How to make native ads work for you in 2018

How to make native ads work for you in 2018

Native is clearly taking over the digital advertising industry and it’s not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, it doesn’t take a scientist to predict that this is where the advertising money will be going (although, we did find proof*, that by 2021 native advertising will be driving 74% of all ad revenue!). So to help you keep up, we’ve outlined three important points about how we feel it’s best to harness the power of native advertising for maximum impact in the year 2018!

1. User experience is what’s essentially at the heart the native ad format. Everything about native is unobtrusive and communicates value, which makes the users more likely to voluntarily engage with this type of ads. Interestingly, while native ads don’t aggressively jump out from the environment they are placed in, according to a survey done by Sharethrough, users are 52% more likely to notice native ads than banners. We suspect there’s a little bit of reverse psychology at work right there, which makes the audience more open to ads that are not so obviously trying to make them buy stuff.

2. Valuable content. But what makes the content of your ads so valuable and attractive to your intended audiences? Know what they are looking for! Well, at first glance it may not look very simple, of course. It helps to break your target group down to smaller segments, define their needs and characteristics and think about what they might be searching for online – what is the problem they are trying to find a solution for? Remember that it’s always about the audience, and less about the company and product that is being advertised. The benefit of sacrificing talking ABOUT YOURSELF and instead talking TO THE AUDIENCE? 82% increase in brand lift, according to Forbes.

3. Choose the technology that lets you be where your audience is. It’s a question of the technical capabilities of the advertising platform you choose to work with. The more effective and advanced the targeting options, the more in context your campaign is served. This can be achieved with solutions that employ machine learning and quality prediction algorithms that enable highly precise targeting. To simplify, if the platform has built its targeting solutions on bleeding edge tech, the more likely they are to reach segments of the intended audience that are already open to engaging with your product or content, based on their behaviour. Advertising that relies on machine learning basically makes the user, who sees the ad, feel like it’s meant personally for them, and that’s ultimately what every advertiser is looking for, isn’t it?

So, you might be wondering where Adcash factors into this magic recipe of advertising? We’re the secret sauce, of course! In all seriousness, though, we have the largest selection of targeting options currently available in the industry. Not to mention that we run highly refined prediction algorithms that allow us to place ads within context that makes sense.

We’ve also put together a handy table comparing the main native advertising platforms that currently lead the industry. Check it out and see who has the best features** to distribute your valuable content to the waiting audiences!

* Read more about this prediction as well as other interesting statistics in this blog post.
** There’s more information about the Adcash native technical specifications in this article.

Introducing the V2 of Adcash native ads!

Introducing the V2 of Adcash native ads!

We started developing the new and improved Adcash native ad format last year and even talked about its technological superiority. However, we are always pushing for improvement and innovation, which is why we’d now like to introduce the updated V2 of the Adcash native!

We’ve rolled out some updates on our native format, which will, no doubt, not only please our existing partners that have already adopted the native as an integral part of their business strategy, but also all newcomers. Not to mention publishers and advertisers alike.

The updates are specifically designed to increase engagement and conversions and, of course, produce more revenue. In a nutshell, the most important update for publishers is about the increased and super flexible customization options. Advertisers can push for higher engagement through advanced targeting and tailor-made promotions.

But let’s talk details!

Updates for publishers:

  • Super flexible template that can be fully customized to adjust to website layout. Elements to customize: image ratio, fonts, colours, borders (colours, width), widget title and more.
  • Full control over ad count displayed in either rows or columns.
  • Contextual targeting and ad serving for higher engagement.
  • To make integration even more easier and hassle-free, you can now download scripts as .txt files.

Updates for advertisers:

  • Multiple image ratios supported and the minimum image size increased to 600x500px. This enables you to promote your content in high definition.
  • Text allowance was also increased: the max length now is 100 characters to give more weight to that bit of content as well.
  • Dynamic macros that allow the tailoring of content to be more specific and targeted for their audience.
  • The most advanced targeting features in the industry. (Really! It’s true! 😄)

But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve collected all the info about the biggest native networks for you to conveniently compare:

The data exhibited in this table is gathered from publicly available sources.

It’s hard to believe that something so effective can actually be so easy. That is, however, the Adcash reality. It’s actually pretty difficult to put into words just HOW effective our native format is. At the same time, native campaign creation on our platform is simple and intuitive (tip: there’s also an interactive guide right on the platform itself). Also for publishers, creating a zone is just so easy, even with all the widget customization options available!

As we all know, seeing is believing, so don’t waste your valuable advertising time. Choose your partner wisely and we invite you to try out our updated native for yourself to see just how effective its earning power really is!

