Native Advertising

Top 10 Takeaways from Outbrain Academy

Karen Walden
Karen Walden
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Have you heard about Outbrain Academy’s latest course that certifies you as a Native Advertising Strategy Expert? It’s available online, on-demand, and you can access it for free. As one Marketing Director said:

“Outbrain Academy training supports a holistic planning approach and unselfishly educates on Native as a channel.” 

And that’s exactly how we intended it. Built from the ground up from direct feedback from leading agency media planners and buyers, we made sure this insights-rich course covers all the topics deemed most relevant to marketers today – focusing on Native Advertising on the open web as a whole. We cover topics ranging from creative best practices to why you need to diversify your marketing channels to how to buy Native Ads programmatically. 

If you have already taken the course, then you know it’s a data-packed experience full of insights to make you an expert. Here are the top 10 takeaways: 

1. Native Ads have evolved 

If you thought Native Ads were exclusively a static image and headline at the bottom of a webpage – you learned that you were oh so very wrong. Native Advertising has come a long way. With a variety of solutions for any KPI and any creative, Native Advertising on the open web has evolved to become a powerful and dynamic full-funnel solution for marketers. 

2. It’s not only critical to diversify your media mix; it would be risky not to 

In today’s environment, trusting your whole ad spend to one or two platforms is, frankly, a risk. Putting all your eggs in one basket puts you at the mercy of those platforms. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have a diverse set of marketing levers – so that you can retain control and manage these channels (rather than them managing you) to optimize your campaign performance. 

3. Spending on Native Advertising platforms means you are supporting quality journalism 

To date, Outbrain has funneled back more than $3 billion dollars into the publishing industry. By extending the reach of your ads outside of Search and Social, not only are you tapping into a greater audience base, but you are also directly ensuring these institutions stay profitable and thrive! And if this year and the last have taught us anything, it’s how important publishers are to getting factual information that we can trust. 

4. You can achieve brand awareness with Native Ads

Brand awareness campaigns matter today – more than many people realize. In fact, it’s been proven that brands who continue to engage with their audiences in difficult times see greater long-term profitability. At Outbrain, we’ve developed Native Awareness+ – a highly viewable brand safe format that uses rich creatives to spotlight your brand. The best part of this format? Not only is it optimal for brand awareness – the “+” or added bonus is that you can drive conversions too, thanks to an action-driving CTA button. 

5. User-generated content is not necessarily brand safe 

In the last few years, we’ve come to find the walled gardens present a challenge when it comes to brand safety. One major issue: user-generated content is incredibly difficult to control and vet. This lack of control means that brands too lack the control. Your brand risks appearing in adjacency to ‘fake news’ or highly insensitive content. Instead, you can find brand safety among premium content on publisher pages, where a team works behind the scenes to ensure articles are factual and accurate before sharing with the public. 

6. Consumers don’t want to be interrupted online 

In partnership with Sapio Research, we ran a consumer research study. Our findings showed that 95% of consumers felt negatively towards a brand that interrupted their online activity. This is the exact reason Native Advertising is in hypergrowth. In recognition of our efforts to create ad experiences that favor engagement over disruption, our patented CTW solution transforms the way video is distributed and watched – moving from a ‘click-to-skip’ to ‘click-to-watch’ model that ensures a fully engaged audience for brands.

7. Mobile-first because it’s our number one 

At the start of 2018, time spent on mobile surpassed time spent watching television – for the first time ever. It’s critical to be advertising where your audiences are spending their time. And currently, that means advertising in a way that catches consumers attention on a mobile phone. Native Advertising formats are purpose-built to be mobile-first. 

8. A trust environment matters for ROAS

According to a study conducted with research agency Lumen, we compared ads on social media platforms with those on premium news sites. We found that ads on premium news sites are 44% more likely to be trusted; 21% more likely to be clicked on; and 24% more likely to lead to future purchases. 

9. Choose headlines that resonate 

For advertisers, pushing your own agenda isn’t empathetic to the consumer and it doesn’t inspire them to click. A neutral headline that isn’t seen as too pushy is the best way to gain attention, increase your CTRs and post click engagement. When selecting a headline for your Native Ads, keeping it neutral earns trust! 

10. Programmatic buying of Native works differently than display 

When it comes to buying Native Ads on the open web, it’s important to plan and buy this programmatic native as a channel in its own right. With the exclusion of our own DSP, Zemanta, all DSPs were built initially for traditional Display. But if you try and buy Native the same as Display – your campaign will fall flat. And that’s why we cover best practices on buying native efficiently, at scale.

So, there you have the top 10 reasons why Outbrain Academy is your next professional move. Don’t delay, become a certified Native expert today!

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Karen Walden

Karen Walden

Karen is the Director of European Marketing at Outbrain. A storyteller at heart, she crafts narratives that spotlight Outbrain's value in an accessible and compelling way. Through master wordsmithing, the magic of meaningful design, and a customer-centric approach, Karen helps advertisers and publishers leverage the power of Outbrain. Karen credits coffee for its significant contribution to her work over the years.