PurpleBlack Blog: Nothing but Native Advertising

Are native ads clickbait? Do they make sense if you’re running an eCommerce business or trying to generate high-quality leads? Advertisers and readers are well aware of super-clickbaity headlines. You might have seen titles like these–12 Photos of Bald Celebrities When They Had Hair. Or, You Can Determine Your Education Level in 28 Questions. Headlines like these entice the reader to click on the feature and read more. They were trending in 2022, and advertisers will likely continue to use them in 2023. However, most of these posts were possibly arbitrage content.

But, What is Arbitrage In Native Advertising?

Arbitrage is a business model where you purchase traffic on platforms like Taboola and Outbrain. You’ll invest in cheap traffic for your website, where you’ll have implemented Google Adsense. Since you’ll use these super clickbait titles, your Cost Per Mile (CPM) will likely be very low. This cheap traffic can also be trash traffic, but your objective is not conversions, only site visits. That’s because every impression on your site earns you money from Google. 

If you can execute this strategy successfully, you’ll earn much higher from Google than you pay to acquire the traffic. This traffic could be from sources like Taboola, Outbrain, or RevContent, among several others. Although this is an excellent strategy to make money, it doesn’t really make sense in the real world. But, it is just one of the many aspects of native advertising.

Clickbait Ads Don’t Make Sense for eCommerce and Lead Generation Businesses

Let’s say you’re running an eCommerce business and want to generate high-quality leads. In that case, it wouldn’t make sense for you to run clickbait ads. That’s because you’ll have very economical or cheap Cost Per Click and Cost Per Mile rates. although, you’ll get cheap traffic, which is trash or non-converting traffic that won’t translate into sales or leads. You’ll also get low-quality tags from traffic sources like Taboola and Outbrain. If the quality is medium, that’s not great either, and it is actually harmful. That’s because not every publisher will display the ads. At the most, you’ll only get a few trashy publishers who might display the ads. 

Another issue is that if you run clickbait ads, you’ll undoubtedly get lots of clicks on your site. Your pixel could get entirely inundated with trash traffic. You might have Facebook pixels implemented, but no one would buy the products. Advertisers can end up with traffic of up to 30,000 users or more on the site and exploding Google analytics metrics. However, they don’t get any sales.

So, What’s the Alternative to Clickbait?

The ideal solution is to run specific eye-catching ads but not clickbait. Think headlines that start like– 7 Out of 10 People in the City. You can be sure that every reader between the ages of 34 and 54 will instantly pay attention. The title could be relevant to them and entice them to read more. 

Let’s check out one of the top news sites like, NBC. If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see a bunch of Taboola and Outbrain ad feeds. Not every native ad is a clickbait ad. For instance, you’ll see headlines like Amazon Has Millions of Prime Subscribers–But Few Know About This Savings Trick. It sounds a bit scammy, and when you click on it, you’ll see that it advertises a Chrome app install. On closer look, you'll note that it’s an editorial feature complete with images and information that provides value. If you were to check the conversion rates, you’d note that the metrics are good.

Look Out for Clickbait Signal Words

Not all titles are super clickbaity, but you’d look for some signal words and images. Think words like genius ways, unbelievable hacks, and weird tricks. But you’ll also see editorials that look authentic with a video embedded with interesting titles. Like, say, Watch: The ‘Nerve Pain Relieving Trick’ You Can Do Without Leaving the House. It is also clickbait since the advertiser may not make the products but is only an affiliate seller.

Slide Show Posts Generate High Impressions and Earnings

Let’s try another news site like USA Today. Again, you’ll see that the Taboola feed is implemented at the bottom of the page. Here you might spot titles like Meet JFK’s Only Grandson Who Looks Identical to His Late Uncle JFK Jr. This one is certainly an arbitrage campaign. If you click on the page, you’ll see a bunch of ads in the right column. In fact, you might see more ads than the actual content. 

Then again, you’ll see that the article is split into slide tiles. You must click on the arrow button to get to the next tile. Each time the reader clicks on the forward button, the Google counter adds it up as a new view. As you continue clicking, the advertiser gets paid again and again since it is counted as a new impression. The objective here is to get as many impressions as possible. But after a point, readers just leave the page, and that’s irrelevant. Pages like these are an excellent example of clickbait combined with Google AdSense arbitrage.

Affiliate Ads vs, Legit Ads on Native Advertising

Let’s try affiliate products. Check out a headline like, How This Yale University Scientists Discovery Could End Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain. While the advertorial does have some interesting information, it is clearly published by an affiliate. 

New Tork: Say Bye to Your Power Bill if You Own a Home in New York. A title like this may not be clickbait, but it is very aggressive. And it also displays Before and After images. Such images are not permitted in the ad box, but you can add them to the post's body. Going through the article, you’ll note that it is a legit post and offers a product for the energy market.

Native Ad Approaches Are of Two Kinds

Broad Funnel

Broad funnels start off with a low Cost Per Click (CPC) and low Click Through Rate (CTR). You also have a low Conversion Rate (CVR). This approach is typically about arbitrage and AdSense content. The ads target a broad audience, and you’d want to get as many cheap clicks as possible. All you need to do is to get the maximum number of people on your landing page. That’s how you can ensure Google AdSense arbitrage earnings and maximize profits.

Specific Funnel

Let’s say, you’re selling a product to a target audience in Germany and between a specific age group. Then, you’ll use a specific funnel that starts with high CPC, high CTR, and, ultimately, high CVRs. The key difference here is that since you’re not targeting, your title must specify the particular audience. You could talk about a particular city or a particular issue that is relevant to the reader demographic. 

This specific funnel is suitable when you have a legit offer because you don’t need just cheap clicks. The funnel will work for you only if you get conversions. You’ll design ads that specify the audience, complete with relevant images. eCommerce and lead generation businesses must use this approach to ensure that their campaigns are profitable.

The Takeaway!!

Enticing the audience to click on your ad is clickbait, and that’s the basis of every advertising goal. However, the difference lies in what you hope to achieve from the campaign–clicks or sales. Once you have your objective figured out, you can move on to choosing the best approach. Not sure how to get started? Why not rely on the professionals to guide you? 
At Purple Black, we are a native advertising-only agency accredited by Forbes Agency Council. We have an exciting selection of strategies you can adopt to maximize your returns. Click here to schedule your appointment, and let’s get started.