Ready to fight the Chrome adblocker?

Ready to fight the Chrome adblocker?

We recently discussed the Google Chrome built-in adblocker feature. As we all know, the update initial Chrome update will come into effect on January 23rd with the built-in adblocker fully in place on February 15th. We’ve put some serious research into this and we want you to know that you can fully trust us to fight for you with the best solutions for both, our publishers as well as advertisers.

Here’s what we know

Ads will be affected on sites that are blacklisted either by the Abusive Experiences report, which will be put into play starting from January 23rd or the Better Ads standards. So far it’s clear that Abusive Experiences will prevent, for example, opening new tabs and windows, while the Better Ads standards restrict advertisements that can be intrusive or annoying for the user experience. Although ads that do not comply with the Google Chrome guidelines will be blocked, Google will notify publishers itself as well if what they display is considered unsuitable.

What next?

Publishers can use this tool to check if they’ve been affected and if their sites have been blacklisted by either of the lists. You can keep an eye on the live deployment of the Chrome releases here. However, we also suggest you start taking action. If you have a publisher account with Adcash and you find your sites blacklisted, contact your account manager or our support team and we’ll personally help you get your earnings back up. If you’ve not been blacklisted – good! – but we suggest you use our ads exclusively. We believe this way there’s a greater chance you won’t be blocked in the future.

In any case – whether you’re already a publisher with Adcash or not yet – we can assure you that we’ll have the best and stable solutions to help you protect yourself and continue serving ads successfully.

If you have any questions or need help on this matter, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

How to prepare for the Google Chrome adblocker

How to prepare for the Google Chrome adblocker

There’s a Chrome update coming in 2018 that we cannot help but condemn. It’s dangerously blurring the lines between what we see as legal and illegal. We need to ask is it a fair competition if the giants amongst themselves are creating policies that favour themselves?

We’re talking, of course, about the adblocker feature that will come into action February 15, 2018. Our tech team has given this some serious thought and here’s some useful insight from them what the update means and how to work with it.

Trust?

We live in a world of trust. We trust our mail couriers not to open our mail before it arrives, we also trust the courier not to change anything inside our letters before they are delivered to us. The browsers and service providers we use know a lot of information about us and our behaviour. Naturally we place the same kind of trust in them to not regulate our behaviour or restrict our access to information. However, when your browser or ISP starts making decisions for you about what content you are allowed to see and what not, where is the trust?

At Adcash we believe that browsers should be independent, they should respect and align with the same standards as the ones defined by the W3C. Online advertising is very concentrated, 77% of a dollar in this industry goes to Google (Google Search, Browser, Android) or Facebook (Social Network, Browser, Messenger).
ad networks
Source WSJ
This situation also has another name – a cartel. After all what do you call an organized way of increasing collective profits by restricting other players? It’s hard to trust that this regulating happens on fair grounds.

The changes

Adcash has been in this business already for more than 10 years and we are continuously investing in developing and supporting our publisher partnerships. Which is why it’s especially sad to say that as a publisher you may have already received a warning (in your Google Search Console) that your ads could be blocked with the next Google Chrome update. It will by default block the ads of publishers that don’t comply with the BetterAds standards (initiated by Google).

It’s also important to keep in mind that Chrome contributes visitors on a large scale – out of the visitors that we receive to Adcash websites, Chrome represents up to 65% of them. It’s effect on your future revenues should not be underestimated.

This is not something that will only affect small publishers. Forbes and the Los Angeles Times, for example, received both a “failing” status from the Ad Experience Report. Other high-profile sites that have received warnings include CBS News, Kiplinger, Lifehacker, and Independent UK.

So what next?

Google Chrome 64 will be released on January 23, 2018. The adblocker update, which is based on a blacklist of publisher domains that is updated via SafeBrowsing, will come into action starting from February 15, 2018. The good news is, however, that you don’t need to wait that long to know how your website will look like. We have some great tools that you can use to check your sites. Publishers can check if their websites are blacklisted by Google Chrome here. Don’t forget, once a site is blacklisted, all ads on it regardless of format will be blocked in Chrome.

