Why You Need Native In Your Life
I spoke about this a few weeks back at AIM’s Digital Innovation Summit in Florida, but I’ll say it here again, if you’re not using a native ad platform for lead gen or one-step right now you’re missing out.
For those of you who missed it, here are my three reasons why you need native in your life:
- The Google (and Facebook) Slap
We’ve all heard of or experienced the dreaded Google Slap. Sometimes it’s a matter of tweaking an ad or landing page and all is forgiven. The worst case scenario, however, is that Google shuts your account down permanently. We latestly felt the slap and unfortunately our experience was the latter. What would you do if this happened to you today (besides hit the bottle)? How can you stop the wheels from falling off the cart if it did happen? The answer is by spreading the risk across several platforms. And I’m not talking about just Facebook. I’m suggesting three, four or five platforms, or more depending on your capabilities.
Or what if you can’t get approved on AdWords or Facebook in the first place? Because they are so new, with dozens (if not hundreds of platforms to choose from) you can get almost anything approved on native if you try enough of them. In time this could change as they become more sophisticated, but right now, it’s the Wild West out there and whoever shouts the loudest usually wins.
And finally, opportunity. I don’t want to give the game away, but in one month we brought in over 19,000 leads at a cost of $1.18 each from just one of these platforms. In short, they work!
Some of you at this stage might be thinking – “those set it and forget it platforms?” Well, yes and no. Native networks have come a long way in the past year. That’s why, over the coming weeks, I’m going to send you an in-depth analysis of these platforms – the how to’s, hacks, tips, dos and don’ts, as well as some general experiences we have had with each of them.
Going Under The Microscope
Over the next few weeks, the platforms we’ll look at will be:
First up, Dianomi
As we go through our series, you’ll see that each of the platforms mentioned above vary in significant ways – and hopefully, the tips and tactics outlined here will guide you as to where you should focus, at least in the beginning.
In Dianomi’s case, what makes it special is the fact that it is a “dedicated financial content discovery network”. What does this mean? In a nutshell, your ads will only show on a list of financial partner sites. A big plus here is that the leads are already well-qualified. A downside – expect high competition, thus a need for a higher CPC bid.
Still with me?…good. Here’s a tip to keep you interested in reading on.
AIM Tip: Use the Clicks by Publisher in Analytics to see your top ad placements on Dianomi. Think about reaching out to these publishers directly, or at least targeting them as placements and keywords on the GDN network and in your Gmail Sponsored promotions on AdWords.
Best Practice Guide Dianomi
Generally, the most important metric on native networks is click-through-rate (CTR). The higher your CTR, the lower your CPC should be, which ultimately results in a good Cost-Per-Acquisition.
In saying that, it’s a little different in Dianomi’s case, where the CPC you choose is the actual cost you pay. This sets it apart from its rivals mentioned earlier, and in our opinion it’s a negative. Our rep has suggested that we set our CPC bid at around £1.00 (for the UK) to ensure our ads are competitive on the platform. In my experience though you don’t need to bid £1.00 to be successful on Dianomi (more on this later).
Note: It’s worth mentioning here that a CPC of £1.00 might work very well for you, especially if you are running straight-to-paid campaigns. But, given that we generally see conversion rates on Dianomi hovering anywhere between 4-6%, you could rack up quite a bill before you see a return on that investment.
In any case, CTR is still a very important metric on Dianomi. You want your ad to have the highest possible CTR (0.30% is good target to aim for) to maximise the possibility of converting on the backend. We think that the guidelines below are a good place to start.
- The image is shown as 80x100px, so any imagery and text has to be large enough to be seen in a small space.
- Images of people are the most engaging. Remember, the image needs to be clickbait-y (that’s all I’ll say).
- Use the 4 U’s:
- Urgency: give the person a reason to want the product and click the ad NOW!
- Uniqueness: make the person feel that there is something unique, and just as important, real and concrete about what you are offering versus everything else out there.
- Ultra-specific: be as precise as possible, stating facts and figures if available.
- Usefulness: promise the prospect something that is useful to him or her right now.
- Use actual numbers instead of writing them i.e. ‘7’ as opposed to ‘seven’.
- Shorter ad texts tend to perform better than longer ones.
- Asking a question can increase engagement as people will click to find the answer.
- Keep the text relevant to the landing page. Although we need our ads to be clickbait-y in order to achieve a good CTR, the ultimate goal is to get people to convert. So before you promise next week’s lotto numbers, think about the trade-off between clicks and conversions. Generally, for all native networks, you are looking for that ‘sweet-spot’.
- Use a strong CTA: whereas platforms like AdWords have clamped down on the use of the ‘Click Here’ CTA on the display network, Dianomi actually encourages it. Take advantage of this – there are also others that may be more applicable as shown below.
Creating ads on Dianomi
Creating ads on Dianomi is relatively straightforward. There are some targeting options, which given that the platform is already geared towards financial publisher sites, is a plus.
As mentioned earlier, the main drawback that we’ve experienced with Dianomi lies in the CPC bidding. For the UK market, we have been repeatedly advised by our account rep that we should set our CPC bid at £1.00 or more to compete on the platform.
AIM Tip: A simple hack around this (if you are unwilling to pay that cost) is to set your bid at the minimum the platform will accept (£0.25) and relaunch your campaign every couple of days, or every week. When you launch a new campaign on any native platform you get an initial boost from their algorithms, as they search their network for where to place your content. This is called the ‘exploratory phase’. Relaunching your campaign is one way to keep these algorithms in that exploratory phase and reduces the need to set such a high CPC bid.
Again, some more good targeting features here.
Note: Segmenting by device will affect your costs. Our account manager has told us that it is possible to run with a lower CPC on mobile as they tend to find that mobile campaigns have higher ‘scores’ compared to desktop and tablet – again, we would urge people to consider the likelihood of those people converting at the backend on a mobile device. The same is also true for location targeting. Dianomi have said that the UK market is a highly competitive financial market, and as such, a higher CPC is required to compete.
This is also pretty straightforward in terms of creative. The platform allows for a 70-character ad description limit; however, as mentioned earlier, shorter creative tends to work better on native networks due, in part, to their disruptive nature.
Aim Tip: Take advantage of the split testing option and try testing the same image with different copy and vice versa.
“Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?”
Another thing we have found with native ad networks is that you won’t get anything unless you ask for it. Take the very first tip in this article for instance; being the savvy-marketer that I bet you are, you were probably thinking “that’s great, but it would be so much better if I could see Actions by Publisher instead”. Well it turns out, you can do just that. We have a fantastic rep who was eager to help us with this, and now that we can see this data, we target these publishers as managed placements on the display network and in our GSP ads on AdWords.
AIM Bonus Tip: At the inaugural DIS conference in Florida, I mentioned that we had access to Dinaomi’s financial publisher list. Well, here it is…but don’t tell Dinaomi.
Overall Marks Out of Ten: 9/10
As good as it is to have a financially-dedicated native platform, setting an actual CPC makes the platform quite expensive for lead gen and you can quickly exhaust your daily budget if you stick to Dianomi’s pricing guidelines.
On the other hand, because it is such a targeted platform, if you are running straight-to-paid campaigns, a higher CPC might not matter as much. For instance, we launched a one-step campaign for one of our clients and achieved an ROI of 131% after one week.
So, there you go, one down three to go. Until next time…
All the best,
Account Associate, AIM
P.S. Running campaigns on Dianomi has also allowed us to create targeted remarketing segments via Google Analytics that we then use in our remarketing campaigns on AdWords (for more info on this reach out to me anytime firstname.lastname@example.org).