Native advertising is the concept of creating ads that are so cohesive with the surrounding page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer feels the ad belongs there. 

Simply put, native ads create an experience that feels cohesive rather than disruptive, something that’s especially important on news sites. This form of native advertising works for goals all across the marketing funnel, from awareness to performance marketing

Advertisers gain the ability to reach the readers of tens of thousands of leading online publications where and when they’re most likely to be receptive to your message

Before diving into native advertising, though, it’s important to take in some best practices, and that’s what we’ll really cover today. 

Native advertising best practices

There are a lot of elements that go into a successful native ad, but when they come together, the result is something truly incredible.

For images, try outdoor photos with people and no text

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

A look at image trends point to photos winning out over illustrations, people as the subject seeing more success than images without people, outdoor settings performing better than indoor, and the notion of the less text, the better.

When it comes to keywords, family is a high-performing trend

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites
Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites
Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

Based on these keywords, you’d want to try and include words like ‘daughter’ and ‘wife’ in your headlines, you may avoid ‘game’ and ‘health’, and you may venture to try out ‘humble’ and ‘pop’. 

Testing out Titles 

Given the above keyword trends, let’s try it out as if we were, say, a florist. We’ll test out the following five headlines in a title analyzing tool:

  1. 15 Bouquet Arrangements For a Wedding Day to Remember
  2. How to Style Humble Fall Leaves Into a Perfect Centerpiece 
  3. Mouth Watering Fruit And Flower Arrangements Your Husband or Wife Will Love
  4. A More Attractive Garden in Seven Easy Steps
  5. Photo-Worthy Flowers For Your Son or Daughter’s Graduation     

Let’s see how they shook out:

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. A More Attractive Garden in Seven Easy Steps is the one to go with here. 

It’s not enough just to figure out a title and understand image trends – it’s about putting it all together.

Let’s translate these trends into example ads

To show you how all of the above trends could make their way into different advertising across different verticals, I’ve put together some examples that tie it all together.

The Taboola Trends tool does let you get more granular and identify trends specifically for each vertical, device type, location, etc., but for today’s purpose, let’s apply the general native advertising trends across the board. 

Let’s say you’re a car company…

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

…or, how about you’re a gym?…

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

…or an electronics store.

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

The point is, the list goes on, and on, and on, and on. These trends are widely applicable, updated weekly, and can help you take your native ad performance to the next level. 

What about video?

A look at video trends points to male subjects in a winter setting, no human subjects if possible, no text, no animals, and color vs. black & white. 

Ad Campaign Best Practices: An Analysis of Millions of Native Ads Across Editorial Sites

These trends are also available by vertical, platform, duration, and more so you can get granular with your video ads. 

For this data and more, check out our weekly-updating Taboola Trends tool. 

Your best ads yet in placements that people trust

If you could get your message in front of people where they’re spending time and trusting the information they’re consuming, you’d do it, right? That’s the very reason why native advertising simply works. 

In all advertising, context is key, but this is never more true than on news and publisher websites. You want your advertisement to feel organic in a person’s experience, to feel enticing, and to feel trustworthy. It’s also more important than ever in these settings to have ad creation driven by data and best practices that are tried and true. 

If all of this sounds good to you, then it’s probably high time for you to start exploring how native ads can work for you. Taboola is always right here waiting to help you do exactly that. 

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Head of PR and Marketing Communications

Anastasia Zaichko is a creative B2B marketer, passionate about helping companies achieve their sales, growth and visibility objectives. Weekdays she's all about identifying new opportunities for marketers to grow and get more value from affiliate channel. Weekends include traveling, partying and instagramming about all of the above. She strongly believes in the power of content, networking and the Universe.

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