Dec 22, 2020 • 13 min read

Since the beginning of the Web, Internet users increasingly stopped paying attention to advertising banners that look intrusive to the surrounding content. At the same time, using an ad that cannot be ignored, for example, push and pop ads, advertisers run the risk of causing a sharp negative reaction and might irritate potential customers.

Native ads, on the other hand, go in a completely different direction. They are contextually and visually adjustable to their surrounding content, so that advertisements naturally fit the user experience and receive just the right amount of attention without being annoying.

In this guide, you will find all the basics on how to advertise your business using MGID’s native ads, as well as a few exclusive tips and tricks to unlock their full potential.

Ready? Scroll down to start reading!

Table of contents

Click on any chapter to scroll directly to it.

Chapter 1

What is native advertising?

Native advertising definition According to the Native Advertising Institute, native ads are built to match the form and function of the environment in which it’s hosted. This form of advertising is non-interruptive and readers actively select to consume it; it also reaches the audience in a more relaxed and passive manner by finding them as they are consuming publishers’ content on the web.

Without being pushy or intrusive to users, native ads can potentially have a higher engagement compared to banner or display ads. This is achieved due to overcoming banner blindness — the phenomenon of selective attention when users purposely ignore advertisements. That means that people tend to ignore obvious ads or sometimes even scroll through them to get only the content they expect to be the most valuable.

Most native ads are displayed within the content recommendations widgets and then refer to brand messages shown within editorial content. Typically, when using this channel marketers try to tell a story or entertain the audience and introduce the promoted product along the way.

Chapter 2

Native advertising ecosystem

As an advertiser looking for new channels to expand your audience reach, you can expect high-quality traffic of relevant leads on the MGID platform. We use our own TAG certified anti-fraud solution and Anura fraud detection tool to ensure the sustainability of traffic quality. Also, we have an in-house team of analytics who manually check traffic on a regular basis. As a result, we can guarantee that 96% of MGID traffic is fraud-free.

Geo and behavioral targeting settings available on the MGID platform allow one to control the audience that receives your ads. In addition to this, we have added advanced optimization features - such as traffic insights, selective bidding, audience reach, and price recommendation engines - to help advertisers reach maximum efficiency with the right targeting.

Our contextual targeting solution enables marketers to put the brand messages in the right context or avoid certain contexts from the wheels of your campaign. For example, you can show up your ads only on websites within a certain category or exclude pages with any particular subject that you consider harmful for brand safety.

The MGID platform is not only high-quality but also a high-volume traffic source. We partner with 32K+ content websites, and some of our premier publishers include Newsweek,, The Week, MSN, International Business Times, etc. We reach 850M+ unique visitors monthly across 200+ countries around the world.

Chapter 3

Creative approaches in native advertising

In most cases, native ads are perceived as suggested or sponsored content, similar to the one a user is reading at the moment. They receive more user attention and borrow to some extent the credibility of the publishing platform. Thus, they hold greater potential for the creative engagement of the audience and help users remember the product.

Visuals (or thumbnails), copies, and sometimes button texts are the key elements of ad creatives on the MGID platform. When creating ad units, you should comply with the image and headline specifications, such as image size, format, length of the title, etc. – these can be found in the knowledge base on your dashboard.

Remember that the chosen images are the first-attention grabbers, which are usually judged by users with their peripheral vision without even looking directly at the visual or reading the copy; when the audience is not interested in the visual aspect of an ad, they’ll likely ignore the creatives.

You can use native ads to advertise the products or promote current discounts directly, by transferring them to the selling landing page. However, native ads also fit perfectly if you want to give additional content to potential customers, entertain and teach them along the way. This way, you will warm the audience prior to purchase and sell in a more subtle, non-intrusive way.

In content-first, soft-selling campaigns, you may need to create a narrative and sometimes make it interactive. The storytelling approach can be used in several ways:

  • tell success stories
  • solve the problem
  • show all positive changes

When aiming for more clicks and conversions, you have to focus on creating unusual experiences for users and make your stories memorable in an emotional way. Address the reader as “you” to add a personal touch and find out which emotional trigger would work best with your advertising message. Also, you can use dynamic keywords such as {City} for creative copies on ads.

