In 2020, the majority of advertisers already know quite a bit about the potential of the Facebook platform. Native advertising however, offers a comparable reach of Internet users, while being an often-overlooked opportunity. Taking an example of the MGID platform alone, our global coverage already reached 850M+ unique visitors monthly, on more than 32K content websites.
When we mention Facebook advertising, we are referring to advertisements shown on a Facebook timeline, rather than boosted posts. Boosting posts are more suitable for content promotion purposes when you want to gather more likes, comments, and share. For the vast majority of performance campaigns where you would want to generate traffic to your website, leads, and conversions, Facebook ads have to be used.
Native ads are designed to fit the original content of other websites or applications. It allows these ads to appear unintrusive for users, avoid ad blockers, and catch the right amount of users’ attention. This type of paid advertising is efficient for both traffic or conversion campaigns. Now, let’s discuss the subtle differences between these channels a little bit further.
Soft-selling and hard-selling approach
With Facebook ads, you have to fight for user attention and aggressively pitch your product. If you want to achieve higher CTR the creatives have to stand out from the content feed and also garner strong positive emotions from users.
On the other hand, native ads rely on a more subtle, non-intrusive way of selling. The format integrates into the user's normal content consumption, allowing brands to foster a more casual communication style. Advertisers can inquire about specific issues that users suffer from and offer content that gives a solution almost under the table.
Seek the right touchpoints with the right audience
Facebook provides a wide range of controls and targeting options to find the right audience. On this platform, you can either build saved, custom, or lookalike audiences. The first type lets you target users based on interests, demographics, and locations. Custom audiences allow the retargeting of users that were previously engaged with some of your digital assets already. Finally, lookalike targeting is about reaching users similar to your existing customer base.
Going native, you will be able to target the basic socio-demographic characteristics of users, but more importantly you will be able to match the promoted content and the website content, showing ads in the most suitable environment. Also, the MGID platform manages these placements using the first-party data of advertisers and direct partners — publishers; therefore, targeting settings will remain present in the upcoming cookieless future of digital advertising.
Put simply, Facebook ads rely more on reaching specific users, while native ads are focused on both, finding the right context and tailoring the advertorial content for a particular audience. Facebook ads appear in the newsfeed without any possibility to control the surrounding content.
Targeting users by interest does not fully capture all subtle contextual nuances. For example, being a member of the Facebook group ‘Ancient memes’ does not necessarily mean that a user has a strong interest in ancient history, and the available targeting settings do not allow to make a further distinction.
On the other hand, using contextual targeting available on the MGID platform, advertisers can ensure ads are fully matched to the most relevant content. Classification of the web content is achieved not just by keywords within the text information, but rather by high-level categories that take into account detail-level components and attributes.
Retarget your audience across platforms
Needless to say, large-scale campaigns require more than one traffic source to be able to interact with more users and retarget them across platforms. Running Facebook ads to audiences that have never interacted with your product can be difficult because these users have no trust for it or the awareness that it can potentially solve some of their problems.
It is possible however to start a conversation with your prospects through native editorials and advertisements, and then retarget them on other platforms including Facebook. Using MGID pixels, you can easily import your custom MGID audience on Facebook and approach them once you have already built the initial awareness. Through this method the issue of trust can be greatly mitigated and it makes your Facebook campaign more efficient compared to targeting interest-based audiences from scratch.
When looking for the best-fit advertising platforms for your campaigns, you have to focus on the ultimate goals you want to achieve. Usually, you would want to find the traffic sources that bring you the highest ROI, are easily scalable and brand-safe.
Being inherent to media and non-disrupting to user experience, native ads can bring a reliable performance in terms of both CTR and conversions. Also, advanced contextual settings make it easy to ensure the brand-suitability of ad placements.