Why It’s Just the Beginning of the Native Advertising Surge (And that’s A Good thing for Publishers)
For many years, it seemed like publishers couldn’t catch a break. The Great Recession coincided perfectly with the disruption caused by online media and accelerated the decline of print revenue. Any dream of replacing premium print ad revenue with online ad revenue has remained just that: a dream.
I’m not by nature an optimist, but I think the tables are turning back into publishers’ favor and native advertising is one of the key components in our changing fortunes. And there are two trends that are pushing native advertising on an upward trajectory.
Content Marketing Works So Marketers Will Invest More in It
First there is the rise of content marketing: Because content marketing continues to prove effective, marketers will increasingly use content to engage with their target customers and inspire them to action.
Last fall I attended the Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing Master Class, and it’s clear from sitting in a room with about 100 marketers, that this is where they’re headed. The message was repeated: Stop measuring the impact of marketing by volume (clicks, leads, impressions, followers, likes, retweets, etc.), and start asking how many of the right people am I reaching?
Publisher Can Use Their Data to Drive Marketers’ Objectives
I truly believe that data has become publishers’ new best friend. Because marketers are getting better and better at measuring the impact of their marketing efforts, smart marketers will recognize that what matters is the quality, not the quantity, and that creating value for their target audience will yield quality results.
On the other side of the data coin is publishers’ increased ability to measure engagement, segment, and target their audiences. Publishers are better equipped to make the argument and demonstrate that engagement – not clicks or pageviews -- is what truly makes their audiences valuable to marketers.
1 + 1 = 2
Because digital native content is very measurable and because it capitalizes on publishers’ credibility, storytelling and subject matter expertise, it falls directly into a sweet spot for publishers and marketers.
Native is Custom & Custom is Hard Work
Of course, there are challenges. If it was all cream cheese, we wouldn’t be holding executive summits and webinars on native advertising. There is plenty of brain power that needs to be expended on making native advertising work.
Native Advertising puts stress on many parts of the publishing organization and challenges people to do new things and use new skills – from personnel to workflow, from accounting to production, from technology to sales and client relations. It challenges long-held notions of church and state.
Here’s how we’ve covered the challenge recently:
- 4 Tips for Executing Complex Native Advertising Campaigns
- Hard Fact: Native Ads Need to Be Customized to Client, Audience & Publisher Needs
- 5 Mistakes Publishers Make With Native AdvertisingHybrid Staffing Key to Wired’s High-Quality Native Content
- 3 Ways to Ensure Native Advertising Doesn’t Self-Destruct
- The Next Wave of Native: Content, Audience Data & Lead Gen Rolled Into One
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.