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Native ad studios give their thoughts on success

Jan 28, 2020

One of the most difficult aspects of native advertising is measuring the success of a campaign. No one seems to have found the perfect way, and there might not even be one single perfect way.

To get an idea of the state of measuring the success of native advertising around the world, we took the temperature in native ad studios around the world and asked them how they do it.

Have a read, be inspired, and be aware that the best way to measure the success might not even have been invented yet.

Comparing to editorial content

A lot of the clients put a lot of value in unique users and impressions, but with most native advertising campaigns, we concentrate on dwell time and compare it to the editorial content to see how well it’s doing.

Hugo McCafferty
Native Editor at Storyplus Native Ad Studio, Independent News & Media, Ireland 


Brand awareness and dwell time

How we measure effectiveness differs according to the campaign and its objectives, but we are mostly concerned with brand awareness, dwell time and engagement. It can be difficult to measure the exact effect but you have to keep track of the campaign.

Abby Carvosso
Group Managing Director, Advertising at Bauer Media. Native Ad Studio: Adventure, UK

The measurements fit the target

We always try to set a target for the campaign. If the goal is to make people sign up, it’s easy to measure. But we also look at how many read the article, how many were reached on Facebook, what was the engagement like etc.

It can be difficult to measure the exact effect but you have to keep track of the campaign and make sure that the advertiser isn’t doing other things that might affect the campaign. That’s why it’s good to be an exclusive partner on all platforms, so it’s easier to measure the effect on sales or brand awareness. We submit a survey to all our readers when they exit the website

Ronald Viin
Director at Ajakirkade Kirjastus AS, Estonia


Reader surveys

For standard products like online articles we use metrics like page views, unique users, visits and the average time spent per user/visit and social sharing.

With premium digital products like long-form articles, we offer a complete report where we also measure all the interactions with widgets and heat maps and above all we provide a qualitative analysis where we measure how the brand is perceived before and after the native campaign.

To do that, we submit a survey to all our readers when they exit the website to learn more about their demographics, their experience with the content, and their opinion of the brand.

For printed products, we run a survey which includes both readers who have been exposed and who have not been exposed to the campaign.

Luigi Santini
Head of Native Advertising at RCS Mediagroup, Italy

Attention time is key

Our key metric is attention time – it means the time spent on the piece, then secondly traffic. The most important metrics are engagement time and how to engage the readers and to make them share the piece, like the piece, talk about that piece within their social networks.

In the beginning, the market was sceptical because what we were offering was a very expensive product and they hadn’t yet recognised the value.

But after a couple of native campaigns and after months of working with many clients, they recognised the value and that the quality of the content really matters.

Ana Plisic
Editorial Director at Hanza Media Native Ad Studio, Croatia


The client is always right

We measure what the clients want us to measure. Most common are read-through, completion rate, and time spent.

Anna Arvidsson
Head of Bonnier News Brand Studio, Sweden

It all depends...

Depending on the format and the objective of each project, our main KPIs are number of visits, time spent on video, number of shares.

Eduardo Basarte
CEO of Factor Moka, Vocento, Spain

Johanne Eliasson is the former editor of the Native Advertising Institute.

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