Chapter 4

Setting audiences, geo targeting, placements, and more

Once you are registered on the MGID platform, your next step should be to pick a specific name for the campaign so that you can track different campaigns in the future. Select the type of campaign, which will either be a product or content promotion. You should also pay attention to choosing the right category as well, as it will streamline the further moderation process.

After that, the next step is targeting. By default, you can adjust the target audience to traffic from certain geos, countries, browsers, devices, etc. Always test several approaches prior to setting some serious reach. These approaches should be launched as separate campaigns and differentiated based on the key characteristics of the traffic, for example, mobile and desktop traffic.

The MGID platform has advanced AI-based recommendation engines that you can use to optimize the campaign settings even before its launch. For example, by using the traffic insights tool, you can see historically best-performing geo’s and audience groups, as well as the level of competition in each geo.

Next, you should schedule the campaign. To start, we recommend setting at least several days as the test period for your campaign so that you can evaluate the best-performing hours of the day for your products. Then, you can set the time frame according to the statistics you gathered the first time.

To make sure that you do not exceed your budget, you will be able to set the limits on your campaign - by the budget spent, number of conversions or clicks. You can also set up the conversion sensor or use the UTM links to track the traffic received from the MGID platform.

Once you are done with setting your campaign targeting, you have to move on to making creatives and passing through the content moderation process.

Chapter 5

MGID moderation policies

Like other platforms, MGID has precise advertising guidelines about what is prohibited, restricted, or allowed to run. You can find these requirements in creative guidelines on your dashboard.

To make sure your campaign passes moderation swiftly, you have to check your thumbnails, copies, links, and landing pages. On average, we reject 5% of ad units for various violations. In addition to compliance violations, some common reasons for rejection may include:

  • copyright infringement
  • security and privacy violation
  • cloaking
  • amateurish image concepts
  • clumsy PS editing
  • websites under construction
  • fake elements used in webpage design
  • impersonation of legitimate sources
  • celebrity endorsement
  • aggressive clickbait

Prior to putting your ads in rotation, you have to check the landing page, its information value and content from the standpoint of your readers. Don’t forget to add and clearly label terms and privacy policy, contact and disclosure information. All stories that you put on the pre-lander or landing page have to be of high-quality and cannot contain forbidden content, such as pornography, terrorism, hate speech, and other unwanted materials.

At MGID, we use machine learning and manual check, so it is far less frustrating than dealing exclusively with the algorithms during moderation. Our moderators might suspend your ads at the campaign level but almost never ban accounts and are always ready to guide you before you launch a campaign.

An extra step that you can do to facilitate the moderation process is to utilize the product or content preview under the assistance of our moderation team. With this method, you can be sure to pass the moderation of new materials fast and run campaigns smoothly, with very few compliance issues.

Chapter 6

Testing and optimization of your campaign

In case you were wondering whether it is possible to create massive-scale campaigns that run on autopilot for a long period of time and bring positive ROI, there may be a little down. To bring sustainable profits, most native campaigns require constant assessment and optimization.

However, with a few fast rules that we’re going to tell you, optimization and scaling are not that hard.

The testing phase cannot be ignored

This initial step is key for further optimization and scaling. At this stage, you can test different marketing approaches, landing pages, and creatives. When testing, allocate a separate budget, which our account managers can advise on for each geo.

It is always better to start with the most basic settings, medium CPC and to only adjust geo for the test. These tests are likely to produce negative ROI, but they will provide valuable insights for further optimization, blacklists, and whitelists.

Analyzing the testing phase can help you to identify the best-converting ads, landing pages, time, widgets, traffic sources, or other data patterns. Once you determine that, do not be afraid to bid higher with these settings.

Use Selective Bidding and Price Recommendation Engine

These are two key features on our platform to optimize campaign settings and get maximum results. Selective Bidding allows advertisers to identify and remove the non-converting traffic sources and maximize the ROI for the best-performing ones.

