Offer Value, Be Authentic, And Count Hard KPIs

The Native Advertising Institute (NAI) has released an ebook highlighting 19 examples of successful native ad campaigns from around the world.

Each campaign won the Native Advertising Awards and was selected by a jury of industry experts.

The ebook offers a detailed look at the campaigns, as well as best practices for implementing them.

Stephanie Losee, head of content at Visa and chair of the Native Advertising Awards jury, notes in the book's introduction that native advertising is only a decade old -- still a fairly new discipline. And marketers and publishers are definitely chomping at the bit for better performance metrics and even standards, if they’re possible. 

Losee writes: “Yet after just a few years in its present form, I’d say [native advertising] has to be award-worthy simply to succeed. Attention is the award — the reward — of successful native, and nothing less than best-practices content will win it.”

Which means that click-throughs, impressions, and views won’t win the day. Actions are what matters. A change in thinking or behavior matters. Did the campaign prompt some sort of action, change in thinking, or behavior? Do metrics align with a marketer’s business goals?

NAI suggests that successful native advertising must create value for the audience, be authentic, and factor in “hard” KPIs. The ebook makes the point that while native advertising has often been perceived as an upper-funnel strategy used to increase brand awareness, it’s now squarely in the center of brands’ marketing campaigns, Plus, native and branded content is now surrounding consumers at all points along the customer journey.

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