Study: Native Ads Paired With On-Site Branded Content Bring Meaningful Brand Lift

A new study, conducted by Nativo and comScore, explored the question of whether pairing Nativo’s “True Native” ad format with a branded content landing page would impact consumers’ purchase decision-making process.

Nativo and comScore found the ad format drove significant lift throughout the purchase funnel, specifically in unaided awareness (11%), online ad recall (18%), and purchase intent (13%), as compared to unexposed control groups.

The study measured the impact of 25 automotive, tech, and consumer package goods native campaigns on brand health metrics from awareness to purchase intent. Those campaigns ran from April 2016 to October 2016.

The research spanned 110 million viewable ad impressions, 650k page views, and 226 survey responses. The findings revealed that advertisers’ brand metrics throughout the consumer journey improved appreciably with native campaigns that used the True Native format which includes a native ad unit that clicks into branded content that lives on a publisher’s site.

The unit enables consumers to remain on publishers’ sites instead of taking consumers away from the sites -- a pain point for some native campaigns.  

Casey Wuestefeld, VP of campaign operations at Nativo, said the main goal of the study was to examine the lift between a consumer being served a native ad vs. their actually clicking on and engaging with that content within a publisher environment. “There’s a lot of noise around native being deceptive or trying to dupe the user. This lift shows that there is an awareness that an advertiser is providing that content,” he said.

“It intuitively makes sense that a reader who spends more than a minute consuming sponsored content would reveal a higher lift than someone who sees a preview image and reads a headline, but without data all we have is a hypothesis. The comScore results validate that hypothesis and also show distributed sponsored content goes several steps further than just generating brand awareness,” Wuestefeld said.

“The comScore study results show that in digital, native integrations also provide increased lift for brands. No matter the medium, context is an important factor in generating advertising effectiveness,” said Anne Hunter, senior vice president of advertising at comScore. She said the study also shows that consumer engagement with native advertising within a trusted publisher’s environment has a greater impact.

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