In this post we share a few insights we get by providing analytics for native ad content.  Keep in mind this is a nascent industry so standards are still being developed but this is a place to start.

Evaluate the technology stack

You want to check for a few things:

  • On your native ad content, how long do you get this space for? Also are other advertisers going to get to bid on ad space on it? We see too often in the business niche advertisers buying a piece of content then a competitor who has bought for context soaking up their ad space beside the article.
  • Where is their tracking code? We see a few publishers boosting numbers by installing tracking code at the top of the content, so it loads first.  Which can be convenient when buying traffic as even traffic that bounces gets counted.
  • Analytics, try to get a consistent measurement across you whole campaign, even across publishers to ensure you can compare apples with apples.
  • Disclaimers, do not place if publishers aren’t upfront about the content, ultimately readers read if it’s good content but you don’t want that bad feeling of discovering post engagement that it was an ad.  Manage expectations, if it’s good people will read it.

Type of custom native ad content

  • If you’re a consumer brand, you want to look at more of the app style approach when you’re providing utility to the audience you are tapping in to. A great example is BuzzFeeds Summer Calendar.
  • If you’re B2B or niche, focus on educational and thought leadership pieces.

Sourcing content

  • For consumer, you want to utilize the content studio.
  • For B2B, you have a few more options license content from NewsCred, Contently, commission your own, write yours own or use the in-house team.  We recommend for thought leadership that comes from yourself, for educational that can be a mix of both.

Why using a content studio at the publisher can be beneficial

  • They can write to the tone of the audience
  • They know what works with their audience
  • Readability, this is something you should check when you prepare content – is the readability at the same level of your audience.