You can also enable a secret feature inside Google Chrome to unlock the new adblocker:

1) Install Google Chrome Canary

2) Launch Chrome with parameter:
–enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

On MacOS:
open -a Google\ Chrome\ Canary –args –enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

On Windows:
chrome.exe –enable-features=’SubresourceFilter,SubresourceFilterExperimentalUI,AbusiveExperienceEnforce’

3) Go to chrome://settings/content/ads
Switch “Ads” to off (it should be gray, and show that Ads are blocked)

4) Open a new tab, go to top right menu, select “More Tools”, then “Developer Tools”

5) Go to the settings of the Developer Tools (it’s in the top right menu of the Developer Tools) and tick
“Force ad blocking on this site”

Adcash is one of the largest independent internet companies in the market today and we are fully committed to an open internet, where everyone has equal opportunities for business. We hope that seeing a glimpse of the future version of Chrome will help you prepare for the changes yet to come and stay ahead of the game. We will continue to support our publishers and advertisers. Rest assured, should the darkest scenario materialize, we will still find a way to counter attack and bypass all interferences from any browser.

To continue this fight for fair and open online advertising, we are leading a new counter-movement that has brought together other internet companies that are in a similar position to us. Keep an eye on our blog here to always have the freshest information!

Go native with Adcash – it’s where the future’s headed

Go native with Adcash – it’s where the future’s headed

Adcash is announcing the launch of our newest feature – content and product promotion with native advertisements that target desktop and mobile web traffic. This type of advertising is highly engaging yet non-intrusive to the user experience. It’s an incredibly successful format both for advertisers and publishers as it can considerably boost a brand’s image and produce a remarkable increase in revenue. The native format has also been strongly in the focus of all recent predictions for the future of digital advertising. For example, Business Insider suggests that by 2021 native advertising will drive 74% of all ad revenue!

The success of native advertising is pretty easy to explain. According to Forbes this format is more engaging and profitable than any other current standard in the digital advertising industry – more than 70 per cent of publishers have reported no negative reader response to this type of advertising. The main reason behind it is that native promotions are simply less “in your face”. This format is designed to blend with the surrounding content, which means that the user is more likely to willingly click on it.

So why go native with Adcash?

We talked to the Head of Native Advertising at Adcash, Jim Desroches about why native is the way to go in the digital advertising industry. Here’s what he had to say about the native format:

What is native advertising and who’s it for?
With native advertising we refer to any type of paid content or product promotion through ad placements that totally blend in with the actual content of the webpage which displays it. In simpler words, it’s a paid ad that does not look like an ad. It’s a good way to advertise for anyone who owns and creates products or content. On the other hand, it is also a brand new opportunity for our content owners (aka publishers) to monetize their inventory by promoting other people’s products or content.

Clearly in the past years there has been a massive switch towards less intrusive, more premium and better targeted advertising. Because Adcash aims to provide an all-in-one solution to its partners, we have also decided to be a part of this game and expand our services. All of our current partners can obviously start using this new ad unit. Feel free to reach out to your account manager if you have any questions or to our customer care to get started!

Why is the Adcash native different from others in the market?
Like with any other Adcash ad unit, our targeting capabilities are way above any other actors in the industry. We also constantly keep developing new features to always be one step ahead.

Additionally, our supply is 100% direct and exclusive to Adcash. We have a strong network of programmatic partners in place for other ad units and we are also close to supporting this integration for the native format as well – stay tuned!

Last but not least, I am proud to say that our metrics (CTR, CR, e-CPMs) are already above the industry average!

Do you have any tips and tricks for advertisers on how to get the most out of their native campaigns?
In two words: user experience. That’s the key to a successful native campaign. Make sure you understand where your ad is being shown and consider the whole flow, starting from the click on your ad leading to your content or product page. Of course, your ads need to be precisely targeted to avoid wasting clicks. Adcash offers all the tools you need for the best possible targeting. Also note that since the CTR on this ad unit remains low, do not hesitate to give each click a high value so your campaigns will get the exposure they deserve. Our self-service platform even gives you real-time bidding suggestions!

How do you set everything up for native advertising with Adcash – is it more complicated than other formats?
Once you are familiar with our platform and have all the materials required to create your campaign (image, text and URL to direct the user to), it literally takes just about a minute to set everything up. Our campaign validation team works around the clock and you can be live within minutes! If you already advertise with Adcash, you will find the option for Web Native in the Creatives section of the campaign creation flow.

After signup and account validation, the creation of a native widget is even faster! It is also customisable to fit your site the best way possible. Simply create a Zone and choose Web Native. The tag implementation is very simple and efficient.

I usually do not like spoilers, but since Christmas is coming, I am very happy to say that we’ve already began to develop our V2 of the native format with some amazing new features. We’ll be notifying our partners once it’s ready to be released.

