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5 How-tos: Native Ads Viewed 3.5x More Than Editorial

July 11, 2014 By Heather Fletcher
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Throw out conventional wisdom that says consumers ignore native ad-labeled content. For publisher Upworthy, "branded" items see 3.5 times more views from site visitors, three times more shares and 2.9 times more attention than its editorial pieces experience, according to Upworthy.

In a staff-written, non-promotional, regular editorial article published on July 10, Advertising Age explains why sponsored posts are doing so well:

  • Native ads typically receive more promotion from publishers;
  • They might stay on a homepage longer than editorial stories;
  • The native ads might show up regularly in a "suggested articles" feed;
  • They might become the subject of a promoted tweet or Facebook post; and
  • In Upworthy's case, promoted posts surface regularly below or alongside other articles.

Other publishers reporting stellar native ad performance include Forbes and The New York Times. Both say sponsored articles regularly perform as well as the rest of the editorial, Ad Age's Michael Sebastian writes.

Upworthy even acknowledges the surprise its regular visitors may experience if they venture upon the "business-y stuff" July 10 blog post on Upworthy Insider.

"If this all sounds a little counterintuitive ("People hate ads! How could they be performing better on your site?!"), we think the key has actually been twofold," according to Upworthy. "We try to be very thoughtful in the kinds of campaigns we'll work with, and we've taken pains to be radically transparent with our community when content is connected with a paid campaign."

Marketers: Any thoughts on native advertising?

Please respond in the comments section below.
 
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