Entrepreneurs in the lead chain game tend to gravitate toward ads on social media platforms like Google, Facebook, and TikTok. As a startup owner, if you’ve been looking for effective lead generation strategies, you’re likely familiar with traffic sources like Outbrain and Taboola. Do you need more info on whether these native advertising platforms are a good fit for your business? You’ve come to the right place. Read ahead for in-depth details on how native ads can achieve effective lead generation and increase profits.
What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising on platforms like Outbrain and Taboola is unlike conventional promotional pieces. You’ll find them on the bottom of the pages of popular news websites in the form of editorials. These pages target audiences in the reading mode who are scanning the website for interesting pieces of information. Readers going through a news feature on their favorite site scroll down to the end of the page. Here they see more news features posted by the platform. Or, they may see a native ad box with an eye-catching headline and hi-def image, possibly centering around a current event. The discerning feature is the tiny Outbrain or Taboola logo indicating that the article is a native ad.
Native Ads Carry Tags Identifying Them as Promotional Pieces
A native ad may be an extension of the information presented in the preceding sections of the page. Readers seeing the ad may want to click on it to get more related news. Or, they may read the article presenting details about a specific product. If not the Outbrain or Taboola logo, readers may also see the “Sponsored Post” tag. This tag is added per Google’s new regulations requiring websites to clearly indicate that they have received compensation for running the ad. Essentially, all content with labels like “Partnered with,” “Promoted,” “Affiliated with,” and “Presented by,” to name a few.
How People Interact with Conventional Ads
How the audience interacts with native ads and the funnel is entirely different from social media ads. If you’re familiar with Google or Facebook ad funnels, you’ll know that they target customers using specific keywords. Users are looking for a particular product or service, and the Google search results lead them to the order page. This page provides all the relevant information readers need. Since the viewers already know what they want, they compare costs, features, and brands before selecting a suitable product.
How People Interact with Native Ads
Native advertising uses an entirely different approach. Here, marketers are not targeting audiences familiar with the product who know precisely what they want to buy. But the ads target “cold” leads. Or leads that are entirely unfamiliar with the product being advertised. Native ads seek to educate the audience on the product, its features, and why they absolutely must purchase it. Native advertising digs deeper into the topic and presents previously unknown information that instantly excites and interests. Each ad identifies a specific problem and then goes on to educate the reader on how the product solves that problem. That’s what makes this marketing approach an effective lead generation strategy.
Native Ads Connect with Audiences by Evoking Curiosity
Native ads connect with their target audiences by evoking curiosity in a specific audience. They have attention-grabbing titles typically targeting their particular age group, like “Why Men Over 40 Must Get This Insurance Coverage.” Or, “Were You Born Between 1990 and 2020? Read This!” Using the winning combination of curiosity and age relevance, marketers can target cold audiences that are entirely unaware of the topic. By clicking on the ad, the reader opens an editorial that is essentially a landing page. But, while this post has all the typical elements, it is not really a landing page. Instead, it comes across as a regular news feature.
Readers consuming the information are unaware that the page is an advertisement and selling them a product. They read a legit copywriting feature with compelling text leading them through the typical steps that convince them the product is a great buy. By the time the reader reaches the end of the page, they have converted into a ready-to-buy lead. Within 600 to 800 words, people gain enough info about the product, which is why the editorial is super concise. Not only is the post on point, but it also can convert the audience mindset into a hot lead.
Native Ads Include the All-Essential Call-to-Action
The reader is ready to place an order right away because they have just learned about this product. And, that it is critical for their health, well-being, and lifestyle. They are also made keenly aware of how they are losing out, financially or in any other way. Just because they haven’t made the purchase as yet. The native ad is effective lead generation because it inspires readers to take action instantly.
So, you see, native advertising plays with several psychological factors, such as curiosity and FOMO or fear of missing out. Impressions of scarcity, curiosity, and a sense of urgency also entice the reader to take action. But, of course, the product description also allows the audience to make an informed decision. They can think about whether or not the product is a good decision for them.
As the reader reaches the end of the editorial, they can move on to the offer page. Here they can choose to sign up as a lead and enter their information into your company website. Later, you can reach out to them via a phone call or email to complete the purchase. But, the editorial has effectively completed the lead generation process for you.
Funnels Continue Beyond Lead Generation. There’s More!
The funnel does not just end with lead generation. At the end of the day, your business needs actual conversions. Or people who finalize the sale. Let’s start by comparing how lead generation works from, say, a Google ad or a native ad. Like we have talked about earlier, leads from Google ads are straightforward. Viewers are fully aware of the product they want and are only looking for the best prices and stores to purchase it.
Leads from native ads are also about pricing, but they are not price-sensitive. They are more about a sense of urgency, curiosity, and desire to complete the purchase right away. As long as the prices seem appropriate and the product is a viable investment, the lead will complete the purchase.
