Initial research studies on the impact of native advertising on news Web sites show that three factors exert an important influence on the success of this form of advertising:

  1. The number of articles read.

  2. The degree to which the content is found to be interesting.

  3. The credibility of the articles.

As such, these are the most important lessons drawn for marketers who are considering native advertising.

Everyone is considering native advertising nowadays.

Native advertising is the buzzword among marketers today. Brands use native advertising to communicate through editorial content without explicit exposure to an advertisement. The articles are integrated in the content of the medium but separate from the journalistic aspect.

Last year, de Persgroep Advertising started to offer native advertising on the Web sites of its news brands Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen.

Initial research studies show native campaigns have a strong impact on readers.
Initial research studies show native campaigns have a strong impact on readers.

Advertisers immediately wanted to gauge the impact of these campaigns.

How do you measure the impact of advertising that is not explicitly visible? 

To measure the impact of advertising in a qualitative manner, de Persgroep Advertising has developed a native post-test, which puts a series of questions to visitors of the Web site about the contents of the native articles in question. Questions are then also asked about the attitude to the product or the brand.

The respondents are divided into two groups: readers of the native articles (the test group) and non-readers of the articles (the control group). Both the test and control group are re-weighted according to the socio-demographic reader profile of the title.

The first results show a strikingly strong impact of the native campaigns.

The first impact measurements of native campaigns show that readers who read at least one of the articles of the campaign:

  1. Are more positive about the product in general than non-readers.

  2. Have a positive image of the brand in question.

  3. Have a product awareness that is more than twice as high than non-readers. 

  4. Have twice as high an intention to purchase.

  5. Give a likeability score that is 30% higher on average than an average online campaign. 

This is good news for marketers. But is native advertising now the wonder solution that can guarantee great success for everyone?

Readers of native advertising campaigns were more likely to feel positively about the product and brand in question.
Readers of native advertising campaigns were more likely to feel positively about the product and brand in question.

No two campaigns are alike, and some products and brands lend themselves better to focusing on the story than others. But the results of the first native post-tests point to a number factors that have a strong influence on the success of campaigns.

Factors that increase the impact of native campaigns include:

1. The more articles read, the more positive the attitude toward the project: Readers of several articles appreciate the product and the brand more. Both the image and the intention to buy are higher than among readers of only one article. It is therefore important to write pieces with strong content that are easy to read and that retain the attention of the readers for the full story.

2. The more interesting the article, the stronger the impact: It may sound self-evident, but the degree to which the readers are fascinated by the articles and find the content interesting and relevant has a clear effect on the impact of the campaign. Readers who find the articles interesting appreciate the product and the brand more.

3. Credibility is the strongest booster for the native campaign: Readers do not let someone pull the wool over their eyes. Most readers are aware that the content of native articles is provided by the advertiser. Therefore, avoid articles that are too commercially tinted or far-fetched, as they can have the opposite effect on the success of the campaign.

Put the reader first and provide interesting and credible content. Advertisers who take note of these lessons are undoubtedly rewarded with better results.