Your guide to the 10 secrets to successful native ad sales

28 Sep Your guide to the 10 secrets to successful native ad sales

Unlike traditional display ads in which the advertiser is pushing products or services, local native ad positions your advertiser as the friend at the elbow of the consumer by offering solid tips and advice. So what’s in it for the advertisers?

Here are 10 local native ad benefits to emphasize when selling native in your community.

1. Prestige and exclusivity

Selling a local native ad begins and ends with prestige.

First, not every advertiser can afford it.

Second, be selective about the prospects you approach for native ad campaigns. You simply do not want some advertisers to have access. For example, the supplements fanatic who claims his/her products will cure cancer and herald in world peace is not a good candidate. Having those claims appear in your newsfeed on the front page of your website is a bad idea (unless they can prove those lofty statements).

Third, only a limited number of advertisers are allowed to run a native ad on your home page at any given time. Plus, they get an exclusive landing page with no competitive advertising on your site. In other words, your advertiser gets the prestige and benefit of appearing on a co-branded page that confers your trust and integrity to the advertiser.

All of this is huge.

2. Increased brand lift

A study conducted by Nielsen Digital Brand Effect found that in one case, well-executed native advertising “lifted” the advertiser’s brand by 90 percent. Brand lift is essentially how consumers feel toward a brand, and the bigger the “lift” the better. Additional studies by Nielsen and other organizations find that native advertising generally delivers a double-digit positive effect when the content is useful, informative, accurate and fun.

3. Opinion leadership

You can think of opinion or thought leadership as how much the public trusts your brand. According to an extensive study conducted by Contently, “consumers who read native ads identified as high quality reported a significantly higher level of trust for the sponsoring brand.” For example, a Whole Foods native ad designed to help recruitment, which appeared on Fortune’s website, delivered a reported 27 percent increase in the people who indicated trust for the Whole Foods brand.

4. Can help with search

Search is vital to all advertisers today. Search is especially important to local businesses. That’s because a local search often is conducted in order to satisfy an immediate need.

Nobody really knows how the Google and Bing algorithms work. The general thinking is that the search engines prize four things: proximity to the searcher (local), original content, good content and from where the content originates.

Well-executed local native advertising fits all of the criteria. Plus, by organically implanting consistent keywords that are likely to be used in search across all of the content in a native ad campaign, local native ads can help advertisers appear in search.

5. Boosts social media traffic

Your advertisers all have social media accounts – or they should. Some of them spend a good portion of their advertising budgets on social media trying to attract more followers. Most of your advertisers don’t have a clue how to effectively use social media, and all of them will be in awe of your social media following if you have done your job.

Native advertising not only is the exclusive way local advertisers can gain access to your social media feeds, but it’s also the only way to help those advertisers gain followers to their social media. This is particularly true when you boost the posts on your social media to increase impressions and widen your audience.

6. Dramatically increases intent to buy

According to, a TripleLift brand study shows a 281 percent lift in purchase intent when using this combination of intent data and brand messaging. Other studies have shown more modest double-digit gains in intent to buy. Either way, a well-crafted, engaging native ad message can have an outsized impact on what consumers purchase, where they purchase it and how likely they are to purchase.

7. Long-tail benefits

The best practice is to archive native ads on the media website for as long as you have a relationship with your advertiser. That means native ads can keep working for your advertisers long after they come down from your home page. It’s an advantage native ads have that no other form of advertising can offer. They can be discovered in search for weeks, months and even years after they initially appeared on your home page.

8. Time of engagement

There is both an art and a science to creating effective native advertising. By employing both, native ads often can command much higher engagement times than display ads – and sometimes even higher than the news feeds from your editorial department.

Content That Works has seen times of engagement for local native advertising of three, four, even five minutes … and more. According to the Pew Research Center, the average time of engagement for a news story is 123 seconds!

9. Advertisers own the content

As previously discussed, advertisers don’t know what to do with their social media. Advertisers know they need content for their websites. So “giving” the native content to the advertisers to slice, dice and mutilate for any purpose they want after it comes down from your homepage is a significant benefit. Your advertisers know how much it costs to get really good content in your market.

The idea of “giving away” the content has been much more controversial than Content That Works ever expected. Truly, what are you going to do with the content? Nothing. It has no value to you after it appears. It does have value to your advertisers. So account for the content’s long-term value to your advertisers in the initial native advertising package price.

10. Native avoids ad blockers and gets more clicks than display ads

As should be obvious by now, local native advertising performs a different function than display advertising in print or online.

Display advertising always has been and will continue to be the best way to move merchandise off the shelves, cars off the lot and houses out of inventory. Native advertising is the best way to improve image, intent to buy and likelihood of discovery in search. These different, vital purposes are why Content That Works believes packaging display ads with the exclusive native ad presentation page on your site makes so much sense.

All of this said, without question native ads will get noticed and clicked on more than display ads. This is particularly true on mobile devices, which represent more than 60 percent of digital traffic today.
A recent TripleLift study found four out of five consumers don’t like typical mobile ads. In fact, they consider them “unacceptable. The same study showed, however, that 85 percent of mobile users are “visually engaged” with in-stream native ads.
As important, a native ad dodges ad blockers that are a big problem on mobile devices and a growing problem on desktop computers.

There’s a reason why the native ad is growing

Native advertising is the fastest growing advertising medium out there and, as shown above, it’s with good reason. Content That Works is proud to have helped establish the local native ad market and even prouder to be driving growth with our television, newspaper and radio station partners throughout North America.
Are there benefits you use to sell a native ad that we have missed? We’d love to hear from you. Please share them. Our goal is to develop and share the best local native ad practices to make your customers happy. To that end…