Every content marketer has thought of displaying their content on Forbes or Business Insider at least once, and why not? Boasting a global audience of 66 million, a spot on the Forbes platform could do wonders for your brand’s visibility.
In reality, getting a feature spot on one of the world’s top online media properties isn’t impossible. You can turn to a PR agency, collaborate with regular contributors, or even try to reach out to the magazine’s editorial team.
However, you face two not-so-tiny issues. First, a single mention on Forbes can cost you up to $9,500. Second, it can take a few months to finally achieve a spotlight on the site.
It’s a good thing we have a simpler approach that allows you to distribute your content across hundreds of media outlets at a price lower than a single sponsored post typically costs. Let us introduce you to native advertising, showing you a few native advertising examples along the way.
Identifying Native Advertising Examples
If you want to promote your content on Facebook at scale, you use Facebook Ads. If you want to promote your content on publishers’ sites, you use native ads.
What Is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is an ad distribution approach that fits the look and feel of the editorial content across media outlets. If your brand is like most, you still depend on paid ads to some extent to broaden your reach.
However, when most consumers feel like they see too many ads, you might want to consider a less intrusive method. Native advertising bridges the gap between your need to boost exposure and consumers’ desires for a subtler approach.
You will see native ads in content of all forms, including articles, infographics, and videos. This is great news for you because the content you already produce is fair game for native advertising, though it must meet viewer expectations on the sites where your ads appear.
A native advertising example from the Business Insider website shows how the site displays sponsored content. On the left, you see the non-paid content the editorial team posts, while on the right is a content recommendation widget that delivers native ads.
If an advertiser does a good job designing ad creatives that match the surrounding content, as Babbel does, a reader can scarcely tell the difference between sponsored content and editorial.
What Are Native Advertising Platforms?
Instead of going directly through a publisher or PR company — which, as we saw, can be cost-prohibitive — native advertising platforms provide a cost-effective medium for placing ads on multiple sites.
The most popular native ad networks in 2023 are:
Each platform has a vast network of publishers and advertisers.
For instance, in the native advertising example above, Babbel used Taboola. The Taboola network has a broad reach, distributing content to thousands of media outlets, including Business Insider, NBC News, and Bloomberg.
Babbel didn’t have to talk to the Business Insider team before displaying their content on the site; instead, they used Taboola.
These networks operate similarly to Facebook’s Business Manager. All you need to do is create killer content for a campaign, specify your target audience, and set a bid. The platform will do the rest of the work for you.
What Types of Native Advertising Exist?
Recommendation widgets are one of the most common native advertising examples on sites such as Forbes or Business Insider, but they aren’t the only format. Other formats include:
- Search ads: Sponsored content appearing at the top and sometimes further down in the search engine results pages
- Promoted products: Ads on e-commerce sites like Amazon and Shopify for products similar to other items on the page
- In-feed ads: Sponsored posts that display on social media feeds
Once you know what they are, you will likely start spotting native ads everywhere you look online.
What About Demand-Side Platforms?
If you want to run large-scale campaigns, you might benefit from using a DSP. Simply put, a demand-side platform is a software system that allows advertisers to run their ads across multiple networks through one interface.
DSPs are a native advertising example that uses a marketplace structure. You submit your ad content, identify your target audience, and establish budgeting parameters.
The software finds venues that match your campaign criteria and submits a bid. If you win the bid, the site displays your ad, and you pay for each click.
What if you don’t want your ads displayed on particular websites?
You can exclude publishers just like you manage bids or targeting settings. Since you don’t really know which sites will perform best for you, it’s highly recommended that you exclude sites only after you get the first pieces of the performance data.
Understanding the Relationship Between Native Advertising and Content Marketing
Native advertising and content marketing are often referred to as opposing concepts. However, comparing these two is like comparing apples and oranges.
If you look at any native advertising example, it clearly can’t be effective without content. Instead of calling it an alternative to content marketing, we’d say it helps you reach your content marketing goals.
As a content marketer, you can master native advertising to put your content in front of entirely new audiences and fill the top of your sales funnel fast. Whether your content includes online podcasts, blog articles, or video tutorials, it perfectly fits the native advertising format.
How Top Content Marketers Use Native Advertising
Native advertising has become a popular Facebook Ads alternative for top SaaS companies and eCommerce businesses.
While many eCommerce advertisers still treat native ads as a way to promote their products directly (which is not necessarily the right approach, BTW), the majority of SaaS brands and agencies have been effectively supporting their content marketing strategy with this method.
A no-code chatbot platform, Chatfuel, has been promoting how-to articles across the Taboola and Outbrain networks for a few years. By distributing top-funnel content with native ads, the company boosts brand awareness and likely collects audiences for future retargeting campaigns.
Above: Chatfuel native ad and landing page example
Voodle is a video messaging platform for remote teams. By combining content marketing and native advertising, the company helps their target audience overcome the challenges of remote work and embrace its benefits.
Above: Voodle native ad and landing page example
Following Native Advertising Best Practices for Content Marketers
Each native advertising example we’ve listed demonstrates how to use the format to reach target audiences best. If you want to promote your content across large media outlets with native ads, you’ll need to follow these tips:
- Choose a platform offering a relevant network: Do you want to distribute your content across sites focusing on financial and business news? You might want to explore Dianomi. Do you want to reach the broadest possible audience? Taboola and Outbrain work well. It’s also worth paying attention to which countries in a specific network drive the highest percentage of traffic.
- Choose your targeting parameters wisely: Specifying your target audience’s basic demographics is enough to expand your reach using a recommendations platform. However, advanced targeting options, such as lookalike audiences or interest-based targeting, perform better with social media-sponsored posts.
- Use ad headlines to filter out irrelevant audiences and attract the right people: Understanding your audience helps you develop headlines that target that audience. You can use software like Writer to help you create eye-catching headlines using artificial intelligence.
- Maintain a focus on user experience: Keeping your audience in mind ensures you craft content that adds value for viewers. You don’t want to pay for ads that result in a high bounce rate. Also, remember to maintain your brand’s voice in your ad content.
- Keep track of CTRs and user behavior metrics: Tracking metrics — such as time on page and scroll depth — on a publisher level provides insight into ad performance. If specific sites deliver many visitors who hardly ever read through your content, it’s best to exclude them.
Ramp Up Your Content Distribution Using Native Ads
Native advertising is probably the most effective promotional practice to complement your content marketing strategy. With it, you can reach audiences of hundreds or even thousands of websites without paying for placements, only paying when your target audience chooses to read your content.
Implementing Ideas From Native Advertising Examples
After seeing a few native advertising examples, you can develop your ideas for reaching a wider audience using this strategy. DivvyHQ’s platform is your central hub for native advertising collaboration, organization, planning, and analysis. We have all the tools you need to embark on this new adventure. Request a demo to see what Divvy can do for you!