By now, you’ve probably heard us speak several times about the importance of measuring beyond ad verification and focusing your efforts on attention signals. (if you haven’t, please download a copy of our guide.)
The reason verification should be considered the first step in the measurement journey, and not the destination, is that it reflects an ad’s opportunity to be seen—not whether anyone actually paid attention to it. By looking beyond verification and into consumer attention, you can explore performance indicators that reflect how your ads are driving real business outcomes. And at this point, the mark of success isn’t whether the ad was valid and viewable, but something more insightful.
The challenge many marketers face amid this transition is choosing the right metrics to focus on. In many ways, digital marketing is a double-edged sword in the myriad metrics you can measure—on the one hand, it affords you endless possibilities; on the other, it’s impossible to know where to start.
This rings particularly true for branded or branded content—which is on the rise, with a growing number of publishers launching in-house studios. Branded content aims to serve advertisers who are trying to create stronger connections with customers and fans by using innovative and nontraditional ad formats. In terms of measuring branded content, the responsibility is on publishers to showcase the quality and engagement of content across their sponsored posts. Equally, agency and brand marketers must see measurable results that indicate whether their investment nets the desired results.
For branded content, the measurement focus is on engagement with content, which we can measure by looking at the following metrics:
When you start tracking these metrics for your branded content campaigns, you’re going to need to assess them against benchmarks to determine how they compare to the wider industry, region, or market segment. Moat publishes quarterly benchmarks for you to review and measure your campaigns against.
In addition to industry benchmarks, set your own benchmarks based on your business goals. This means comparing performance month-over-month, year-over-year, across campaigns, geographical regions, publisher networks, and so on. This will mean that you gain a true understanding of advertising performance while also helping to track progress over time—leading to a sophisticated understanding of your campaigns and the best areas for increased investment.
The below takeaways will help you ensure your measurement strategy stays on track and drives outcomes for your business for years to come.