It is important to know that your native ads are successful
If you’ve been to a site such as Buzzfeed or Quartz recently you know all about Native Advertising. We’ve spoken about the topic a few times before but in a nutshell Native Ads is a web advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and the function of the user experience in which it is placed. One form of native advertising, publisher-produced brand content, is similar in concept to a traditional advertorial, which is a paid placement attempting to look like an article.
We’re big fans of the concept but recently questions have arisen about the effectiveness of Native Ads and whether there’s a decent return for advertisers beyond just the “cool factor”. There’s one major problem: if Native Advertising is the newest method of online advertising, what is the newest method of measurement?
Forbes, for example, is starting to give advertisers in its Brand Voice platform two new dashboards to provide better metrics. One will provide statistics for brand content, like top posts, pageviews, total visitors, repeat visitors. Basically, publisher metrics. The other is a social dashboard, providing data about how well content does on social networks from social actions to social referrals.
Other publishers running similar types of sponsored content are reporting to brands similar metrics, which are more akin to publishing measures than the typical brand measures like clicks, impressions, and lifts in consideration and purchase intent. Your average marketing manager is not used to gauging success in pageviews and shares.
BuzzFeed, perhaps the poster-child for the native ad movement, has been offering brands and agency publishing metrics for a while as a way to educate and soothe nerves. It gives them pageviews, top referrers, top search terms and viral views from its dashboard.
So far, so similar.
The American Online Publishers Association have done some interesting research on the matter with the following useful takeouts:
The future is bright for Native Advertising; we’re still waiting for a brave brand to do something in South Africa!