What are Native Ads and How to Use Them in DFP?

Brian Blondy, July 19, 2016

native ads
Screen Capture – DoubleClick for Publishers Training – YouTube

Introduction

Today we’re talking about native ads, a subject which has been receiving a fair amount of buzz in our industry lately. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at what native ads are, how they are most often presented and then later, we’ll take a deep dive into how to set-up native ads through DFP.

What are Native Ads?  

Native ads are a form of paid media where the ad experience is integrated directly into the natural form and function of the format of a website’s desktop browser, mobile browser and/or app environment in which it is placed.

Often described as advertising in disguise, the central goal of a native ad is to present the promotion organically, interconnected and seamlessly by being placed inside or alongside the content.  Basically, the goal of native ads is to make the advertising appear as supplementary content rather than what it really is, an advertisement.

According to a recent study from IPG Media Lab, “Consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads,” further proving native advertising is increasingly becoming a relevant and popular advertising methods for publishers and advertisers alike.

In addition, native ads outperform traditional banner advertising:

  • 25%+ more in feed placement views
  • 9%+ higher lift for brand affinity
  • 18%+ higher lift in purchase intent
  • 32%+ of people would share an ad with a friend or family member
  • Expected industry spending reaches $21b by 2018

 

Native Advertising Chart
The native ad boom in one chart via BI Intelligence

What we believe to be so captivating about native ads is that they blend into the content itself by providing a strong contextual and unobtrusive experience to the user.

Perhaps most importantly, native ads give publishers control of the content on their site.  Publishers can partner with the type of advertisers that they would like to feature on their site and integrate their advertisements to fit within the design and content.

Though not all native ads look and act the same, below are specific examples of how native advertising most often appears in content.

 

 

Native ads featured in mobile apps

The Power of Native Ads in DFP

As your visitors increasingly visit your online properties through a variety of different methods, perhaps you would like to add flexible, component-based native ad units that will appear in the exact style that you would like to have them shown on desktop, mobile web and in your mobile app.

Fortunately for publishers customizing native ads in DFP is very easy. The beauty of native ads is that they are highly modifiable to fit alongside your content in the way that you would like.  Adopting native advertising will allow you to add a very effective way to monetize your desktop, mobile web and mobile app inventory.

In DFP, you can:

  • Manage native styles
  • Implement fully responsive ad slots
  • Deliver native ads across multiple devices and platforms based on how you would like to display the components on their website or app
  • Customize the native ad experience across your website properties

 

How to Implement Native Ads in DFP – Standard and Custom

Publishers can choose between two different native ad formats in DFP, standard and custom.  Individually these two formats make up the variables that construct the ad.  Both formats contain the same format, namely: headline, image and body text. Where they differ is that in the standard native ad format, the three pieces of information are system defined and mandatory, whereas in a custom ad, a publisher can define the variables that you want to display.

When an advertiser produces a single, component based native creative, there are many ways in which the ad can be displayed.  In DFP, the system allows for all screens and transaction types to be managed and executed in a single place.

  • Screens – Mobile Apps, Mobile Web, Desktop
  • Transaction Types – Direct Sales, Open Auction, Programmatically
  • Formats – Content ads, App Install Ads, Fully Custom Formats
  • Delivery Methods – Native Styles, Custom Rendering for Mobile Apps

 

These basic pieces of information contained within a native ad can be modified in HTML, JavaScript and CSS to appear differently when presented in desktop, mobile and in an app.

 

How to create a new native creative for a native ad

In DFP, navigate to Orders / Creatives / Native Styles / Create New Native Style

Note: A native style is not a native ad, but rather the native ad styling

Here, there are two options to choose from:

  • Native app install app (System-defined)
  • Native content ad (System-defined)

 

Select Native Ad Format
Select Native Ad Format

Essentially what is happening here is you have the power to create and later associate a new native ad unit styles to display uniquely on any of your pages, i.e., to show up on your desktop site one way, and to appear on your mobile site another way. Additionally publishers have the power to define size, HTML and CSS variables to the style.

Creating order lines for native ads in DFP
Creating order lines for native ads in DFP

Moving forward, publishers will need to create and order line items as they usually would. To create a new line item, within the inventory sizes box, click either a custom or native ad format from the drop-down menu.  In addition within the add targeting section, it is important to target the line item to any ad units and/or key values for which you have previously configured native styles, because this choice will ensure that the content will be displayed in the correct native style.

Pro Tip: DFP’s forecasting system accounts for all of the sizes on your native styles.

Keep in mind that the workflow for trafficking Native line items is completely sizeless. A native line item will deliver to all native style sizes that are targeted to the same inventory.

Adding new creatives in DFP
Adding new creatives in DFP

The final step of the process is to add the creatives as you normally would. Be sure to click the Native creative type, and in the box that appears, select a native ad format where you have added native styles, and click continue.  You can then add the settings for the variables, which were defined in your custom or standard native ad format.  Like native line items, native creatives have no size and can deliver to any size which you have set-up a native style.

After that, that’s it. DFP takes care of the rest in delivering the right ads with the right styles to the right destinations, whether that’s desktop, mobile or mobile apps.

If you are considering adding on Native Ads for your website, our trained experts at Total Media are available to consult with your team in order to set-up everything you need for your website. We will take care of everything and make sure that your website is earning the maximium for your valuable website’s ad units. Please feel free to contact us here.

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at [email protected] or on LinkedIn