Yet another factor to keep in mind is that, typically, native ad leads are not primarily concerned with price points. Their focus is on other things, such as the product's particular features and if they can get exceptional customer service. How well the agents interact with them over the phone and other aspects are more crucial to their finalizing the purchase.
Audience Size Matters!!
Whether you use native advertising or social media platforms, lead generation is ultimately about the size of the audience. The more people you connect with, the higher the number of leads you generate. Let’s talk about Facebook, which is now Meta. Now Meta is a social media giant that includes other traffic sources like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Advertisers must remember that Meta is essentially a single company. Several people out there may not want to use Meta and its many platforms because they don’t like Mark Zuckerberg.
You can’t rely on Meta because its audience numbers seem to be waning for different reasons. More and more people seem to be canceling their accounts on FB. You should prepare for the possibility that, perchance, a decade down the line, Meta will no longer be as popular. Companies come and go, and a great example is Nokia. Some 15 to 20 years ago, the brand was so popular that it going out of business was an inconceivable notion. Yet, here we are!
Native Advertising is a Strategy, Not a Company!
Unlike Meta or Facebook, for that matter, native advertising is not a single company. Creating native ads and posting them on different websites is essentially a marketing and lead generation strategy. Traffic sources like Taboola and Outbrain are undoubtedly the biggest at the moment, but other platforms are also available. There are possibly hundreds of smaller traffic sources that use native advertising to generate leads and are successful at what they do. It will interest you to know that the folks at Purple Black are also working with up to 50 traffic sources.
Having multiple sources of leads assures you’ll continue getting traffic for your website. That is, even if one source dries up, you can continue to rely on the others. This factor can become especially crucial considering the high investment you’ll make. We all know how annoying it can be when issues arise with your marketing approaches. Account bans on FB are just one example of when you’ll end up struggling with open tickets and contacting their agents. Resolving the issues to reinstate your account can seem like an uphill task.
You can rest assured that account bans can never happen with native advertising. Should a situation ever arise when Outbrain or Taboola bans your ads, you can always switch to other traffic sources. You’ll continue to connect with your leads over the phone or email without them realizing that there have been any changes at the backend.
Native Advertising May Not be Suitable for Every Audience
Before diving into this lead generation strategy, know that native advertising is not suitable for every product. Or, every audience, for that matter. For starters, audiences on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or any other are from the younger age group. You’re targeting youngsters with super fast ad consumption and, consequently, ad fatigue. Unlike native ads, you must refresh the ads consistently to maintain audience interest.
For instance, audiences on TikTok are from the 18 to 25 age group. But with native ads, the audience is from a much broader spectrum, anywhere from 30 to 70 years. Native ad readers, being older, have a higher income and, thus, a higher purchasing power. Try comparing the results from your lead generation strategies on platforms like Instagram and Facebook and native ads. You might just find that audiences targeted with native advertising campaigns generate not just a higher sales volume. But, also generate more profits because the audience is open to purchasing expensive products.
Let’s Talk About the Products You Can Advertise
With Facebook, you can choose the specific audiences you wish to target by their demographics and interests. You can't select specific interests to target if you want to generate high-quality leads with native ads. You don’t have that legit targeting option. Instead, you’ll use demographics, device type, browsers, operating systems, and more. Essentially, you’ll use an entirely different approach for lead generation. And, that includes designing headlines that specify the appropriate audiences who might find the ad relevant. This strategy is critical because the platform does not provide any technical interest-based targeting solution.
So, native ads work only if you have a very broad product approach and value service. Several audiences lay high emphasis on high-grade customer service, especially if you offer a very small product niche. Businesses selling high-value products must target niche audiences like CEOs from Fortune 500 companies or upmarket wealthy clientele like celebrities. Native advertising cannot work for such products because the targeted audience is from a very wide spectrum.
Native Advertising is the Next Step for Scaling Your Business
Native advertising is essentially the next lead generation strategy when you’re ready to scale your business. It is more suitable for entrepreneurs that have already run multiple ad campaigns on social media platforms. If you’ve been successfully generating leads and sales with Facebook, Instagram, and Google, the next step is native ads. This approach is sure to get you more economical CPAs.
You’ll allocate a higher marketing budget with assurance that each campaign will likely be far more profitable. But, if you’re promoting a startup with only a limited advertising budget, it’s advisable to use social media platforms. You’ll gather adequate data and learn how to optimize your campaigns with low risk.
Lead generation using ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram is easily done. That’s because you’re targeting the same audience demographic, and you’ll get technical assistance ensuring the campaign's success. You’ll also learn about marketing nuances like the importance of user-generated content. However, considering that native advertising is an entirely different approach, you’ll need the assistance of the experts.
That’s where we come in. At Purple Black, we’ve spent years perfecting the art of native advertising. You can rely on us to design compelling editorials, complete with slick copywriting and technical aspects. We manage data compilation to evaluate the success of the campaigns using an innovative algorithm we’ve developed. If you’re looking to dip your toe into this technique to scale your business, we’d love to help. Contact us and schedule your free consultation here and let’s get started.