Tips & Tricks

Native Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Will Work Better for Your Marketing Goals? 

| April 2, 2020

Native Ads vs. Facebook Ads

Businesses large and small use social media options like Facebook Ads, and more advanced options like Native Advertising, to find new customers and build brand recognition across the world.

But in a world with so many options – which one is the better choice?

Pros and Cons of Facebook Ads

Facebook advertising vs. Native Advertising - Screenshot of Facebook Create Ad button.

Facebook provided one of the greatest equalizers in online marketing when it created its advertising platform. Businesses can create ads with as little as three dollars and see some sort of results. However, a lot has changed since Facebook Ads first launched and with each new update to the system new problems arise.

Here are some of the benefits that remain:

  1. Micro-Targeting: Facebook Ads make it easy to run small, local campaigns. Even so, company policies related to Facebook scandals and new privacy laws have led to limitations on how narrowly companies can define their target demographics. It is important to stay up to date on the most recent developments from the Facebook team to be sure your ads remain in compliance with their frequently updated policies.

  2. Re-Targeting: Facebook makes it easy to reach consumers who already have an interest in your brand. Advertisers can take advantage of “re-targeting pixels” to show ads to people who have interacted with their content or visited their website since the pixel has been installed.

  3. Omnichannel Perks: Facebook Business Manager links together Facebook and Instagram as an easy “two for one” style campaign manager. If your business page and Instagram profile are linked, the automatic settings for ads will display campaigns on both platforms. Advanced advertisers can also set up campaigns specifically to one platform or the other.

    Facebook Business Manager also gives you more control when it comes to creating Instagram ads – both in design and targeting. This makes it much more effective than creating ads on the Instagram app alone.

  4. Large Size: Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform and has been for some time. Because of this, it caters to a much wider demographic than social media competitors like Snapchat and even traditional media outlets like local television or radio.

Here are some of the downsides to keep in mind:

Facebook advertising vs. Native Advertising - Facebook boost post button example.
  1. Difficult System: Keeping up with Facebook Ads takes patience and dedication. There are constant system changes and very limited contact with a support team for assistance or troubleshooting (unless you’re spending A LOT of money). This can make it very difficult to run effective campaigns and resolve issues.

  2. Inefficient: As opposed to “Pay Per Click” platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads charges based on how many people see an advertisement. Misconfigured campaigns can easily waste ad budgets by displaying to many people who have no interest to even consider clicking on the ad, much less to make a purchase. Because of this, professional assistance with setting up campaigns on Facebook is highly recommended.


If this sounds complicated, you may be wondering: “What are my other options?” Although there are many different digital advertising opportunities, one of the most exciting options in recent years is Native Advertising.

Pros and Cons of Native Advertising

Native ads vs. Facebook ads - Native advertising illustration

Native Advertising is one of the more innovative online advertising options. Created as an alternative to the ever-popular banner ads format, Native Ads are typically found as “below the article” content recommendations. (Get a full run-down on Native Ads here.)

Why choose Native Advertising?  

  1. Engaging: Native Ads appear alongside, or directly below, similar content. This effectively raises engagement levels as consumers are already looking at content similar to that of the advertisement. In fact, one study found that consumers spend 53% more time looking at Native Ads than traditional display ads.

  2. High Volume:  A proper Native Advertising network will feature thousands of websites with a high volume of visitor traffic –  think millions or billions of impressions per day! This traffic volume is often much higher than that of a single platform or website on its own. (To make sure ads only appear on relevant pages, be sure to ask the network provider for a domain whitelist and blocklist appropriate to your campaign!)
  1. Better Return on Investment: In most cases with Native Advertising, advertisers pay for clicks that a campaign receives, not just for how many people view an advertisement overall. This demonstrates a higher level of interest with the audience and is often considered a more valuable purchase.
  1. Accessible Support: Most of the top-ranking Native Ads networks have easily accessible customer support, and in the best cases even assign advertisers to an account manager for assistance in setting up and optimizing campaigns. This alone can be a huge value for businesses that don’t have advertising and marketing teams or have limited personnel to handle marketing campaigns.


In spite of these benefits, there are some downsides to consider:

  1. Up Front Investment: Unlike Facebook, many of the worthwhile Native Advertising providers have a minimum campaign deposit required to join their network. This typically helps to keep the networks free of low-quality ad campaigns that hurt the effectiveness of the network as a whole. Often (and preferably,) this minimum campaign deposit will be applied directly to the advertising and is not a “service fee.”

  2. Landing Page:  Native Advertising works best when directing users to a landing page such as a product description or advertorial. These pages help take the reader from a basic level of interest to a fully ready-to-purchase mentality. Setting up these landing pages may require some help from a web designer or a page-maker like Squarespace or Wix. For businesses with pre-existing websites, the landing page may simply need to be optimized for the increased visitor traffic coming from the ad campaign.

So when it comes to Native Ads vs. Facebook Ads – which one is the better choice?

The answer, of course, will vary from business to business.  If you are a small operation with extremely limited resources, Facebook may prove to be an easier solution to help build brand awareness and visibility in your niche. However, if your business is a bit more established and working with slightly bigger budgets, Native Advertising may prove to be a better investment of your advertising dollars. Or, in the absolute best-case scenario, your business could maximize both advertising options to take advantage of all the best that both platforms have to offer.


Native Ads vs Facebook Ads Article Sources:
The Painful Decline Of The Advertising Industry and What Marketers Should Do About It


This article has been brought to you by the expert advertising team at Content.ad.

If you are interested in learning more about what Native Advertising could do for your business, contact Content.ad today for more information on our Native Advertising network and offerings.

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