10 Quick Take-Aways from Native Advertising DAYS 2018

By Stine F. Mathiasen, Head of Content & Creative at Benjamin_Creative
Nov 20, 2018


450 participants from 45 different countries attended Native Advertising DAYS 2018 in Berlin. Were you not there? Despair not, I'll give you 10 quick take-aways from my participation:

1. Traditional journalism FTW!

"Good journalism - branded or not - can encourage and inspire people. Brands need to be brave and put money into traditional journalism instead of mediocre advertising. In that way, we can preserve journalism and thereby also the audience that the media outlets have already created - and that brands want to impact."

Fara Warner, keynote speaker, author and journalist for the Wall Street Journal.

2. Use different kinds of articles

"Product-based articles definitely strengthen brands the most. However, they have a harder time capturing the attention of readers based on the headline itself - emotion-based articles are better at that. The product-based articles hit the readers at a later stage of the purchasing funnel. Using different kinds of articles is the optimal approach towards hitting the target group at all stages of the purchasing funnel."

Alexander Frid Kahn, Creative Specialist, Content marketing at Schibsted Brand Studio, who has prepared what they are calling the world's largest native advertising study, 'Schibsted Native Study'.

3. The recipe for a successful content production - here you go!

"The recipe reads as follows: timing, people, the unexpected, context, similarity and reliable sources.

Timing: The content is about something that is going on at the moment, it's relevant and it's current.

People: Use real people in the content.

The unexpected: The content surprises people - perhaps it also presents something novel.

RELATED: How Publishers Can Learn More About Users to Create Better Content

Context: The content fits the context it appears in. If the context is lifestyle, then do something lifestyle-related. If the context is news, then do something news-related.

Similarity: You might also call it identification; if you're selling cars, for example, then don't use product images taken in the Alps if the car is going to be sold in Denmark - use local images.

Reliable sources: Inspired by journalism, use relevant and credible sources for your content." 

Alexander Frid Kahn, Creative Specialist, Content marketing at Schibsted Brand Studio.

4. More reasons why journalists are the big thing in native advertising at the moment!

&Co is behind the campaigns, 'Det, vi deler' ('What we share') for TV2, 'DNA Journey' for Momondo, 'The Arrivals' for SAS and 'The Indoor Generation' for Velux.

These are successful campaigns that all have one thing in common: they are highly emotionally charged and they have something to say about a societal context. They have something to say about where society is going right now, and that's something that people feel like talking about and sharing.

RELATED: Native Advertisers Must Learn to Collaborate to Make Great Journalism

People want to see stories that resonate with who they are and where the world is headed right now. Journalists are the best people to work with native advertising in this way because, with their education and background, they're used to writing their articles based on the context of what's going on in society.

Ordinary marketing people don't think along those lines."

Morten Saxnæs, Head of Brand Activation and Social at &Co.

5. Spread your content

"We gave our content to other media, they added their spin to it, and that allowed our content to spread even further. For example, Velux's 'The Indoor Generation' reached a huge audience through both VitalThread and 'I fucking love science' on Facebook.

Brands shouldn't be so scared of having the conversation take place outside of their own platforms. As long as it takes place."

Morten Saxnæs, Head of Brand Activation and Social at &Co

6. Make your customers feel unique

"We've been through 'The Age of Manufacturing', 'The Age of Distribution', 'The Age of Information' and now we've reached 'The Age of the Customer'. It's fair to say that in this 'age', native advertising has something in common with startup companies.

RELATED: A Truly Excellent Concept Needs Creative Space, Distribution and Optimisation

When you are in the process of creating a new company, then, generally speaking, you'll be extremely focused on solving customers' problems. And we can learn something from that: always keep the focus on the customer.

The customers remember how you made them feel - so make them feel unique. Content that stirs something inside of them is 'I see you' content."

Johannes Ceh, keynote speaker and Management Consultant.

7. Remember to make it clear who the sender is

"Our large Science of Memory study clearly revealed that transparency equalled commitment. You lost people if they weren't sure what brand was behind the content that they were reading or watching. The uncertainty stuck with them, and that's what they remembered."

Richard Pattinson, Senior Vice President, BBC Global News, BBC StoryWorks.

8. Emotions make people remember your content

"Memory is important for branded content, and emotions are the most important driver of memory. This applies to all emotions, so there's no such thing as 'negative emotions' in the context of activating memory. The most important thing is how intense the emotions are. The more intense the emotions, the more the receiver will remember the brand behind them.

When you add the emotional aspect to your content, then it's about impacting the receiver early on in the content, and it's about impacting them often. Then, right after you've got an emotional response from your receiver, there's a window for memory - so that's when you need to present your brand."

Richard Pattinson, Senior Vice President, BBC Global News, BBC StoryWorks, who has prepared the 'Science of Memory' study.

9. The value of a brand is everything

"The digital development has changed everything. It's changed human behaviour, as we now have access to everything online. Stores and opening hours are meaningless now since we can just go online and buy the things we need.

RELATED: Why Honesty Is the Key to Successful Native Advertising

Therefore, the value of your brand is also everything - because we just go online and search for a brand when we want to buy something, and we buy based on past experiences, our mood and based on who happens to be right there when we are ready to buy.

So maybe we shouldn't try so hard to change decisions, but rather, we should try to be a step ahead so that we're in the right place when that decision and that purchase is actually made."

Brandon Keenen, Senior Digital Commercial Director, CNN.

10. How you can convince your management team to begin creating content

"If you need to sell the idea of creating content marketing and native advertising to your top management team, then I would always go back to the numbers. That's the world they understand.

Then it's also important to make them see that it's not an exercise that'll pay for itself in a day and that it's not always about hardcore sales. What also works quite often is to say that the competition is about to do so - have you heard that..."

David Beebe, Emmy-winning content producer and brand storyteller.

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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