Real estate company established thought leadership in the local market - and generated leads at the same time

We’ve conducted a collection of case studies featuring award-winning native advertising examples. This blog post features Best use of Native Advertising on a Small Budget. ($50.000 or lower)


Campaign: JLL and The Business Journals. Check out the campaign here.

Using a distinctive native advertising campaign strategy, the Business Journal’s creative studio transformed a small budget into content that generated even more engagement among the key audience than the media’s editorial articles.


  • Brand: JLL (American commercial real estate firm)
  • Publisher: The Business Journals - Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Content

JLL had numerous insightful research papers at their disposal. These papers were created by the company’s own staff.

The creative idea behind the campaign was to take the most important insights from the research papers and transform them into locally relevant and engaging real estate content. These pieces featured exclusive insights to establish JLL as a thought leader within the market and CTAs to encourage readers to click through and download full reports from JLL’s website.

Some of the content was structured as interviews with JLL employees providing insights on a variety of relevant market trends. This way, The campaign created a lot of visibility for JLL as a company including employees.

To house the content, a hub titled “Atlanta CRE - Real Insights” was established on The Business Journal’s website. Strategically the hub was equipped with a feed of real estate news published by the editorial staff of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. As a result, readers with an interest in real estate had all the content they needed - sponsored or editorial - in one place.

Distribution and Promotion

Content received internal promotion with headline placement at the Atlanta Business Chronicle site and snippets of the articles were run as display advertising on the website.

All articles were promoted via social media, from the Atlanta Business Chronicle accounts. Social media ads were targeted to a relevant audience outside the newspaper’s own following.


Content should perform on the same level as editorial commercial real estate articles: Headline CTR of 0,10 pct., 1,252 page views per article and an average scroll depth pf 66,4 pct. Native content should drive a majority of clicks from real estate executives and investors. This was made trackable through the audience measurement platform of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Finally, to ensure that the content generated traffic to JLL’s own website, the business partners decided on a target of 5,000 clicks to the JLL website by the end of the campaign.

The Results

The campaign drove 7,000 clicks to the JLL’s Atlanta site - outperforming the target of 5,000 by a significant margin.

Content received a 0,28 pct. CTR on headlines improving on The Business Journals’ editorial average of 0,1 pct.

JLL’s content achieved a total of 31,170 page views, which amounts to an average of 2,833 views per article - or double the amount of the KPI of 1,252 page views. Finally, the native content achieved an average scroll depth of 75,1 pct. surpassing the KPI of 66,4 pct.

Take Note

  • The Business Journals have developed its own strategic approach to successfully execute content production and native campaigns. They use a WHY, WHO and WHAT structure. The Why is what the objective of the campaign. The Who is the target audience. The What is the desired action on the part of the target audience. their part is. The campaign team also defines when the desired action should take place and where.
  • In the case of JLL, the who were real estate and business decision-makers in Atlanta. The next step was to define what the desired response should be once the audience interacted with the content. The campaign team understood that to achieve the overall goals of the campaign they had to raise the audience’s general awareness of JLL’s industry knowledge and expertise, and establish an overall brand perception of knowledge and expertise in the market. So the what was to make the target audience think of JLL as a local thought leader in commercial real estate. This was achieved through high-quality content that aligned the existing insights of JLL with the credibility of the Atlanta Business Chronicle brand.
  • By combining the qualitative knowledge and quantitative data of JLL with the trusted voice and authority of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the campaign team created a strong brand alignment and started to establish a perception of thought leadership, fulfilling the how of the strategic process.
  • In other words, to get real estate and business decision-makers in Atlanta (the who) to regard JLL as local thought leaders in commercial real estate (the what) the campaign leveraged the existing insights of the company and aligned them with the Atlanta Business Chronicle brand (the how). In doing so, the campaign demonstrated the industry expertise available at JLL, as well as driving a relevant audience to JLL’s website, generating a flow of credible leads for the business. Despite a relatively small budget, the project team achieved its ambitious goals through structuring their work around a well-stablished strategy
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