5 Native Ad Mistakes Affiliates Should Avoid Making

In 2018, native ads will make up over 60% of display ad spend. They are one of the fastest growing traffic sources and their non-intrusive, user-friendly, high-converting nature means that trend is likely to continue.

Earlier this month we talked about some common mistakes that you can make as an affiliate that can actually end up teaching you something valuable. We’re going to take that same idea and focus on common mistakes affiliates make when specifically using native advertising to promote offers.

1. Expecting Success Too Quickly

Some affiliates, especially beginners, get discouraged when trying a new traffic source doesn’t work out the way they imagined. Becoming quickly frustrated because something isn’t delivering immediate results can cause you to make poor decisions that you’ll end up regretting.

Instead, be patient, test, and adjust what you’re doing until you begin to see results and can start optimizing and scaling your campaigns.

You need to be persistent, just make sure you watch your budget so that you’re only spending what you can afford.

2. Not Making Effective Creatives

This is one of the most common mistakes made. If your ad has been downloaded from a spy tool and then localised via Google Translate, you’re likely not going to see many clicks.

Here’s what we recommend instead:

  • Use spy tools as a source of inspiration, rather than a stock of ready-made solutions. In fact, all native ad networks rank creatives, redistributing traffic in favour of those who were the first to download a landing page or an ad.
  • Always have your customer in mind when designing creatives. Whether or not you like the ad is less important than how it resonates with your target audience. Split-test different audiences with several creatives to identify the best performing ones.
  • Triple-check the copy. No matter how seductive and selling it is, no one will ever buy your “wait-loss produck”. Make sure you’ve eliminated all errors.
  • Сut back on stock images. They’ve been used too often by too many. If you do choose to use them, try to find a new, creative approach. For instance, an image of “a happy family in the garden” with some creative copy could be used to create an ad for antidepressants. Also, utilize free photo resources that provide high quality organic looking photographs like Pikwizard, Pexels and Unsplash.
  • Localize your ads properly. What works in one market won’t necessarily work elsewhere. For instance, if you were targeting users in Austria, you’d have to keep in mind that in that country, people speak German and at least two main dialects. Social environments and psychology have to be considered as well.

3. Not Utilizing Platform Features

A lot of affiliates gamble ad dollars when most native ad networks allow you to track every parameter of your campaign and optimize it based on the budget, placements, audiences you target, ect.

One of the most popular native ad networks, MGID, use traffic insights, selective bidding, and a price recommendation engine to provide you with more control. These dashboard features were developed as the answer to their clients’ feedback and now they help them maximize the ROI of their ads.

If you’re signed up to MGID, use the features that are there to help you.

4. Neglecting Your Account Manager

Even if you feel like you’re properly utilizing all the tracking and optimization tools at your disposal, your native ad network account manager is still a valuable asset.

Firstly, they will teach you how to properly use the networks features, and secondly, they are an inexhaustible source of knowledge, insights, and latest trends. They’ll willingly share this information with you because they want to boost your campaign’s performance.

Just don’t forget to properly set-up the tracking to ensure your maximizing the full potential of your Account Manager.

5. Forcing Traditional Ads into a Native Ad Format

By ‘native ad format’, we’re not just referring to the visual design of the ad.

If instead of telling a story you’re just copying and pasting what’s on a website, it’s unlikely that your ad will convert.

Provide a value-added experience to your audience, engage it with your content, tell a story. This is what works best with native.

You need to try to trigger a user’s emotions in order to entice them to engage with your ad, hopefully persuading them enough that they generate a conversion at the end of the sales path.


Well-performing native ads are born out of making the right decisions, but don’t let the fear of making the wrong one hold you back.

If you make the above mistakes, learn from them, be persistent, and build upon your success once

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