Still not convinced? Let’s review the technical specifications of the Adcash native format:
  • Advanced machine learning technology – our prediction algorithms will ensure tailor-made ad serving for maximum revenue generation. With us you can be sure that ad-serving is data-driven and transparent – both user-related data as well as the publisher’s content are taken into account.
  • Best performance metrics in the industry based on our extensive experience and technology that’s built in-house and constantly improved. For example, our specific targeting capabilities are well above the industry standards.
  • We offer flexibility to all sides involved. Our ad template is responsive and will adjust according to the available ad space and type. Website owners can also tweak ad count and placement themselves to specifically suit their website content.
  • No restrictions on image sizes – our platform has an image cropping functionality to help select the most suitable area.
  • Multiple direct and programmatic demand partners to guarantee fill rate anywhere, everywhere.

Promoting native with Adcash is available across all key verticals: news, sports, fitness, beauty, games, jobs, travel, shopping.
Publishers also have the unique opportunity to sign up as advertisers to use native advertising to promote their own website content and boost their audiences. Contact your account manager for more information.

But wait, here’s more information about the earning power of the highly effective Adcash native! 

Or try the Adcash native now!

6 easy tips to increase blog traffic now

6 easy tips to increase blog traffic now

Whether for personal or business interests, one thing is certain: blogs are in. Through WordPress properties alone, over 87 million posts are created every month. That’s a lot of competition…

…competition for your readers’ bloodshot, screen fatigued eyes. The question for you is, “How do I grab and maintain their attention when everyone is fighting for it?” Admittedly, it’s not an easy question to answer.

However, difficult doesn’t mean impossible. While there is a lot of information out there with tips, tricks, and hacks, 3 things trump them all:

keeping your head down, consistently working a plan, and revising when necessary

Yes, there are tips, tricks, and hacks that are effective and work quickly…BUT, their effect is temporary. You need effective and persistent. What can you do to acheive that? I’m glad you asked…all it takes is 6 tactics…

1. First things first: build out from popular content

Your readers come for one thing, content; specifically, your content. Are they not coming? I’m sorry to hear that because it means that you’re creating content for not…well not completely, practice does make better.

And if they’re not coming?  You won’t increase blog traffic. You’re not about that, you’re reading this.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that your content sucks; it might just mean that it’s not consistently registering. Thankfully, that is an easy fix and begins with auditing your content. Have you audited your content lately? Ever?

Look for posts that have highest visitor counts (new and returning), lowest bounce rates, and longest time on page. If you’ve been posting long enough, you at least should have a top one or two that foot the bill.

Tip: chances are that your older content will have higher numbers. Normalize by comparing timeframes.

When you find them, dig deeper. What’s the topic, length, and layout? Hint: the topic of the post is likely the primary factor. Now, you have a place to build from: use Google Trends to search for the posts’ keywords.

At this point, we don’t so much care about the keyword as we do related topics/queries. For instance, if I wanted to expand on our recent RTB post’s popularity, I could check for related trending queries:

increase blog traffic with google trends

Source: Google Trends

I want to know what is trending because that’s a signal. Next, I might click programmatic because it’s a breaktout, and look at its top related queries:

increase blog traffic with google trends

Source: Google Trends

Why switch from trending, or rising, to top? Because I want to see where my search traffic is beginning to go and then grab from near the top to secure the advantage as my readers begin to expand their searches.

Lastly, I can address one of the queries directly or use it as a starting point for conceptualizing a related topic. For example, I could expand on what is programmatic by creating a post on the four main methods of programmatic advertising.

The work you do here goes hand-in-hand with SEO because you’re trying increase blog traffic through attracting readers with similar interests as yours…and the way to do that? Writing about what interests them most.

2. Be responsive now, prepare for your AMP: Mobile matters

The majority of web searches are now made via phone and Think with Google has been talking a lot about mobile. Meanwhile, 75% of smartphone time is spent in apps and only a few of them at that…not good for Google.

Google wants you navigating the online world within their properties: enter AMP and Android Instant Apps. These two projects comprise Google’s latest traffic grab to retake some of the ground lost to apps.

The former, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is aimed at creating mobile pages that load up to four times faster. Major outfits like the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, have taken part — that alone should mean something.

Oh yeah, THIS definitely means something. Google is giving priority to pages that include AMP code during mobile searches. The tide is quickly turning. Your blog better be mobile-responsive but you need to look further afield.

Start the implementation process for AMP code. After all, it’s the first movers that experience the greatest benefit in this world. If you’re using a WordPress theme, chances are that you already have responsive pages…

…so there’s no excuse, look into AMP NOW.

3. Stay in touch with your readers: Capture emails

Your readers will be the least expensive and most powerful promoters of your blog. Are you asking them to stay in touch? Remember, your readers are busy and their eyeballs are tired.

