Related Categories
Related Courses
Free Resources

How to Get Started with Native Ads (in 60 Minutes or Less)

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on native advertising.  Be sure to read Part 1 before reading this article:

In the first post of this series, we defined native advertising.
We learned that this new form of online media is the future of digital advertising… particularly advertising on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
The reason native ads work so well on these platforms is because they put content first.
Big social hubs like Facebook are filled with communities of people sharing valuable content that entertains, educates and inspires.
Traditional ads like this one…
Traditional Ad
… are unwelcome on these social channels.
As a result, click-through rates are low on in-feed ads that follow this direct offer format.
But a status update like this is exactly what we’re looking for on a site like Facebook…
a Native Ad
But this is, in actuality, an ad.

It’s less about the ad, and more about…

… the landing page.
A traditional landing or “squeeze page” looks like this…
Squeeze Page
There’s no content here… no value.
It’s simply an offer and a call-to-action.
This is a well-designed squeeze page but it’s not native.
A native ad promises value and the landing page delivers on that value.
The simplest and easiest way to create a native ad landing page is to write a blog post.

NOTE:  Shhhh… don’t tell anyone but this very blog post IS a Native Ad Landing Page for a Native Advertising course we built that covers Native ads from A to Z.  The irony is not lost on me.

It looks like this…
Native Ad to Landing Page
We call it a “native worthy” landing page.
It’s not an overt offer… it’s valuable content first — with an offer baked in.
Here’s how to get up and running with native advertising quickly and cheaply…

A Native Ad in 60 minutes or Less

If you want to get ramped up quickly and start testing native ads… follow these instructions.

Step 1 – Find a piece of content and convert it

My guess is that you have plenty of old blog posts laying around collecting dust.
Or, you have a PowerPoint presentation you could convert into an article.  Or a process document that could provide value to your market.
This piece of content is your “native worthy” landing page.
You’re looking for a piece of content that…

  • Provides tremendous value to your market
  • Is relevant to a product or service you offer
  • Has done well on social media (You may or may not have this data)

Now, weave calls to action to opt-in to an email list or learn more about a product or service in the copy of the blog post.
The key is to find natural opportunities to link to your sales page or ask for an email opt-in in throughout the copy of the article.
End the article with a clear, direct call to action to learn more about the product/service or opt-in to get more information.
Here’s how we ended the “How We Grew a Blog From Zero to $6 million…” landing page.
Native Ad Offer
But this closing offer was only after the reader had received enormous value from the case study in this article.
Any prospect reading this far could clearly benefit from the product offered.  And, don’t forget, there are other links naturally baked in to the copy of that article that link to the offer.
Link all calls to action to a traditional landing or “squeeze” page.
This is the traditional video sales letter that prospects arrive on after clicking a call-to-action in the “native worthy” landing page copy.
Native Landing Page to VSL

Step 2 – Post and “Boost” on Facebook

Once you have a “native worthy” landing page (i.e. a blog post) with a call-to-action to opt-in or learn more about a product or service —  it’s time for some traffic.
We always start on Facebook (If the ad doesn’t work on Facebook, it probably won’t work anywhere else.) Facebook has the most sophisticated ad targeting and more users than the other networks.
To start, post a link to your content to your Facebook page. Use the headline of the article as your text (you can add additional copy – maybe a question, to make the post more engaging) and then add an evocative photo. Use the photo they will see on your landing page when they click.
For example, in the example we’ve been using, the image in the ad is the same image they’ll find on the “native worthy” landing page.
Native Ad to Landing Page
Using the same language and imagery from ad to landing page maintains congruence and usually increases the conversion rate.
We also add benefits to the copy in the Facebook update to encourage a click and make the ad more engaging.
Now that you have a Facebook post, it’s time to start advertising. This can be done using the simple “Boost Post” button underneath your Facebook posts.

Boost Post

If you’re on a budget, start by investing $5 to promote your post, you’ll reach many more Facebook Fans (and their friend’s) Newsfeeds than you would have organically.
For more targeted traffic, use the self serve ad tool and Power Editor to create ads with the objectives of “Website Clicks” or “Website Conversions”.
If you dig further into this platform, you’ll find more targeting options and you can scale your native campaigns.
But, If you’re a beginner, start with $5 on the “Boost Post” button.
If you have success on Facebook, roll out to other In-Feed Native Ad platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.
In the Native Ad Academy training we dive deep into creating laser focused ads on all of these platforms… and more.

Step 3 – Measure

Measuring Native Advertising goes beyond the typical Cost Per Click, Cost Per Acquisition and ROI metrics.  Because the ad and landing page is valuable content that informs, entertains or inspires — it will be shared.
Let me say that again… if you do this right, people will virally share your landing page.
This landing page (AKA blog post) was designed to sell a piece of software… it got over 1,000’s of organic (free) visits from social media.
Native Ad Social Sharing
Viral social sharing of your landing page drives down your Cost Per Acquisition and increases ROI without increasing ad spend.
For Native Ads, it makes sense to track social sharing, time on page, comments and other measurements of engagement.
We’re absolutely crushing it with these in-feed native ads on social sites.

Coming Up…

In the last part of this 3-part series on native advertising we’ll take a deeper dive into this native ad campaign.
We’ll show you the native ads, “native worthy” landing pages and results from this campaign.
Read Part 3 by clicking here
Be sure to watch this presentation from Ryan Deiss, you’ll learn more about native advertising and our Native Ad Academy training.

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer stands behind its tagline, "It's Just Smarter", due to its frequent and widely focused delivery of tactical, test-based information and online optimization best practices, designed to show readers what's truly working and what isn't within online marketing.

Subscribe to the DM Insider Newsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter that delivers the most actionable, tactical, and timely marketing tips you actually need in 7 minutes or less. Get an edge over the competition, for free.