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How Magazine Executives Can Deal with Their No. 1 Challenge in Native Advertising

Sep 15, 2016

The market for native advertising is growing rapidly and a headline on Business Insider recently read, 'Native advertising is the future of Internet marketing strategy'. But not all advertisers realize what native advertising requires to live up to its potential.

Magazine media executives see ‘Convincing advertisers to tell real stories’ as the biggest challenge regarding native advertising in a survey by Native Advertising Institute and FIPP among 140 magazine executives from across the globe.

But how can advertisers come to a better understanding of native advertising? Kolja Kleist from FOCUS Online and Christina Sauer of Vizeum share their insights.

We see slow changes

Kolja Kleist, Director Customer and Brand Management. Head of Brand Management FOCUS Online, Huffington Post, The Weather Channel.

Do you recognize the challenge of convincing advertisers to tell 'real' stories?

Absolutely, although we see slow changes among our clients due to better understanding of native advertising.

How have you dealt with these challenges and how do you suggest that publishers go about the 'convincing' of advertisers?

We have implemented a real time KPI Dashboard, where our clients can follow the performance of their articles directly besides that we give traffic garanties on our native pieces. Both helps us to make clients understand what is important and what not. If clients do not accept that we still have the chance of a) not giving traffic guarantee and b) marking the content as “advertising“ and not “sponsored content”.

Are there products or brands which are not fit for native advertising?

Nope, I would just say, that native advertising is quite complicated for Pharma Industries due to stricter rules of what they are allowed to do.

Training of sales team is mentioned as the second biggest challenge by magazine executives regarding native advertising. How do you approach this challenge - is it necessary to have a dedicated native sales team in your opinion?

Our team sells everything from native to video and display. But of course we help with our specialists from our partner studio and native product development at client/agency meetings.

What is the biggest challenge for native advertising in your opinion?

Being scalable, measurable and finding its role in classic media planning.

It can be a challenge

Christina Sauer Jørgensen is an expert in native solutions at Vizeum – a strategic agency.

Do you recognize the challenge of convincing advertisers to tell 'real' stories?

It is correct that it can be a challenge to convince customers to talk about the stories instead of only the product, though that is what we clearly recommend. However, we do see examples that are very focused on products and still manage to reach high engagement and time spent, though that generally requires the public is already familiar with the brand.

How have you dealt with this issue?

Generally, we introduce the customer to the editors of the media brand in question fairly early in the process. It seems more credible to customers that they hear what kind of content and approach readers respond to directly from the editors rather than from us.

Are there products or brands who are not fit for native advertising?

If consumers have an interest in the product and you can find the right platform and the right angle, I can’t see any problem. However there might be types of products that have very little involvement from the general reader or viewer. In that case it can definitely be tricky to do more broad scale native advertising.

Magazine executives also mention the 'creation of effective strategies' as a challenge. This is of course quite a big question to answer, but do you have a quick fix? 

“Stay true to the media” and work closely with the editorial staff on the native solutions and strategies that will provide the most effective solutions.

Don't miss: Native ad pioneer Melanie Deziel's best advice for convincing advertisers to tell real stories

Join us at Native Advertising Days on November 16th-17th where Jesper Laursen, CEO of Native Advertising Institute, will talk in depth about the findings in the survey. In attending the conference you will also be presented with inspirational cases, solid insights and actionable tools that you can take home and implement right away. Other speakers include Stephanie Losee, Head of Content at VISA, Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at Linkedin, Michael Villaseñor, Creative Director of Ad Innovation and Marketing at the New York Times, and Rebecca Lieb, Leading Industry Analyst on native Advertising.

Photo credit: Unsplash/James Zwadlo

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