Native advertising has grown in popularity as a marketing tactic for businesses seeking to reach their target audience. It entails developing material that blends in with the medium on which it is published, such as social media or a website. Measuring native advertising effectiveness is critical for determining its success and ROI.
You must constantly monitor your marketing activities to verify that you are meeting your marketing objectives. Native advertising is no different. Measuring native advertising performance allows you to not only assess its efficacy for your brand but also optimize your campaigns for better outcomes. Check the data on a regular basis, and you’ll be able to correct any issues that arise.
It’s critical to understand the metrics you should be tracking as you work toward your native advertising objectives. And this is where many marketers face the most difficulty. Depending on the targets you choose, your native advertising performance indicators will fluctuate.
Learn how to measure the efficacy of native advertising and align your KPIs with your business goals.
How do You Measure Native Advertising?
Before you set up a native advertising campaign and start measuring its results, you need to specify the goals you want to achieve with it.
It’s essential that you set specific goals, e.g. not only define you want to increase brand awareness but also specify how many viewable impressions or unique visitors the campaign should deliver. This will let you understand later whether your campaign is effective or not.
Typical native advertising goals include:
- Build brand awareness
- Gain a number of viewable impressions
- Boost website traffic
- Improve user behavior metrics
- Increase engagements
- App downloads
- Newsletter subscriptions, etc.
- Drive sales
Let’s check out how these goals align with the KPIs you’ll need to track.
Build brand awareness
Brand awareness is about establishing a strong online presence for your brand. If you manage to build a general knowledge of your brand among your target audience, it’s likely that your brand becomes the first thing that comes to mind when these consumers are ready to take action.
Many brands leverage native advertising to achieve brand awareness goals. Displaying their articles and videos on the world’s most popular websites, they reach wide but still highly relevant audiences.
If you decide to use native advertising to boost brand awareness, the following metrics will show you whether you’re on the right track.
- Viewable impressions
Native ads leave a brand impression on viewers, even though they don’t continue on to your website. Viewable impressions tell you how many times your native ad is seen by users. Don’t confuse it with the ‘impressions’ metric that counts how many times a campaign item is displayed.
Although this metric alone doesn’t indicate how people interact with your content, you can compare it with the number of clicks to better understand how your native ad was received. You can either measure viewable impressions with third-party tools or get them directly using Taboola native ad platform.
- Unique visitors
How many people visited your website after seeing your native ad? If your website traffic increases significantly after you launch your campaign – that’s a good sign of growing brand awareness. Otherwise, it might be a reason to revisit your campaign settings.
The click-through rate (CTR) is a traditional but still effective way to evaluate the impact of native advertising. By analyzing the CTR of your campaign items, you can better understand if the content you promote meets the interests of the publisher’s audience.
Read Also: How to Use Native Advertising
Low CTR might denote one of the following issues:
- The title and the thumbnail of your native ad don’t reflect all the potential of the content it promotes.
- The content itself isn’t relevant for the audience you target.
After people click on your native ad and come to your website, they interact with it differently. Along with measuring the number of visitors, you need to analyze the quality of this web traffic with Google Analytics.
Here are the metrics that allow you to understand how well your sponsored content is performing:
- Bounce rate. This metric measures the percentage of visitors who left the page without interacting with it. In most cases, a high bounce rate means you failed to make your content meet the expectations you set with your native ad. By monitoring it, you can notice the issue before it’s too late and fix either the creative or landing page content.
- Pages per session. How many pages are viewed during a session? The more pages per session are viewed, the better.
- Average session duration. It’s an average length of a session in a particular time period. This is another metric used to identify how effectively your sponsored content encourages your site visitors to keep navigating your website.
There’s no sense in driving visitors that just bounce directly. It’s easy to spend a budget gaining clicks from users who aren’t likely to ever interact with your brand. So, even if your CTRs are growing, keep tracking behavior metrics to ensure your website traffic has any value.
- Video views and video completion rate
If you use native advertising to promote videos, these metrics will be the most important for you. With content discovery platforms, such as Taboola or Outbrain, you can track the number of completed views only. Placing native ad videos on social networks, including Facebook or YouTube, you’ll find data on average view duration, audience retention reports, and completion reports.
Native advertising has already proved extremely effective for reaching your performance marketing goals and increasing purchase intent. It allows you to attract leads by driving your readers to complete specific actions, such as downloading your application, signing up for a newsletter, or any other action that connects your prospect with your brand.
- Conversions: signups, downloads, etc.
A conversion driven by your native ad campaign isn’t necessarily a sale. At this stage, conversions include ebook downloads, signups, and other actions that help you attract leads. If you’ve been successfully building brand awareness for some time, you might want to move on by creating true brand affinity.
How many people completed the desired action? Analyze the number of conversions your sponsored content generates to understand how it’s perceived by your target audience.
- Conversion rate
Let’s say you want to drive a number of free trials started after seeing your sponsored content. But conversions isn’t the only metric you should be tracking.
The conversion rate is the percentage of people who completed the desired action out of people who clicked on your ad. For instance, if 1000 people visited your website and 100 of them started a free trial, your conversion rate is 10%. This metric will tell you whether you should audit your landing page, revisit your messaging or even reconsider your initial objective.
What’s a good conversion rate? Across the industries, the median is 2.35%, and 5.31% is considered to be an awesome result only the top 25% of brands reach. However, it still highly depends on your niche and what you define as a conversion.
Advertisers aim at driving direct sales less frequently than building brand awareness or increasing engagements, but it doesn’t mean the contribution of native advertising to the sales process isn’t worth mentioning.
In this case, your KPIs will be similar to the ones we mentioned in the previous paragraph, except that the conversion will be a sale.
