Diving into the Numbers: How Much Do Native Ads Really Cost?

By Alexander Højfeldt Lund on March 18, 2024
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The costs of native ads are influenced by a lot of factors, including platform choice, ad format, and audience targeting. To make matters even more complicated, the pricing structure within native advertising is ever-changing and not always transparent.

From pay-per-click (PPC) models that offer precise control over ad spend to fixed campaign prices prices and pay-per-impression (PPI) models that prioritize brand visibility and exposure, advertisers must weigh the pros and cons of each approach to align their budgets with campaign objectives.

In this article, we’ll dig as deep as possible and explore just how much you can expect to pay for native advertising ads in 2024 across the most popular platforms. 

READ MORE: New to Native Advertising? Start With Our Ultimate Guide

The Two Main Bidding Models for Native Ads

As a general rule, the price of native ads are determined based on two bidding models: Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Mille (CPM).

Understanding these models is crucial to effectively manage budgets and optimize campaign performance.

If you’re a seasoned marketer, these bidding models are nothing new to you, and you can jump to the next section in the blog post.

For anyone else, let’s take a quick look at these bidding models:

Cost Per Click (CPC)

CPC bidding allows you to pay only when users click on your ad. This model offers a performance-based approach, where you are charged based on the number of clicks your ad receives.

CPC bidding is superior if the focus of your campaign is to drive traffic and conversions, as you’ll only pay for actual user engagement. That means that you will not pay if a user just sees your ad (an impression).

The average CPC of native ads can vary widely depending on factors such as industry, targeting, and ad placement. On platforms like Facebook, average CPC typically range from $0.20 to $1 per click for native ads.

However, niche industries or highly competitive markets may see CPC rates exceed $5 per click.

READ MORE: What Exactly Are In-Feed Native Ads?

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

CPM bidding charges you for every 1.000 impressions your ad receives. This model offers broader exposure and brand visibility, as you pay for ad views rather than clicks.

CPM bidding is beneficial for increasing brand awareness and reaching a larger audience.

The average CPM varies based on factors such as ad format, targeting options, and platform popularity. On social media platforms like Facebook. average CPM rates typically range from $5 to $10 per 1000 impressions. 

READ MORE: Check Out the Best Native Advertising Platforms Right Now

A bit confused? Let’s take a look at an example:

A travel agency running a CPM campaign on Taboola may set a budget of $1,000 to promote vacation packages. With an average CPM rate of $8, the campaign would reach approximately 125,000 impressions before running out of budget.

Understanding the nuances of CPC and CPM bidding models is important, as it’ll allow you to tailor your strategy and optimize campaign performance based on your specific goals and budget considerations.

Each Native Ads Platform Has Its Own Cost Structure

We know. You were probably hoping for a simple answer but the truth is that native advertising costs can vary significantly across different platforms and industries.

While social media platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn, and Facebook offer extensive reach and engagement opportunities, content discovery networks like Taboola and Outbrain provide targeted placement options for specific audience segments.

Let’s take a closer look at the average cost of native ads on each of the most common platforms. 

READ MORE: How to Spot Native Advertising

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price-of-native-ads-social-media

Photo: Social media is a popular and relatively cheap channel to run a native advertising campaign. 

The Price of Native Ads on Content Discovery Networks (e.g., Taboola, Outbrain)

Content discovery networks like Taboola and Outbrain offer sponsored content placements on high-traffic websites, allowing advertisers to reach diverse audiences across the web.

These types of native ads tend to be the cheapest option for anyone looking to dip their feet into native advertising.

The costs for native advertising on content discovery networks vary based on factors such as audience targeting, ad placement, and bidding strategies.

So how much do native ads cost?

On average, advertisers can expect to pay between $0.10 to $0.50 per click for their native ads, or $3 to $7 per 1000 impressions, depending on the network and campaign parameters.

These are rough estimates and the actual cost of a native ad also depends on the industry, the efficiency of your ad, and a series of other factors.

READ MORE: Best Practices for Programmatic Native Advertising

The Price of Native Ads on TikTok 

TikTok offers unique opportunities for native advertising through a series of different ad types. TikTok calculates ad costs by cost per mille (CPM), which means you will pay a fixed amount based on every 1,000 views your ad receives.

The cost of TikTok native ads start at $10 per CPM, and you’ll need to set up a campaign with a minimum $50 daily budget to be eligible to serve ads on TikTok.

The Price of Native Ads on Niche Publisher Websites

Niche publisher websites catering to specific industries or interests offer opportunities for highly targeted native advertising.

Costs for native ads on niche publisher websites may vary widely depending on factors such as audience size, engagement levels, and the reputation of the publisher. For these kinds of native ads, advertisers will typically negotiate pricing based on their specific requirements and budget constraints.

The Price of Native Ads on LinkedIn

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn's sponsored content provides a valuable platform to reach professional audiences with targeted messaging.

The price of native ads on LinkedIn typically range from $3 to $9 per click or $6 to $9 per 1000 impressions, offering flexibility for advertisers to align their budgets with campaign objectives.

Note that the minimum budget for a LinkedIn ad campaign is $10 per day.

The Price of Native Ads on Facebook & Instagram 

Facebook and Instagram provide powerful platforms for native advertising through sponsored posts in the feed of targeted users.  

The costs of native ads on Facebook and Instagram vary depending on factors such as audience targeting, ad format, and campaign objectives.

On average, you can expect to pay between $0.20 to $2 per click or $5 to $20 per 1000 impressions for native ads on these platforms.

Facebook tends to be the cheapest alternative of the two with an average native ad price tag of $0.20 to $1.00 per click. 

READ MORE: 5 Steps to Increase Reach and Engagement of Your Content with Paid Distribution

Other Factors That Influence the Price of Native Ads

Not everyone is paying the same amount for their native ads. Effective campaign management plays a pivotal role in controlling native advertising costs and optimizing campaign performance.

The cost of native ads also varies significantly based on ad placement, content quality, landing page experience, audience targeting, competition, as well as where in the world you are targeting your ads.

Just like Google Search Ads, a great ad that matches user intent and publisher environment will not only work better than a bad ad, it will also cost you less money.

So: If you want to lower the price of your native ad campaigns, the best place to start may be to take an extra look at the campaign settings as well as the creatives you use for the campaign. It could be a matter of thousands of dollars if your budget is big enough! 

READ MORE: How to Write Native Ad Headlines that Boost Performance

How Much Budget Do You Need for Native Advertising?

While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to budget allocation, allocating a minimum of $500 per month is a good starting point for most native advertising campaigns.

However, before going to the big (wo)man and asking for a budget, it's essential to define clear objectives for your native advertising campaign. Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads, aligning your budget with these objectives is paramount.

Remember that different platforms offer varying levels of reach, targeting options, and pricing structures. Choose the one that you believe will work the best for your goal and budget level.

READ MORE: The Biggest Native Advertising Trends in 2024