A Content Manager’s Look At The Top 3 Native Advertising Platforms

As a Content Manager one of the questions I have been asked a lot lately is “What are the best native advertising platforms for paid content distribution?”

With Adblockers on the rise and competition between brands using social media advertising reaching fever pitch, marketers are searching for the best way to capture new clients. Enter native advertising platforms. Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Think of it as a way to sneak your content and ultimately your message into some of the world’s busiest sites.

Native Advertising Stats

  • 32% of consumers said they would share a native ad with friends and family vs 19% for banner ads.
  • Viewers spend nearly the same amount of time reading editorial content and native ads — 2 seconds and 1 second, respectively.

Creating high quality branded content is incredibly important but what you do with it afterwards is critical to your success. Here are my top 3 native advertising platforms and a run-down of my experience on spend, functionality and performance. Native advertising costs will depend on many factors such as your campaign, your target audience and of course the duration you plan to run it. Costs are shown in CPC (cost per click) and are specific to my own experience.


The Disqus native advertising platform focuses on helping independent publishers grow successfully with two products that go hand in hand: Engage and Reveal. Engage is the Internet’s most popular comment system. If you think you don’t know what it is, I can guarantee you have at some point unwittingly used it! If you want to advertise then you use the Reveal tool. This helps you to get impressions, clicks and even to earn revenue for your site. The Engage side of Disqus is completely free as they earn their money from sponsored stories. Here’s an example of what the Sponsored Story looks like:

I find Disqus to be very user friendly with an excellent global reach. The addition of the comments plugin can also add a lot of traction on your WordPress site, if of course you want to monitor it!

Approximate CPC: $0.25–$0.30


Outbrain is the native advertising platform that everyone has heard of. They are also one of the more reputable ones having banned clickbait headlines and misleading fake news items 5 years ago. Outbrain effectively drives organic traffic and provides basic geographic targeting options. The customer insights are not as good as you would find on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin so targeting may not be as accurate. You should also be aware that if you are using misleading headlines then your bounce rate will be high and your money will not be well spent. Intrigue is good… lying isn’t.  Outbrain, however, may survive longer than other native advertising sites thanks to its zero spam stance. For me, it also had the lowest CPC and drove the most traffic to my site.

Approximate CPC: $0.19–$0.27


Thousands of premium brands are using Taboola and their content reach is well over 1 billion which makes them a viable choice for native advertising. With infinite things to read, how do we know where to look first? Taboola’s founder and CEO, Adam Singolda, calls this the “discovery problem.” Search engines may have changed the world by enabling people to find any and all kinds of information. But how can someone discover something they may like if they don’t already know to look for it? Taboola began as a video recommendation service and they still maintain excellent slideshow and video analytics in their toolkit. This, in addition to their outstanding reporting sets them ahead of many other native advertising platforms. My only concern with Taboola is that, in the same way consumers have wised up to ads, they may also wise up to this style of native advertising. The examples I have seen from other advertisers are definitely clickbait and surely that has a shelf life?

CPC: $0.20–$0.35 or $0.75 for its network of top 30+ sites

Other Native Social

Facebook, Twitter, Linedin, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram all offer great options for increasing your content marketing reach. The only issue is that these predominantly produce “in platform” responses. Eg, likes, shares, repins and retweets as opposed to traffic on your website. However, with new onsite shopping apps available such as Shopify, Wix and Weebly this is not such an issue for many retail brands.

Native advertising is certainly a key tool for today’s content manager but of course, its success will depend on how well your content is written. For a free quotation on content writing services, get in contact at www.charlisays.com.

Did you try another native advertising platform? Tweet me @Charli_Says and let me know your thoughts

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