Hollie-Blue Allum
Hollie-Blue Allum
July 21, 2015

Native advertising can seem a bit daunting. Media consumption is changing and native advertising is the answer. But native has new players, a new language, different methodologies and can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

Native is an exciting space that’s allowing brands to talk with their consumers in a more direct way than ever before. However, when it comes to native content it’s important to remember that without quality metrics you’re unable to prove the ROI of the buy to your clients. 

To clarify when we say Native Content we mean a piece of content that has been commissioned or paid to be placed on an external website. 

When you’re approaching your first native campaign occasionally the metrics don’t feel as essential as they should. It’s important to note not just that you need quality metrics but that you need to define what they are at the start of the campaign. Without first deciding the right metrics for the publisher, the audience and the brand, you won’t be able to prove the success of your campaign. 

The only metrics that content marketers and publishers should invest in are those that help them make better decisions. For too long we’ve relied on vanity metrics like page views, video views, and raw impression data to measure our content. None of these metrics reveal anything of value, and they certainly don’t lead to better decisions about what content to produce or promote. However, they might make you feel good, and that’s why we call them vanity metrics. 

They’re giving you a superficial look into how the content performed by giving top line data that doesn’t let you understand if the content resonated and therefore succeed with the target audience. 


Quality Metrics

Quality metrics let you know how your fans interacted with the content by looking deeper under the hood to determine success. They uncover things like average attention minutes, engagement, scroll, virality, and earned impressions, giving you objective measures by which to compare the performance of your content by what really counts—its quality.

So why are quality metrics the ROI of native content? Unlike banners where there is an immediate action such as click through, conversion and a clear path to purchase, native content relies on more subtle nods to prove success. Just because a reader of your paid content didn’t click through to buy your product immediately after reading, doesn’t mean that the content didn’t work. Native content is about brand impact and awareness. The conversions can sometimes happen further along the journey. 

Without tracking metrics such as engagement, virality, attention minutes, scroll rate and yes conversions as well – how are you able to prove the ROI to your clients? You can’t. 

Quality metrics prove that the creative succeeded, the publisher was the right choice and that your customers reacted appropriately. These metrics will allow you to make the right decisions, invest with the relevant partners and show your clients how the campaign succeeded. 

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If you have any questions on this post please either place them in the comments below or email them through to me at [email protected]