Publishers and brands struggling with the performance of their native ads could take a few lessons from Upworthy.

After two years of building its traffic numbers, the mission-driven viral publisher is bringing that same level of performance to its branded content. Not only has its 4-month-old native ad business already attracted big brands like Unilever, Skype and CoverGirl, but Upworthy says that many of the brands’ native ads have outperformed its regular posts. Content from brands typically gets three times the shares and 3.5 times the pageviews, the site says. The numbers are similarly impressive on the engagement side, where branded posts get 2.9 times the attention time as regular editorial content.

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