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How sponsored content studios can sell more with audience data at every stage of the sales cycle

By November 8, 2018No Comments
ad sales team

Last year, eMarketer estimated spend on native advertising to be $22.09 billion, making up about 52% of all display ad spend in the US. And that number will continue to grow. Behind those numbers are legions of sales teams, all vying to create impressive sponsored content and native ad campaigns that will get prospects to sign on the dotted line.

The Analytics dashboard has been a long-time companion to content studios and commercial teams at publishers. We’re excited to share with you the ways we’ve observed these teams—from sales people to campaign managers to heads of content studios—use audience attention data to sell more and keep their clients happy.

Pitching: Prove the value of your audience to advertisers.

When pitching to advertisers, how do you show your competitive edge? Looking beyond page views to other metrics can help you show not just the breadth of your audience but the depth of their loyalty and interests.

“Our sales team goes out and pitches Slate’s loyal visitors and how much time they spend with our content. Establishing a relationship between engaged time and revenue generation helps frame why engaged time matters for more than only editorial.” – Director of Research, Slate

Here are three metrics you can use to prove the loyalty and breadth of your audience:

  • Engaged time for the section or topic the prospect is interested in. Longer engaged times show that your readers care. They make a case for investment from the advertiser because readers aren’t visiting and bouncing from your site—they’re engaged with it. Sell a premium sponsored content program for prospects that know your audience and want to target your most engaged readers.
  • Returning visitor numbers for your site to show off your loyal audience. Your advertiser came to you because they know something about your audience and may find value in the size of your loyal reader base.
  • New visitors numbers to show your scope of reach and growth. Continued growth proves that your client’s campaign has potential to move beyond your current loyal reader base.

Running a campaign: Build better distribution programs.

It’s important that your sponsored content connects with its intended audience so you can fulfill your promise to your advertisers. With’s content personalization, you can make sure your advertiser’s content gets the attention it deserves by optimizing its performance. Easily report on the performance of their campaign by using tags:

sponsored content tags

You can also optimize your efforts by tying off-site distribution to on site reader engagement. Show your partners the value of the promotion that comes along with their sponsored campaign through tracking.

With campaign tracking in, you can see which distribution efforts are the most successful in terms of on-site engagement. For example, which social media channel is most successful? Maybe more page views come in through Twitter but the visitors spending the most time with your sponsored post are arriving through LinkedIn.

Or, maybe you have multiple newsletters. Are readers coming to the sponsored post through the daily newsletter or a weekly topical newsletter? Based on the performance of your sponsored content across channels, you can adjust where you devote resources.

Reporting: Maintain transparency with clients and keep them happy.

Developing trust with an advertiser is key in maintaining their business. We’ve come up with two ways to help you do this (and save you time!):

  • One-click reporting: Set up a recurring or one-time report that can be customized for each sponsor. Have it emailed directly to them. The reporting suite is also a hub for sales managers and campaign managers who want to keep track of multiple campaigns at once, without logging into the dashboard.
  • Live, shareable links: Generate real-time updating links your clients can bookmark and refresh when they want to see how their campaign is performing. It doesn’t get more transparent than that!

how to generate a link in

Save time and streamline the sales process.

Your audience data in is an ideal place to uncover hidden sales opportunities and to create a hyper-relevant program for your prospect. You’re the person who knows the prospect best because you’ve been working with them on a deal or researched them so you can pitch them.

If time is money, there’s a benefit to using your audience data in that can’t be overlooked: instant accessibility. Waiting around for numbers from another team or analyst when you have a pitch deadline to meet for a prospect isn’t ideal. Next time you’re putting together a media kit or pitch deck, try grabbing these numbers from your dashboard to show off your competitive edge on your own.

Not a Analytics customer? Contact us here to get started.