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'Brands Need to Understand That Native Advertising Is Not About Instant Results'

Oct 18, 2017

What is the secret to good native advertising? What is the biggest challenge for native advertising? And what is the future of native advertising?

We ask the world's leading native advertising specialists in our short form video series #NativeAdSecrets.

Here, Tim Cain, Owner of Digital First Media Ltd, who was a speaker at the Native Advertising DAYS 2016. 

The secret to good native advertising is...

Firstly it's about understanding. Understanding the audience, knowing who they are, knowing how they consume.

It's about being relevant and it's about making sure that the content that's provided actually meets the needs of that audience.

It's about being engaging. Engaging is having that audience actually interested in what they're reading.

It's also about being multi-channel. In other words, no audience exists in one place and one place alone. Being able to reach that audience on another platform is incredibly important.

And finally, it's about value and reward so that that audience actually feels that they're getting something, that they're learning something, or they're finding out something they didn't know. Something interesting from that piece of content.

They're my keys for success.

I think one of the greatest challenges for native advertising has to be about brands thinking long term and not short term.

The biggest challenge for native advertising is...

I think one of the greatest challenges for native advertising has to be about brands thinking long term and not short term.

So native advertising for a direct sales message isn't the right medium to achieve that. It's about building a relationship, it's about building an interest, and doing that over a period of time.

And I think trying to convince brands that actually it's not about instant results, but ultimately the results will be there if you pursue this more subtle approach. That's probably the biggest challenge.

We know that people do not like sales messages in native advertising. Research has proven that if that message is too obvious to avert if it offers money off if it offers discounts, if it offers a certain price then it becomes a sales message. An ad in disguise. And the audience doesn't like things that are in disguise, they don't like being duped.

RELATED: The Standard for Native Ads are Almost Higher Than for Journalism

So definitely it's about trying to change that mindset and that attitude as to how their long-term is more effective.

And the other challenge as well is a challenge around reach. Being able to reach the audience and its scale in the right places. There's a challenge about being able to produce good content and the cost of producing it.

And the other key challenge is one of measurement. So being able to provide evidence that there is a positive effect from the native advertising which means that the brand returns and continues to do that rather than relying on metrics like click-through rate which frankly don't really prove very much these days.

We're going to see a lot more creativity, we're going to see more visual content.

The future of native advertising is...

The future of native advertising is actually very bright.

We've seen audiences change their opinions of advertising, we've seen traditional advertising is considered to be bland in many circumstances. We've seen the rise of ad blocking which has caused a problem for the industry, so we can look at native advertising as a positive solution which makes the commercial messaging much more interesting. It's presented in a better style and we think that it's a growing opportunity within the advertising world.

RELATED: The Future Is Content You Can Interact With

Also, the future is bright because we're going to see a lot more creativity, we're going to see more visual content, and I think what we will see is shareable, short, and visual as being the keywords for the kind of advertising content that is going to work effectively going forward.

And I think that labelling is crucial, making the audience understand the source of the information and why it's there. We'll give it that kind of let's say positive support which will mean that they will want to engage with it.

So I think we can see quite a bright future for native.

DOWNLOAD: Native Advertising Trends 2017 - The Magazine Industry


Johanne Eliasson is the former editor of the Native Advertising Institute.

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