By Ben Young
New York, USA
Advertising is created to inform and persuade and in a digital universe persuasion is quantifiably measurable. As marketers, we’re programmed to have specific media for specific tasks. Awareness, conversion, etc. But, as we’ve run a lot of campaigns in partnership with publishers and agencies, we’ve found that native advertising content can be actually very powerful at typical “bottom of the funnel” tasks.
Nudge sees a range of 1–3% of post-consumption conversion as defined by the client. It’s not a huge surprise but this confirms what smart marketers already know: if you can reach the right audience in the right place with the right message the odds are behind you.
With native content, you stack those odds in your favor. By working with publishers who already engage your audience day in day out, you collaborate to create the right content to attract your audience. Then sit back and watch as they come in. Better yet, you can even turn the firehose on by extending the reach of that content with the right paid amplification.
Meet speakers from The New York Times, Visa, Linkedin and Google at Native Advertising DAYS 2016 in Berlin.
For marketers seeking new and innovative ways to reach their audiences — native fits the bill. Not only is it additive to current activities, it can enhance them. You’re now engaging and pre-qualifying your audience before you even see them.
The reason native content works so well is a basic premise, people click on things they want to learn more about. And people are clicking on headlines, to content which has been catered for them. Content-marketers have known this for years. It’s just whether the addition of placing it on external websites enhanced or changed that.
You can hear the brand marketers protest: “our work shouldn’t be driving conversions.” But attribution is a rich measure for brand lift, awareness and purchase intent. Conversion provides a quantitative measure, without the interruption of those highly annoying brand surveys nor the precarious nature of paid panels. It’s a passive methodology based on real behavior. This data-point then acts as a benchmark for all other activity you’re doing.
The fundamental truth here is that advertising is created to inform & persuade, in a digital universe persuasion is quantifiably measurable. Did we see you again, demonstrating interest. And despite endless ways to purchase it acts as a benchmark.
In partnership with The Atlantic, Nudge demonstrated how native content converts, delivering data-points on the behavior after reading the content. They were able to ascertain amongst multiple pieces of content, the one that was driving 39% of all conversions then act on that data to drive a better result for the client.
So what drives conversion of native content, when good content is in front of your audience? What are the metrics you need to optimize towards? The highest converting content, had a 30% above average scroll rate, 20% higher attention, and 23% higher social engagement and 3.8 times the virality.
The takeaway: IF you want to maximize conversion rate AND quantity of conversions. You need to optimize towards attention AND social engagement.
With the free additional earned impressions extending your reach and lifting your overall conversion rate. We’ve seen this time and time again across fashion, alcohol and even technology companies. The nitty gritty though is what specifically can you do on your native campaigns to help lift conversion. Aim to make your content longer and offer multiple calls to action, if I get the message connect me to where I should be going. Don’t make the end user wait.
Effective disclosure is key, Nudge studies have found effective disclosure = effective recall. More on that here. Ladder your attribution models, people visiting the homepage, the product page. Many a marketer will tell you visiting the product page is the biggest indicator of future purchase intent. Further, verify you are in front of the right audience.
In approaching your content you want to back the winners, to do this you do need to commit to multiple pieces of content in order to see what really resonates. To take learnings from each piece of content to find improvements. It is putting several little paper boats in the water to see which one takes the current.
Finally, back the winners with paid amplification, conversion is about content + media, your initial outlay provides a combination of both. First find the content that converts, then connect the media source that drives the best conversion.
You can download the case study, Native Can Convert in partnership with The Atlantic here.
Editor's note: This blogpost was originally published on Medium.com and was slightly edited.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Mike Petrucci
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