The evolution of native advertising continues, and it’s no surprise that marketers are getting insistent on measuring their ROI.
And this is where things get tricky.
Marketers are tuned in to measuring conversions –consumer actions like click-throughs, downloads, registrations, purchases – but those kinds of metrics are not as easy to come by with content marketing and native ads. Publishers, on the other hand, are well versed in speaking of impressions, page views and visitors and find inherent value in those “non-converting” data points.
The solution seems to be part technology, part education, as publishers offer hard data on content metrics, and marketers adapt their thinking to connect this data to their business goals.
Forbes, for one, has created two new dashboards to provide better metrics for its brand advertisers, according to Josh Sternberg of Digiday.
“I think the publisher stats are the first point of departure for these marketers on how it’s all working for them inside that set of key indicators that are most important to them,” writes Sternberg, quoting Forbes’ Mike Perlis.
“All of these elements that are important to a publisher are important to a brand. The specifics of how that works against their key indicators, that depends on what they’re trying to accomplish.”
The useful balance will be found in the dialog between the publishers and the advertisers, when we can discard our old ways of thinking and embrace the changing dynamics of consumer behavior.
“The tools that judge success and efficacy for campaigns need to change,” says Scott Havens of Atlantic. “It’s different than a box or banner ad. Those metrics can come over too, but brands are publishing thought leadership content to our audience and they want to see how people are reading. To me it makes total sense that the metrics would shift along with it.”
As marketers become brand publishers, the need to understand, and find true value in, publishing metrics becomes paramount.