Ben Young
Ben Young
May 5, 2015

When dealing with paid content, a big question is, what am I getting for my money?

This often distills into two components

1) The value of the publishers audience.

2) The value of the content produced.

Nudge measures native ad content day in/day out, so we are often having this conversation. We also see how different content performs on the same publisher and sometimes how the same content performs across different publishers. Here are some of the learnings.

How to value the publishers audience

So, just being present on the site will bring an audience, it brings in a fresh audience who weren’t thinking about your brand moments ago. Like being present in the newspaper you have opened up your reach.

For this, we find advertisers are defaulting to People (or uniques), how many are we organically getting?

To then, compare the value of that, they reference the number of people they got from that publisher for their investment against others.

This, then is taken in light of the next question.

How to value the paid content?

For this, we find people lean on the quality metrics: earned impressions, virality, attention minutes, shares.

Advertisers are looking at what they got over and above their placement. They know they’ll get eyeballs but are they responding to the content, has their attitude been changed?

Then again, this is compared against the rest of their spend and/or the size of the audience they got.

How are advertisers comparing native ad buys?

We find that yes absolutely they are comparing cross buys. But they are also comparing against the opportunity cost, if I had spent that money elsewhere what would I have got? Should I be amplifying on my owned channels instead?

Publishers aren’t just competing against each other, they’re competing against what the brands are already doing.


The best defense is a good offense, we recommend for both buy and sell side, to ensure they are consistently measuring and benchmarking. This allows for better & more constructive conversations. With our clients we’ve continually found previously hidden points of difference, such as being able to introduce brands to new social audiences, a more effective mobile reach, geographic reach, cascading a viral campaign, letting the brand test new content -> the list goes on.