The Price Recommendation Engine gives a clear view of how your bid affects positions in the auction, takes all targeting parameters into account, and shows what percentage of available traffic your campaigns are getting. With this feature, advertisers can set the optimal CPC and assess the expected reach.

Controllable differentiated approach

You should continuously and dynamically adjust ad creatives, widgets and targeting settings in use – add new ones and exclude underperformers. Remember that fresh and unusual creatives are the source of your competitive advantage. It can be recommended to split the budget 80/20: 80% allocated to proven creative strategies and 20% to experiments.

To scale and increase efficiency at once, we recommend adding campaigns with new targeting or settings and keeping the working campaigns in rotation while their ROI is positive. One common tactic is creating two sets of campaigns for different OS, browsers, or other settings — with low and high CPC rates.

Blacklists and whitelists

Once you put your campaign in rotation, you will notice that some widgets are more efficient than others. The testing phase will give you the first glance at the widgets’ CTR and their costs per conversion. Then, you have to dynamically adjust coefficients for widgets IDs and blacklist zero-performing ones.

Typically, the widgets with high CTR but little conversions may pull your advertising budget, so you may lower bids on them. On the other hand, you would want to increase bids on the most efficient traffic sources and see if this can bring the campaign to the next level. Finally, if some widgets prove to be totally futile, it is reasonable to exclude them from the campaign by blacklisting them.

Keep your creatives and headline copies fresh

As a rule of thumb, you would want 4-6 active ad units for each campaign. However, note that thumbnails usually get burnt out pretty fast, whereas you can use the same headlines for a longer period of time. Depending on the scale you’re running, we recommend to update ad creatives every 1-3 weeks.

You should continuously monitor the performance of chosen creatives, add new ones, and exclude underperformers. Remember that new unusual creatives are the source of your competitive advantage.

Finally, when scaling your campaign, do not forget to track all necessary KPIs and metrics along the marketing funnel because they will help you to identify problems at the specific stage. For example, high CTR but low conversions may signal issues with the landing page (unattractive for users, not optimized for mobile, irrelevant to advertising messages).

Chapter 7

ROI you can expect to achieve with native ads

Using a variety of techniques and approaches helps MGID clients reach their target audiences in trusted environments and acquire new leads efficiently.

Babbel case study

Babbel, the world’s leading app in online language learning, aimed to encourage new users to sign up and purchase courses. On the MGID platform, they launched two different campaigns: a direct ad campaign and a campaign with a pre-landing page. For creatives, they used images of ordinary people in their routine environment. As a result, the company achieved 548 conversions, with an average CPC of $0.19. case study is a popular brand of progressive ophthalmic lenses, being known for producing quality glasses at low prices. On the MGID platform, the company launched direct ad campaigns that were followed by retargeting campaigns. This helped to remind clients about the products they were already familiar with and maximize the conversion rate.

Flintobox case study

Flintobox provides educational activity boxes for children of 2-12 years. It is conceived as part of a series of discovery boxes that cater to the holistic development of a child. Flintobox aims at getting kids off-screen addiction and engaging them with meaningful activities. The project now has more than 120,000 subscribers.

On the MGID platform, Flintobox created a set of ads depicting the problems of mobile phone addiction and the necessity to invest in kids’ development. By clicking on these ads, a user was transferred to a landing page, where they chose their child's age and read about the advantages of Flintobox. Then they completed a form to receive a callback and make an order. The campaign brought sustainable performance, with eCPL amounting to $2.1.

Chapter 8

Final thought

The foundation principle of native campaigns is providing users relevant content that is aligned with their current online behavior. These ads are placed within the look and feel of the website environment and receive more user attention than regular advertisements, such as banners.

Advertising on the MGID platform, you can be sure to find a high-quality and high-volume traffic source and all support needed to make native ads work for you. With our advanced features, you can easily set targeting, advertise with premium publishers, scale and optimize the campaign performance.