Three Lessons About Native Advertising
Native advertising – attempts to integrate ad units more seamlessly into websites – has emerged as a major trend for newspaper and magazine publishers in the US, operating in an increasingly competitive digital market.
It’s still early days for this phenomenon in Asia, but it will become more common as digital spend expands, increasing pressure on traditional revenue.
Here are three points that will shape future development, taken from a webinar held this morning by the Society of Publishers in Asia in collaboration with Asia Media Journal.
Brands are actively interested
The proliferation of online choice has provided advertisers with more ways to engage consumers than ever.
At the same time however, this fragmentation makes it more difficult for messages to cut through, encouraging marketers to seek out more effective methods.
“With the developments in digital advertising, we’re getting less and less engagement now because of all the clutter,” said Ricky Baizas, social media specialist in the US for FMCG giant Nestle.
“This is happening so fast,” he added. “It is very important to partner with publishers, in collaboration with our media agencies, so they can walk us through all the possibilities.”
It is not the same as content marketing
While content remains key, native ads are really about location, placing them “in the natural flow of discovery for a reader,” noted Sebastian Tomich, VP advertising for The New York Times.
“We are working with marketers, where we have provided them with new areas of the site to promote their content,” Tomich explained.
“Separately, for their content marketing efforts, we have provided a new team of journalists that are separate from our newsroom, a commercial group we call our content studio where we provide expertize in various industries to help marketers create better content.”
Clashes between brands and publishers are inevitable
The ramifications for editorial integrity have already generated plenty of debate in the US.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this also emerged as a topic of interest for webinar attendees.
Different publishers are trying out different approaches, making it hard for the industry as a whole to pin down what native advertising actually is.
Nonetheless, buyers and sellers are keen to test the ground.
The New York Times, which has adopted strict rules of disclosure and quality control, has already turned away prospective campaigns since launching its offer at the start of the year.
“If the idea is to sell products and goods, content might not be the best avenue to do that,” Tomich said. “It’s a storytelling platform.”
The full webinar, including the outlook for Asia and what impact native advertising will have on the whole media plan, can be accessed here.
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