Afar Magazine, which originated as a print magazine during the recession, views advertising programs like Afar Journeys as part of its evolution as a media property.
Half its revenue comes from digital. It’s also had success with content licensing (like Westin Finds, which encourages guests to extend their stays by showcasing scenery around their hotels) and custom content it produces on behalf of advertisers.
“Out of our top 10 advertisers on Afar.com, eight of the 10 were doing a mix of native and traditional display advertising,” Kinkade said.
But these same advertisers also want measurement, be that destination lift, clicks, or requesting information, so Afar included that ability in the design of this native program.
“When we do brand recall studies, engagement with native solutions is as high or higher than editorial,” Kinkade said. “That complements the run-of-site display advertiser we’re doing, where it’s used to drive eyeballs.”
The Afar Journeys program fits with how Switzerland Tourism’s preference for custom advertising that elicits results.
Switzerland Tourism focuses on eight KPIs, from audience engagement with advertising to newer direct-response measurements like itinerary bookings.
The company’s studies, conducted every couple of years, shows that advertising influences a seventh to a sixth of all bookings to Switzerland, Herrmann said. And now it can measure how a single campaign moves the needle in travel bookings.