Like most things in online marketing, native advertising is a somewhat old concept that’s been re-designed and given a new name recently.

Basically, if you know sponsored content then you know native advertising as well. In other words, native ads are nothing more than advertorials that are meant to look like they’re organic content (for the lack of a better word).

As an affiliate in casino affiliate marketing, you can therefore approach it from two main directions:

  • Displaying native ads on your own site.
  • Buying native ads on other sites.

1. Starting With Native Ads on Your Site

Note. Here, we’re not talking about publishing native ads on your own site that belong to other marketers. You will not be renting your site’s real estate. What we’re focusing on instead is promoting your own affiliate offers.

The idea of native advertising is to make your promotional links – your ads – look natural and organic. Now, this isn’t about tricking anyone into thinking that something is not an ad. This is only about making the ad an integral element of your content.

To achieve this, you will have to make sure to include your offers only in places where they make sense contextually.

Additionally, from a technical point of view, it’s good to use simple forms of advertising for native ads. Things like text links have the best chance of looking like they fit. (And just to give you a counter-example, banners are probably the least native-ad-friendly type of creative.)

2. Buying Native Ads

While this form of advertising can give you great results (much like anything else), it can be difficult to purchase an ad on its own (e.g. a single link).

Since native ads are all about the context, the best method right now is to sponsor a whole piece of content with the ads placed inside this content.

This means reaching out to site owners individually and negotiating deals one by one.

Not a very scalable approach in itself, but it can be worth the effort when dealing with big publishers or large networks of sites.

There are new solutions sprouting up as well, so in the near future we will likely see other possibilities. For example, a couple of weeks ago OpenX released its native ad exchange platform for mobile called Native O|X.

Native Advertising Right Now

Even though the name itself is relatively new, native ads have been in use for a long time now through various forms of promoted content. As an affiliate business, you can take the following examples and try incorporating something similar in you own operations.

BuzzFeed seems to be a great place for anyone interested in native ads. The site featured a number of successful campaigns in the past, including a campaign by Mini USA that got over 1.5 million shares, a campaign by Pepsi NEXT (with over 1 million interactions), another one by Harper Collins, and dozens more.

These pieces of sponsored content were very simple in nature. The writers have created something that fits well on the site and at the same time manages to mention a given brand in a sort of natural kind of way.

Another website that’s known for native ads is Cracked. For example, these two posts are nothing more than sponsored content, even though they might not appear like so. The idea behind them is basically the same – relevant content with contextual mentions.

Doing something similar with an affiliate site doesn’t even have to be more difficult. It’s always a matter of negotiating a deal and producing an article that has the potential to be shared across the web.

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