An Insider’s Guide to Native Ad Sales

An Insider’s Guide to Native Ad Sales

If you are a top tier media company in this day and age, chances are you have a native advertising strategy in place. You’ve done your research, read the success stories, and concluded that native ads can drive incremental revenue for your publication.  However, the question remains –  are you taking advantage of your greatest asset?

I’m not talking about your editorial staff; I’m talking about the folks that bring in the checks. Take a closer look at your ad sales team. Are you giving them the ability to sell native as a part of their online solutions? If the answer is no, start making changes today.

At AdsNative, most publishers we talk to have a native strategy, but seldom does that include having their sales teams offer native as a part of the sales pitch.  Native has become somewhat of a monetization commodity that is being sold by others instead of being sold directly.  Sure a $5.00 guarantee on impressions seems enticing for most. (Check out our earlier post on Guarantees for Native Inventory.) It’s easy to slap some code on the page and add that revenue to your bottom line. But are you really taking advantage of the money out there from brands?  No.

Any guarantee you may get from a third party is really just a floor, remnant if you will. The real value comes when you have at the ability to create and run native placements on your Owned and Operated properties – at scale and for big dollars.  Sales teams already connect with brands on a daily basis.  They are out there pitching your sites’ audience and all the wonderful media placements you have to offer. Why not give them the ability to sell native to those same brands?  It’s actually much easier than you think.

Here’s three ways you can integrate native advertising into your current ad sales strategy.

    1. Build on your advertisers’ current campaigns by offering to create native ads as an extension of their marketing efforts. Creating native ads couldn’t be easier, all you need are readily available assets like a YouTube link, Tumblr post, or Instagram photo and some simple ad copy tied to a destination URL. Plug those pieces into the ad creation studio and out pops a native ad.  There’s no need to hire extra designers or copywriters. With AdsNative’s ad serving tools, native display campaigns can be set up to run in under two minutes flat.
    2. Redistribute branded content the advertiser is already running (i.e. videos, long-from articles, etc.). Everyone is telling marketers to start acting more like publishers, and they are.  Countless brands have developed in-house content marketing teams that crank out content on a regular basis.  Help brands ensure that their efforts are worthwhile by re-posting their content on your site with clearly labeled modifiers like “Sponsored By Brand X” or “Presented By Brand Y”.
    3. Create your own form of sponsored content or advertorial (learn how from our post here), and drive up the value of your native advertising campaigns even higher. Remember how I said that you need tap into your available assets to better monetize with native advertising?  Now, I want you to take a look at your editorial staff.  Evaluate your writers and pick one or two that would be able to create content that can both align with your current editorial offering and your advertisers’ campaign goals.
      Again, you will need to clearly label the content to indicate that it was paid for by an advertiser.  (It’s important to be above board at all times, so as not to mislead your readers.) The best part is that this form of native allows you to charge a premium for your editorial services, while ensuring that your readers will still be engaged.  After all, who knows your audience better than you do?

Hopefully I’ve convinced you as to how and why you need to start selling native direct. If you need another nudge, consider this: brands are projected to spend over $4.3 billion on native advertising in 2015.  With a pie that huge, it’s time for you to start taking a bigger piece of it.  Now go schedule a meeting with your head of sales, and start making more money with native today.


AdsNative provides the infrastructure and enablement tools to create, fill, and optimize native placements. Visit us at or email us at to learn more about how we can help you start selling native direct.


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