They shouldn’t have to remember to visit your site. Give them the opportunity to subscribe to your mailing list, tell them what to expect and stick to your promise.

build blog traffic with email capture

Yes, it’ll help you maintain the readers you’ve grabbed, but it also provides a few traffic building benefits:

  1. You encourage them to spend more time on your site. The more time your readers spend on your site, the greater authority Google gives it and with that you’ve earned a bump in SERP ranking.
  1. When you incorporate share buttons within the email, you give your readers the opportunity to share the email with their network. The network theory of six degrees of separation theory is real…use it.
  1. You open the door for a dialogue between you and your most dedicated readers. Specifically, you won’t have to rely only on your analytics to infer what they like; you can go directly to the source.

Kissmetrics provides a great article on strategies to capture emails. For us, we use content offers, sidebars and a pop up triggered at the bottom of the article.

4. It might be an online world, but it’s still a community: Engage

If you aren’t using social media to engage your readers, you are far, very far behind. Hopefully, you’ve already created social media accounts connected to your blog or business property.

The next steps are simple: identification, activity, automation and group building*. Whether you’re starting out and haven’t created your accounts or have established accounts, identification starts with channel analysis.

Is this channel where your readers are active? Do different types of content, such as written posts or infographics, resonate with different channels? Every platform provides analytics software to help you.

Additionally, if you’re using Google Analytics, use their Campaign URL Builder to create custom tags that you can easily identify when reviewing your analytics. Doing this will help you see which channels truly equal visits.

The competition for feed space is just as hot as it is for readers: you have to maintain a good pace of activity. If it makes sense and you can sustain it, try to post once a day to each channel. Just don’t force it.

To help you maintain a good pace, use automation tools; we use Hootsuite. But beware: you may miss out on some platform features, such as targeting. Yes, post targeting isn’t just for paid posts.

social media post targeting to build blog readers

Use your off- and on-platform analytics tools to build out reader profiles that you can target across platforms. For instance, you can use Facebook’s Audience Insights to identify complementary interests:

We were able to increase our Facebook followers by over 2,000% using the tools and strategies above.

*If it’s relevant and you have the resources, create and moderate a private group. These groups encourage engagement within and without the community: remember…six degrees, six degrees, six…

5. Increase your profile and increase blog traffic: network

Building your blog’s profile and yours as a writer or thought-leader is like adding a small amount of potent fertilizer to your blog. While everyone is talking about link building (this is important), you need to do more.

An efficient way to do more is by joining HARO, or Help A Report Out. This website acts as a source for sources. For example, reporters can submit a query when they need a quote and sources can submit their answers.

Often, you will be asked to include a social media link or some piece of referral information that will be included in the peice they write. You’ll receive three source requests a day that are timed to news cycles: morning, midday and evening.

You can also specify which areas you are interested in answering questions about…I use it myself and have experienced good results. Nonetheless, your main effort should be directed toward building relationships with other thought-leaders.

Rule of thumb: read their stuff and build the relationship before you propose anything; persistent traffic is a long game…remember? You can use services such as BuzzSumo to help find them, but they aren’t necessary.

6. Get a quick bump in traffic: Paid promotion

Whether it be through search ads, paid social or an ad network, paid promotion isn’t as out of reach as you might initially believe. Use one, two, or all three in concert; the key is to assess each channel before you commit.

Set a test budget, implement your ads, and analyze your the results. Once your test budget and period finish, then commit. Search ads are great for keyword targeting, but can get expensive for highly competitive terms.

Use Google Trends and the AdWords Keyword Planner to find keyword adjectives that your readers may also search and consider their long-tail variants:

Be bold, Google’s algorithms are becoming semantically smarter and also focus on intent.

Ad networks operate similarly, just make sure they possess relevant traffic and the necessary targeting tools. Regardless of your choice, understand that this will likely only create a temporary bump.

To make the most of it, have your email capture tools in place. You will maximize your return on investment by grabbing some of those readers you acquire through your paid promotion.

Start now and increase your blog traffic today

There’s great news: if you implement the 6 tips now, you’ll increase your blog traffic today. But wait! There’s even more: you can use those same ad networks to monetize your traffic if your blog is the monetization source.

After all, you deserve to receive compensation for your time and effort even if you’re creating content for pleasure. However, always bear in mind that your readers come to your blog for one reason…to consume your content.

Regardless of your blog’s purpose, the key to what has been covered is that you will build a persistent reader base, one that will supplement your efforts by generating additional readership and/or leads automatically. Start now.


Be heard! What tips and tricks do you use to increase your traffic?

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

With a background in psychology, sales and marketing, Kyle harnesses his experience to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Pin It on Pinterest