9 native advertising experts explain the popularity of native advertising – and 1 disbeliever tears it apart [1:10]

By Stine F. Mathiasen, Head of Content & Creative at Benjamin_Creative
May 26, 2015

We have said it so many times that, by now, we are almost (just, almost!) tired of repeating ourselves. But that doesn't make it less true: Native advertising is THE thing right now. But why is that so? And how do you become successful in your work with native advertising? Instead of us babbling away with our own answers, we want to take it to the next level, and let some of the absolute experts in native advertising give us the answers.

We have asked nine great native advertising experts about the popularity of the discipline, and will publish their answers here on the blog, one by one. And at the very end – to try and balance out the 'hallelujah' feel of native advertising on this blog. We will also let one disbeliever of native advertising speak his/her mind. So stay tuned, and follow our new miniseries here. Let us introduce the very first expert. Please welcome ...:

Russell Oakley

Russell Oakley

Russell is Head of Business Development at ONE TWO FOUR, which is an international content company based in London with several offices in England, USA and Abu Dhabi. At ONE TWO FOUR, they are working with content strategy and production and also native advertising for clients such as Levi's, Philips, BBC World News, Audi and lots of others world wide companies.

Why is native advertising so popular?

"Digital content continues to become more easily accessible, more creatively formed and utterly compelling for readers and viewers. The choice for consumers has become so expansive that brands and organisations must find new ways to attract attention and engage their audiences. As a result the lines between advertising, PR, entertainment and communications are blurring and brands have realised that if you can’t beat them, join them. Use native advertising!
By naturally integrating relevant content into our online experiences, native ads can significantly increase the engagement and effectiveness of a brands campaigns. If done badly it can infuriate the reader or viewer, jarring their experience and leave a terrible taste in the mouth. However if done well, it can appear completely seamless, a natural place for that content to sit and the passport that allows the advertiser to feature right in the slip stream of content that the reader/viewer naturally wants to consume. And this is why native advertising has become so popular."

How do you succeed with native advertising?

"There is a unique skill to matching branded content to the environment in which it sits so that the reader/viewer engages with the content as they would with an unbranded piece.
Firstly to earn and maintain the trust of the viewer or reader, the brand must be transparent and honest about the fact that they are there in the first place. Ultimately if they brand is creating content that fits naturally in this environment that it is most likely going to be content that the reader or viewer will be interested in anyway regardless of whether it is sponsored or not.
Secondly the integration of the advert onto the platform on which it sits should feel both natural and on occasion creative in order to be transparent and not covert.
This might be brand funded documentary content on YouTube or a sponsored “Top 20 list” on Buzzfeed.
And finally the content produced should be of a sufficient editorial or production quality that it warrants the reader or viewers’ attention. The most successful brands using native advertising are the ones who are becoming thought leaders. The brands who are pushing boundaries, doing the unexpected, getting people thinking, providing value to the target audience and creating talking points rather than talking about themselves, are the brands who are winning overview the consumer, creating recall and ultimately a path to further engagement and purchase."

Stay tuned for part 2 of this miniseries next week. This time with the expert, Dale Lovell, who is Content & Publishing Director at Adyoulike.

Russell Oakley from ONE TWO FOUR is one of many great experts and keynote speakers at the Native Advertising Days, October 19th - 20th, 2015 in Copenhagen.

In her position as Head of Content & Creative, Stine is responsible for every piece of quality content the bureau creates. Starting out as a journalist, Stine worked for years at various interior magazines, as well as editing the home and design sections of some of Denmark’s most-read daily papers. Because of her strong will to develop and nurture projects from scratch, she has been on board Aller Media’s office of innovation. Here, she helped develop a lifestyle magazine for the Japanese market. In recent years, Stine helped initiate the Native Advertising Institute’s blog. Today, in her position at the fast-growing content marketing bureau Benjamin_Creative, she produces content and native ads for a large and diverse group of clients — from big shopping malls to even bigger design brands.

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