How Thousands Of Brands Use Sharethrough To Easily Build Programmatic Native Into Their Traditional Display Strategies

on The Future of Advertising, Programmatic Native

Interrupting someone with a banner ad online has never been a good way to get their attention. Native ads however, are built to capture the sort of meaningful attention banners never could.

Native’s success comes through fitting seamlessly into the user experience of the content-feed it is placed into. Where banners are merely seen, native ads are actually read. Sharethrough’s neuroscience research found it takes someone 308 times as long to process a native headline than a banner, which for brands equates to more time with your audience, better brand lift, purchase intent, and so on.

At Sharethrough, we’re seeing thousands of brands build native ads in as a new high-impact channel within a broader digital strategy - using it for things as traditional as driving traffic to a branded landing page.

Here are three simple steps to help you get started with this shift today:

Decide What To Distribute


In 2015, the IAB formally standardized the tradable metadata to allow for RTB bidding on native ads. The most important creative assets in this are the headline, image and description that run in the native ad unit, which can link out to any content or landing page a brand wants to promote. These allow a brand to use the same assets and images from their traditional display ads as the basis for a native unit. The kicker is - where with banners you're simply trying to be eye-catching, now you have an opportunity to tell a story about your brand with a headline and short description someone sees as soon as they see the ad.


For example, a brand like Energizer can take the above banner tagline “Power you can rely on when you need it most” and the accompanying visual, and turn it into an easily understandable native ad. It translates it into a much higher impact native ad unit like this:


The headline, “Power up with Energizer, Long-Lasting Energy For All Your Devices” puts across a positive brand association at the moment of impression. The short description running underneath the headline further entices a reader to click-through and imparts brand messages that can have an important impact for the brand, whether or not that reader follows through to the landing page.

Find Your Audience


Adopting native into a multichannel strategy doesn’t mean limiting the audience you’re trying to reach. You can leverage open channel targeting and allow Sharethrough’s platform to help you optimize toward the channels driving the highest engagement rates. Sharethrough’s Exchange is fully programmatic enabled, meaning that you won’t miss a beat with your audience targeting and will have access to all of the capabilities you’re accustomed to through traditional banner exchanges. Our Exchange Package deals let you buy inventory across curated collections of premiums sites and apps, letting you place your native ad alongside relevant types of content your audiences are most interested in reading.

Learn How To Measure Native Success


Several key metrics help tell the story of the success of your native ad campaigns as a high-impact complement to banners. All inventory bought through the Sharethrough Exchange is 100 percent viewable, where traditional display ads are usually around 50 percent. Native has a clickthrough rate of 1 percent, which is roughly ten times what you could expect from traditional display. When you put those two together, native ads usually have a significantly lower cost-per-click than traditional display, even accounting for initially higher CPMs.