Still, it’s not likely that someone will find your brand appealing enough to make a purchase when seeing your sponsored content for the first time. That’s why campaigns aimed at driving sales are more likely to be successful when you’re targeting people who are most interested in buying your products, e.g., retargeting your website visitors.
Moreover, when your goal is to drive sales, you might want to use native ads to drive leads that will later convert into customers.
What Are The Metrics For Native Advertising?
You should track marketing and advertising campaigns of every kind. Measurement lets you know how campaigns are performing and gives you the feedback you need to adjust and fine-tune each ad. Whatever type of native campaign you’re running, if you’re not collecting and analyzing relevant metrics, you’re managing your ad investments with blinders on.
Identifying advertisement metrics is crucial. Metrics provide a tangible way to:
- Track your marketing efforts
- Understand how your campaign is progressing toward specific key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Identify the channels that produce a strong return on investment (ROI)
Building a list of key advertising metrics lets you understand your campaigns. It allows you to take a data-driven approach to decision-making. On top of that, it gives you trust that you are investing your native advertising budget wisely.
When you understand your campaigns, you’re in control. You can adjust your copy and budget and feel confident that these changes will improve your bottom line.
This article will list the four essential metrics you need to track for a successful campaign.
1. Click-through rate
Click-through rate (CTR) is the most popular metric to evaluate the performance of a native advertising campaign. It shows the percentage of people who see your ad and click through to the post-click landing page.
A handy thing to do when evaluating this metric is to compare it with the reach and impressions of your ad. If the CTR is too low compared to the reach or impressions, you might have a problem. For example, a low CTR can tell you that when your potential audience sees your ads, they’re not engaged enough to take the next step.
If you run into this problem, running A/B tests on various ads is a good idea. These tests can change things like headlines, copy, and visuals, to see which combinations are more likely to grab your audience’s attention.
The formula for calculating CTR is:
CTR = (total measured clicks / total measured impressions) x 100.
Defining a good CTR depends on several factors. Some of the things you need to consider are your product, industry, and even the publications you choose. For example, your CTR will be lower if you’re targeting a niche audience but using a general or non-specialist host website.
What to do when your CTR is too low
- Always remember to include CTAs (Call To Action) directed at your readers. Ensure it’s clear and compelling so that the audience can’t help but click through
- Always use the correct image sizes. Visuals are a great way to capture attention and increase CTR.
- Try to change and improve the ad title and text. These two elements represent the most significant reason your ad fails to get a high CTR.
Always remember to leverage 1-2 keywords within the title. While in the main text, try to present the service/product you offer as the solution to the problem your audience is experiencing.
2. Conversion Rates
Conversion rates measure the number of people who have seen your ad that completes a particular goal. Each ad you build should have a purpose: to get the target audience to perform a specific action.
Native ads can have a variety of objectives. A conversion can be much more than just buying a product or service. With native advertising, you can target goals like:
- Downloading an eBook or whitepaper
- Signups for live events/webinars
Conversion rates are an essential native advertising metric because they allow advertisers to assess each ad’s ability to influence particular actions.
You can calculate conversion rates with the following formula:
Conversion rate = (total attributed conversions / total # of clicks/visits) x100.
Improving conversion rates depends a lot on your product or service. Some valuable tips that you can use are:
- Run A/B tests on various ads, testing headlines, creatives, and CTAs.
- Look at the language that you use in your ads. Are you speaking to your customer with the words they use to describe their pain points?
- Create custom landing pages for each ad so that your audience gets what they’re looking for
- Analyze how you are targeting your audience and ensure you choose publications that are a good fit
- Use strong lead magnets if you are trying to capture email addresses
- Leverage social proof in your articles to convince prospects that you’re business is worthy of their trust
- Ensure your headlines and articles accurately represent your offering. Don’t use clickbait or misleading claims
3. Viewable Impressions
Viewable impressions refer to an advertising impression that appears on screen. Now you might wonder, how is this metric different from “Impressions”? According to the International Advertising Bureau (IAB), a viewable impression must be on 50% or more of the screen for at least one second. What’s more, it must be on a browser that is being actively used.
This metric is important because it allows you to measure coverage in much greater detail. When you measure viewable impressions, you have an even more precise analysis of the performance of your native campaigns.
Additionally, it is a very relevant metric when combined with other measurements like CTR. For example, as previously explained, it can be helpful to understand the effectiveness of your native campaign.
4. Bounce rate
The bounce rate represents the number of people who have visited your site but left before interacting or engaging with it. It’s a key metric because it allows you to assess the quality of the traffic each campaign is driving to your website. If you have a high bounce rate, it means that even if you’re driving a high volume of traffic to your site, something is seriously wrong.
If you notice many people “bouncing” from your website, it’s probably down to one of a few things. For starters, it could be an audience-targeting issue. If users leave straight after they reach their site, you are likely targeting an audience that isn’t interested in your product or service.
Another reason for high bounce rates is slow page loading speeds. Data from Google suggests that 53% of sites are abandoned if they take longer than 3 seconds to load. Of course, there are some exceptions. If you have an article or blog-based website, a high bounce rate could indicate that users found precisely what they were looking for on the first page.
It’s essential that you measure your bounce rate. If it’s not as low as you hoped, you also need to understand the reasons behind it. You can calculate the bounce rate with the following formula:
Bounce rate= (total visitors on a webpage w. no interactions / total visitors on the webpage) x 100
Analyzing the effectiveness of native advertising is essential for evaluating the results of your campaigns and refining subsequent planning. You may acquire important insights into the efficiency of your native ads and make data-driven decisions to enhance their success by analyzing key metrics like engagement, conversions, and ROI.
Use the appropriate platforms and tools to manage and analyze your data, and always remember to define clear goals and standards for your KPIs. In order to maximize the impact of your advertising, look for patterns and trends in your KPIs.