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Getting Started with Native Ads on Verizon Media

Published: July 10, 2019

Author: Scott Trevellyan

As you likely know by now, winter has come for search campaigns on Yahoo Gemini, with Bing essentially absorbing Yahoo and AOL traffic. For some, this has simplified SEM management by reducing the number of search platforms the have to manage by 33.33%. While it this might be true for search, this post will highlight a few reasons you to dust off the dormant Yahoo Gemini Oath Verizon Media account to drive some additional value for your business with their native offerings.
While this is by no means a comprehensive guide to the channel, here a few setup suggestions and tips to get started.

Publisher Group and Site Bidding

When creating a native plan for Verizon Media, there are a few setup options that are a little bit different from some of the primary channels that you’re likely used to. One of the them is publisher groups.
You will most likely want to start with lower ad group-level bids and use publisher group bid modifiers to multiply those bids for the premium publisher groups. While Yahoo has a lot inventory, it is not all the same quality, so it’s better to be a bit proactive here and set your test up for success.
From there, you can get more granular and set site-specific bid modifiers, but it might be a good idea to gather some initial data to inform those more granular adjustments. Depending on how your campaigns perform, it might also make sense to segment by device as mobile and desktop often perform differently.

Targeting and Audiences

There are a lot of different targeting options available on Verizon Media, so, as is usually the case with getting started in a new channel, start with what has worked well elsewhere and go from there.
Oath Audiences (also called Oath Interest Segments) are a great option for increasing your reach. They include targeting segments built from different behavioral and contextual signals including search history, purchase data, SDKs, email domains, and more. Reminiscent of some of the audience buckets offered by Google and Bing, Oath offers the following three Oath audience categories:

  • In-Market: mostly limited to travel categories such as flights or car rental
  • Household & Life Stages: e.g. “Getting Married or Weddings”
  • Interests: e.g. “Fitness and wellness > Yoga”
  • Mobile Interests: same as above but mobile

Oath can also serve as an extension of your existing retention and remarketing efforts using both pixel-based audiences and email lists. Some other retargeting options include:

  • Keyword Retargeting: similar to search, this option allows you to upload and bid on keywords to target users based on what they’re searching for; however, rather than serving the ads in the Yahoo search results, they would be served as in-stream native ads across Verizon and third-party inventory.
  • Domain Retargeting: retarget users that have received emails from your competitors or any other domain.
  • Dynamic Product Ads: feed-based ads that allow you to target users with ads for the specific products they have already viewed or added to cart.

Creative Options

Like anything, the best ad format for you will depend on your goals, targeting, and the creative assets you have at your disposal. Nonetheless, there are quite a few options for creative:

  • Image Ads: Self-explanatory

  • Carousel Ads: Geared toward storytelling, these allow you to use 3-5 images to promote multiple products, or to highlight features/attributes in successive panels. According to Oath, because of the extra real estate for this ad unit, they typically see a 50% higher CTR than with other ad units.
  • Native Video Ads: Engage your audience with sight, sound, and motion. According to Oath, video ads drive 6x the ROAS as other ad units and also score much higher in brand favorability and purchase intent.
  • Mail Ads: Appear in the top of a user’s inbox; from there, users can open and interact with the ad content.
  • Tiles Ads: Allow you to build a full screen mobile experience, piecing together individual, a la carte ad elements such as: a CTA button, image, text box, video, etc.

Many think of native primarily as an means to introduce users to a brand through content that fits naturally within the publishers’ environment. This is absolutely true, but native can also be an effective tool for driving direct response for both new and well-established brands. Whether you’re looking for an innovative solution for telling your brand’s story, or just looking to drive more people to a landing page, Verizon Media’s native ads are certainly worth a look.

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