The Best Native Advertising Agencies Have These Things In Common

Already have a list of the best native advertising agencies to work with? It can be tricky to find the right one. Don't make a mistake. Read this before "shaking hands."
best native advertising agencies

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Already have a list of the best native advertising agencies to work with?

If you’re reading this, your list might look like a grocery cart with 4 new different brands of bread. In the package, they all say “no cholesterol, low in fat, high in fiber.”

The tricky part for us consumers is defining what “low in fat” or “high in fiber” really means.

But that’s not all…

The really tricky part is knowing if the chosen bread will taste good, considering you’ve never eaten any of them.

So, to help you get to the counter with the “right bread”, here are 5 crucial things to consider when choosing and finding the best native ad agency.

Native Is Their Only Business

Many so-called “native advertising agencies” are like multigrain bread. They do a mix of everything. In some cases, native is only a small part of what they actually do.

In other cases, potential customers, like you, get lost in translation when the agency decides to call social or search a pure native product.

Folks, watch out.

When considering a new vendor, ask them what platforms or ad networks they run ads on. If they say something like “Facebook, Google, and Taboola”, then you know native is not all they do.

Some agencies even get confused with the different native ad formats, which doesn’t surprise me. The IAB considers social media feeds to be native. But are they really?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Run Ads On Multiple Networks

By multiple networks, I mean multiple native ad networks.

The losses suffered by many businesses that relied solely on Facebook after the famous iOS update showed us how dangerous platform dependence is.

On native, it is no different.

native ad networks
A non-exhaustive list of native ad networks curated by Advertongue

If the agency you’re considering only has experience on Outbrain, for example, then you might be at risk if there’s a regulation that impacts the ad network.

This is a totally made-up number, but ideally, look for vendors that have run ads on at least 3 native ad networks.

Another problem might be that the networks a certain agency works with are not the best fit for your business and offers. That’s why diversity is so important.

Have Programmatic Experience

You probably won’t get too frustrated finding agencies that run Facebook, TikTok, or Google ads.

They’re all over the place, right?

But to find a great native agency with programmatic advertising experience, you have to search many supermarkets.

So, why aren’t a lot of agencies doing native?

Lack of talent. Scared. Unwilling to learn.

Why are so few doing native programmatic? For the same reasons. Add “don’t know how to sell it to prospective customers” to the list.

When considering the best native advertising agencies to partner with, ask if they have any programmatic experience.

This isn’t typically a “make or break” for most brands but it’s certainly a value-add.

If at some point, the brand wants to scale ad spend more efficiently, with an enterprise technology stack, native programmatic is the best solution.

Native programmatic combines the “chameleon-like” characteristics of native with the efficiency at scale of programmatic.

Offer A Suite Of Services

On the other hand, a lot of advertising agencies are very good at just one thing…

Manage ad accounts.

Some even charge an arm and a leg for it.

Frankly, there’s not much value in just managing ads. You could simply hire another staff member or freelancer to do that and pay a fraction of the price.

Look for a native ad agency with a suite of services that can actually support media buying properly. Consider value-add perks such as:

  • conversion tracking
  • competitor analysis
  • creative deliverables
  • funnel strategy
  • advanced optimization
  • integrated reporting

All of these should be included in the price you pay to fully service the ad account.

I’ve lost count of how many ad agencies don’t set up conversion tracking for their client accounts, for example. Makes me wonder if they actually know what they’re doing.

A friend of mine who just works with start-ups offers CRO to his clients. I think that’s brilliant because landing pages and ads work together.

Don’t Make A Mistake. Use This Checklist Before Signing.

There you go. You might have other things you want to consider, personally but these are the most important to look for. Use this list and please share it with your industry peers so they can avoid making a mistake too.

Wasting ad spend is one thing. But looking bad for hiring the wrong vendor is another.


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