PurpleBlack Blog: Nothing but Native Advertising

Most top-ranking news websites often display the Outbrain logo with many of the articles and posts published on their pages. If you’ve been wondering what that is, know that the logo indicates that the piece is paid advertising. A form of native advertising, paid features are very similar to conventional informative articles. They are virtually impossible to identify as promotional pieces, and readers go through them, consuming value-driven information.

What are Outbrain Ads?

Outbrain or native ads influence the users without their being aware that they are targets of marketing strategies. The ads flow naturally as a part of news pages and make sense for advertisers looking to scale their business. If this is you and you’re looking to lower your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA), native ads are the ideal solution. This marketing approach is particularly suitable for eCommerce companies needing effective lead generation. On comparing social media advertising with native ads, you’ll find that the latter approach is much more scalable. This factor is applicable regardless of the platform, like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, or Google.


Outbrain is One of the Leading Native Ad Traffic Sources

Several brands typically allocate marketing budgets of $100K daily on social media advertising. But without comparable profitability or sales. That’s when native ads enter the game. Outbrain is one of the biggest native advertising traffic sources out there. An Israel-based company, Outbrain posts ads on the pages of top news sites worldwide. Most business owners are familiar with media buying and traffic buying on social media sites like Facebook and TikTok. However, media buying on native advertising platforms is entirely different.

You’ll Need the Expertise to Run Ads Profitably

Unlike Facebook, Google, and YouTube, native ads don’t have algorithms and settings. This is why you may have to do a lot of manual bidding and settings, which involve hard work. Side-by-side, you’ll need to necessary expertise to ensure profitability. Further, know that each native advertising platform is unique. When advertising on Outbrain, Taboola, RevContent, Yahoo Gemini, or any other, you’ll find that each works differently. Without the know-how to acquire traffic, your efforts are unlikely to yield results or scale effectively. 

The problem with native or paid advertising is that learning is very challenging. This approach is very unlike social media marketing, where you can sign up for courses or read tutorials online. You can’t just upload a few images and add a couple of headlines to make an impact. Prior to the iOS14 data sharing update, lead generation and conversions were super easy. But since all that has changed, you need more effective funnels.

Advertising on Social Media and Outbrain Needs an Entirely Different Approach


On social media, you can add links leading to the product pages of your eCommerce business site. But, you need a different approach for native advertising. Here, you have an editorial or a landing page with informative and compelling copy for readers. The copy on the page delivers detailed information starting with a particular problem readers may want to solve. Next, it describes the product or service and how it is the ideal solution to that problem. 

At the bottom of the page, you’ll place links leading to the offer or order page. Here, readers can finalize the purchase. So, you see, the funnel is entirely different. Further, if you check the audiences on Outbrain and Taboola, you’ll note that the audience is much older than on social media platforms. This factor is critical since not every product or service is a good fit for a traffic source like Outbrain.

Understanding How Prospects or Leads Perceive Native Ads

Let’s take, for example, a news site like T-Online, one of the top-ranking channels in Germany. As you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see advertisements. The most significant factor you’ll note is that these advertorials carry the tag: “More News Like This,” “Sponsored by,” “Brought to You by,” and so on. They look like legit articles that the news channel might publish to interest its readers with high-def images. Readers clicking on the ads and consuming the article typically don’t realize that the post is promoting a product or service. Not only does the information flow naturally, like a part of the preceding sections, but a presence on a reputable website adds to its credibility.

You Get Credibility for Your Products and Services


T-Online has a broad viewership of educated, cultured Germans who trust the website and its content. Any products they see advertised on the site automatically get validation that it’s a great buy. So, how does your prospect or lead perceive the ad? Remember, native advertising does not target specific audiences or a small niche. So, it’s essentially a top-of-the-funnel marketing strategy targeting every site visitor using a broad product or service approach. 

The end goal here is to entice them into your funnel and achieve conversions with just a few clicks. And without the need for retargeting. Although native ads are complex and need expertise to execute correctly, they are highly profitable. That’s because you’ll have users clicking on the ad and purchasing products worth $100 to $150 without any retargeting.

Let’s Talk About Outbrain in In-Depth Detail

As explained above, Outbrain is one of the leading traffic sources using native advertising. You’ll note that the platform works with several of the top news sites worldwide, including CNN, MSN, SkyNEWS, and more. Further, the platform is compatible with a wide range of formats and media options. You can take your pick from images, videos, gifs, motion graphics, and more. Of course, the most popular design is a static image with an attention-grabbing headline. 

Outbrain has placements on top-ranking sites, possibly, eight out of the 10 most-visited websites. It also boasts impressive stats like 40% higher customer engagement and improved time on the site up to three times. Most interestingly, 87% of customers seem to prefer native ads over banner ads, which is phenomenal.

Outbrain Has Different Ad Formats Advertisers Can Choose

Visit the Outbrain Smartads Gallery, and you’ll note that they have a selection of ad formats. A few good examples include:

  1. The standard banner ads that appear on 95% of smartphones. The ad has an image, a line or two of text, and perhaps, a Call to Action in a box.
  2. Next is the carousel ad, which is typical of a standard Facebook ad and ideal for generating leads. Or an eCommerce business.
  3. Options of an app store or Google Play store like clip smart ads, which can be a video, mp4 file, or gif.

Marketers can simply pick out the ad format suitable for their ad campaign or category of products and run with them.

So, How Do Native Ad Funnels Work?


Native ad funnels are unlike your typical social media formats.

  1. You’ll have a box ad set up at the bottom of the news page. This box will have a static image and headline addressing a specific audience to which the product might appeal. Think titles like “Approaching Menopause? Things to Know,” “Is Retirement Round the Corner? Read This,” or “Is Your Dog Diabetic?”
  2. The next step in the funnel is the Advertorial. While the content looks and comes across like a regular article, it is, in fact, an ad or sales copy. At the end of the page, you’ll see a Call to Action section or a hyperlinked text.
  3. Clicking on the link can take readers to the Offer or product page. Or a form where they can add their contact information for lead generation.

So native or paid advertising has a lot more going on than just uploading an image and adding a link. You’ll need a lot more expertise, not just in media buying, but also legit copywriting skills. Setting the right bids and making manual tweaks consistently to maximize traffic and conversions are all a part of the game. An editorial that is unable to entice the reader to convert and purchase the product will not generate profits.

The Takeaway!!

Yes, you can visit the Outbrain website and examine the dashboard. Looking at it, you might think that designing and posting native ad campaigns is a cakewalk. But, it really isn’t. The entire process needs professional expertise to generate any real ROI. Reading this post should give you a fair overview of the Outbrain platform and how it works. We'd love to answer your questions if you’re interested in more information on how to use this traffic-generating approach. We welcome you to visit us at Purple Black, the native advertising-only performance-based agency accredited by the Forbes Agency Council. Sign up for your free consultation here and let’s talk some more.