How Native Content Delivers Long-Term Results [Case Study]

After eight years of the same advertising routine, Glenn Nystrup, owner of New Paltz-based Glenn’s Sheds, knew it was time to try something new.

Nystrup, a career math teacher who began designing and building open-air firewood sheds for homeowners in the Mid-Hudson Valley in 2012, had purchased display advertisements in Chronogram Media’s print and digital channels since the business launched. While he had seen success from the advertisements—plus word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers—Nystrup knew there was still an untapped opportunity to tell his story directly to potential customers.

That’s where the Chronogram Media team began the conversation about what native content could do for him. Native, a high-impact type of marketing that looks and feels like editorial, could expand Glenn’s Sheds’s reach by transforming the expertise behind Nystrup’s product and service into content that serves his marketing needs and is of interest to readers.  

Nystrup commissioned two digital native articles for 2020—both created by Chronogram Media’s native team in collaboration with him.

The result: Glenn’s Sheds achieved significant return on investment (ROI) and has now added an entirely new dimension to the customer journey that is informative, authoritative, and will last for years to come. 

Why Choose Native Content?

Native content has come a long way from the days of the advertorial. It’s no longer just the direct voice of the advertiser: It’s a creative collaboration between a brand and an expert publisher, engaging audiences with branded content in the publisher’s voice.

Why the change? Consumers today want to align themselves with brands that represent their shared ideals—from high-quality sourcing to environmental sustainability, commitments to the local community, and more.

By collaborating on native content with a publisher like Chronogram Media (with 25 years of experience connecting to audiences), brands create articles that readers engage with for months or years to come. 

Because of that longevity, native also optimizes your marketing costs because it has the power to reach your ideal customer long after a traditional advertising run

“Some people call and act as though they have already communicated with us because they’ve been receiving information that touches them. I think that’s huge. Once you have that, you have an avenue open for doing business together.”

Glenn's Sheds Owner Glenn Nystrup Tweet

Glenn’s Sheds Native Content Campaign

The two native articles Glenn’s Sheds commissioned were published in May and August 2020—coinciding with the business’s quieter periods. This allowed readers the opportunity to fully engage with and digest the content, then reach out to Nystrup when the time was right for them both. 

The May article—“An Elegant Equation: These Wood Sheds Combine Design and Mathematical Precision”—dives into the history behind the business and its owner, Glenn Nystrup. It also explains to readers the value of using a built-for-purpose firewood shed, as well as the quality of work that goes into each design.  

The August Chronogram native article created with Glenn’s Sheds

The August article—”The Wood-Burning Lifestyle: How to Dry, Stack, and Store Firewood Like a Pro”—goes deeper into the art of using firewood. The article provides readers with practical, educational content while continuing to reinforce Glenn’s Sheds as trustworthy, authoritative, and importantly for many people, local.  

Both articles are permanently hosted on Chronogram.com and received distribution in Chronogram Media’s Eat.Play.Stay email newsletter to an audience of over 30,000 readers. 

In the months since publication, the Glenn’s Shed’s articles simultaneously increased brand awareness and translated to business won. 

“Some people call and act as though they have already communicated with us because they’ve been receiving information that touches them,” says Nystrup. “I think that’s huge. Once you have that, you have an avenue open for doing business together.”

Glenn’s Sheds Native Content Results 

The May article for Glenn's Sheds has a "long tail" of page views on Chronogram.com that will continue to deliver monthly click-throughs to GlennsSheds.com.

The two articles generated the following results for GlennsSheds.com:

  • Approximately 700 click-throughs from people who are serious, qualified leads.
  • Visitors spent an average of 4 minutes on the site.
  • Visitors viewed 2.9 pages per visit.
  • About 20% of those visitors made direct contact to get more information and ask for a quote.
  • Inquiries converted to about 10 sales, yielding a 12 times return on investment.

Since both articles will live permanently on Chronogram.com, they will continue to receive traffic, providing a long-lasting foundation for the brand’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. When potential customers search for Glenn’s Sheds online, Chronogram Media’s content will be there to reinforce the brand’s messaging.

“Everyone thinks it’s nice to buy local, but when they get to see who this local business is, a certain level of trust is developed with that,” says Nystrup. “These pieces really make the product hit home for people, so it’s already that much easier to bring that product into their home.”

What's Next? 

Publication is just the start of the journey. 

Since the Glenn’s Sheds native articles are evergreen (meaning they contain information that is always topical), they can be leveraged to provide results for future promotional and brand awareness campaigns. Glenn’s Sheds now has two well-written, authoritative articles that are ready for sharing with the brand’s own audience of past and future customers or distributing through Chronogram Media’s wider network of media channels.  

According to Chronogram Media’s Senior Sales Manager, Lisa Montanaro, “In addition to our owned and operated channels where you can read about the Glenn Sheds story, we can amplify the reach of these native articles by sending them to others’ media channels. This would make the Glenn’s Sheds articles appear seamlessly in digital publications from Time, Buzzfeed, Entrepreneur, Axios, and People.”  

For these two articles, Montanaro recommends the following distribution plan to continue to drive traffic to this valuable content and increase Glenn’s Sheds’s brand awareness: 

    1. Develop a schedule to share the articles on the Glenn’s Sheds social media channels. 
    2. Share the articles with the Glenn’s Sheds email subscriber list. 
    3. Create a blog post on the Glenn’s Sheds website with a link to the post along with any other press appearances.
    4. Distribute the articles through another one of Chronogram Media’s channels like Upstater, whose audience focuses on new homeowners and residents. 
    5. Distribute the articles to a geo-targeted audience of regional homeowners through the above national channels, which Chronogram Media has available through our media partner, ITZ on Target.

When combined, this blend of brand and publisher-led tactics can dramatically extend the reach of the Glenn’s Sheds native articles—introducing the brand to new audiences and delivering customers for years to come.

Want to learn how you can get the most out of your native content? We’re covering best practices for planning, sharing, and extending the reach of your investment in native—plus examples from other brands that knock native content out the park—in a January 21 virtual session for advertisers. Register here!

 

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