Metrics are the signals that tell publishers who's paying attention, how they're paying attention, and how to keep them paying attention. But it has become increasingly clear that the standards of page views, visits and even unique users are no longer enough to work out how much your audience care.
And with ever growing concerns over the efficacy of traditonal display advertising and the growth of new formats such as native, using the right measurements is becoming even more important to making money out of that audience.
We caught up with Tony Haile, CEO of real-time metrics company Chartbeat, to get his views on whether a standard metric can be developed, how ad viewability can be improved, and whether native ads really work.
What metrics should be involved in an industry standard?
Developing a standard metric is a major challenge for publishers and advertisers and it's in their best interests to do so. A lot of data is effectively kept in a vacuum due to the lack of a standard to compare it to. Creating a metric that aligns with both pubisher goals of creating high quality content and an advertiser's desire to drive sales is a tough task. Could a blended option that looks at 'attention minutes' and social sharing be where these trends converge?
How to increase ad viewability
Perceived ad wisdom doesn't always align with reality – take the 'digital fold' for example – but what can publishers do to increase an ad's viewability? It's not just about serving the ad in the top few pixels of the page, says Haile, but using data to understand where it is audiences are looking.
Does native advertising work for advertisers?
Native is the talk of the town, but does it actually produce results for advertisers?
"Right now, though, we're in a situation where the vast majority of what we're seeing is underperforming in terms of what an advertiser's actual goals are. If you're wanting to get your content in front of an audience, a specific audience, and have them engage with that content in the way they would engage with normal content, then a lot of native advertising is missing the mark," says Haile.
Image via Flickr user Paul Downey used under a Creative Commons licence.