How to succeed in native advertising

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Dale Lovell of Adyoulike explains how to embrace native advertising in your business and how to deal with objections to the vastly growing native advertising industry.

Embrace technology

To be a successful native advertiser you need the right mindset which is understanding the feed, understanding content, understanding advertising and really embracing technology and programmatic. Really the convergence of creativity, storytelling and technology and data that is now available with programmatic native means that you as a marketer have a real key for success.

Be a pioneer

The mindset that marketers need to adopt is really a kind of pioneering spirit. They need to effectively almost be startups within their own organisations. Native advertising is a new ad medium, or relatively new for a lot of businesses. You need to embrace the opportunity and really think of yourselves as change agents within your organisation; whether that’s a small business or a very large organisation, you need to have that pioneering spirit and really go at the root of what you’re looking to achieve.

The social media feed is the new TV

If you look back to the sixties and seventies, your audience congregated around the TV set. They sat there, they watched TV, they were captured audiences engaging with content that was kind of pushed down towards them for eight-nine hours a day.

TV viewing as a whole has declined over the last few years and where has it declined to? Where has it moved to? It has moved to the [social media] feed. You engage with your phone or you look at your phone on average 51 times a day and I think that’s probably too low for the Millennial audiences. It’s probably more like a 150 times a day. And ultimately that is where you’re engaging with content and with feeds. So that is where your audience is these days.

Native can be a standalone product for advertisers

Native certainly can stand alone. If you look at big publisher entities that are embracing native like BuzzFeed, which is a 100% native advertising business, it certainly can stand alone. That’s not to disparage display and other forms of of online advertising. They all have a place in the marketing mix, but ultimately native advertising over the last few years has matured and really is a kind of standalone product for major advertisers around the world.”

Dealing with objections to native

The first step is to quote the fact that the market [for native advertising] is going to be worth $85.5bn by 2020, so that sometimes engenders change within an organisation. The main objections that you see to native are around editorial control for brands, for publishers. As an industry we’re pretty good at self-regulating that and really as a market as a whole we work through those objections from that side of things.

Another kind of objection really is labelling and disclosure. The market is very evolved on that side of things. Platforms like Adyoulike would never integrate with a publisher without full disclosure, so that it’s ‘sponsored by’, ‘promoted by’ or ‘advertisement’ which we are increasingly using. From our point of view that’s a given. It’s the law as much as anything and then really you can’t run a campaign without [labelling]. I think once publishers and advertisers can understand that, they can realise where it fits really.”

There are some objections to particular types of native advertising. The native product pyramid from a publisher landscape is very much that you’ve got your premium native product; which is publisher created content on behalf of a brand, written in the publishers tone of voice, more often than not clearly labeled, clearly sponsored, and then you have native display in-feed units which are very much delivered at scale; primarily kind of promoted branded content that has been created by a brand across publisher environments, and then in the bottom of the pyramid you have the content recommendation units, which most people, most publishers are familiar with.

There’s a place for all of those within the native product set. Really it’s about an educational piece when you talk through these points with people that object to native advertising. Then they kind of understand the ecosystem a little bit more.

Dale Lovell, co-founder, Adyoulike

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