Breakfast Club #10: Make Your Content Count

Key learnings from our recent Revolt Breakfast Club — a monthly talk focusing on a specific topic, aiming to inspire, educate and encourage discussion about the ever-changing digital landscape. The topic of this month was native advertising, introduced by Virgil Nicholas, a digital entrepreneur who is currently the Head of Branded Content at JP/Politikens Hus’ Format. The talk focused on the possibilities of creating content that delivers value for both the user and the brand through native advertising.

With the prioritisation of video in the marketing world, we have seen branded video content rocketing online. Nevertheless, along with this shift in content formats, the performance of traditional, more interruptive media tactics are plunging.

Native advertising has emerged as the convergence between quality brand video content, and the changing media ad consumption habits of consumers.

That’s why many marketers are opting for native advertising, a form of paid media advertising that allows them to promote their brand into the seamless experience of consuming content of a site in a visually integrated, choice-based and inherently non-interruptive way.

CONTENT and CONTEXT are key

Virgil brought two examples of great native advertising that excelled at understanding the importance of balancing content and context:

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This native ad for Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” was one of the first projects from T Brand Studio, The New York Times’ native ad shop
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Native ad for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Vanity Fair

Both cases represent a win of native advertising, where the brand’s story and tone of voice fit perfectly with the format and the medium.

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Virgil Nicholas taking the audience through some great native advertising cases

As Virgil mentioned, the benefits of advertising this way are clear, starting with the bigger value it provides to the audience and the consequent higher trust it builds, followed by improved engagement and incremental brand loyalty.

“So, once I’ve decided whether native advertising fits in your brand’s content marketing strategy — where do I go from here?”. You, fellow marketing friend, might be asking yourself.

We have some tips you can bring into action once you’ve decided native advertising is the right tactic to achieve your brand’s specific objectives:

1. Pick your brand’s content

Keeping your brand’s core values in mind, scan your brand and look for the topics that could be interesting for your target audience. Basically, package your brand as a story.

2. Decide what context would be a good fit for your brand

Look for the outlets available and reach out to mould your brand’s message in the ones that are most relevant.

3. Clear labelling is a rule, not an exception

Advertisers must always remember that the core essence of native ads is to provide a decisively seamless experience to users, and not to trick them. Lack of transparency about these commercial collaborations would break the trust consumers and call the credibility of both the brand and the medium into question.

4. Don’t give the medium too many guidelines or constraints

Otherwise, it becomes an advertorial, and you’d be walking away from native advertising. Respect the creative direction from the medium you choose to put your brand in.

5. Appropriate distribution and smart targeting

Agree with the medium a strong distribution and targeting plan so the content is seen by as many of your target audience as possible.

6. Combine native advertising with alternatives

Native should be one of the tactics of a holistic strategy that also takes invests in other forms of advertising.

As always, make sure you have your tools in place to measure the performance and the impact of your native advertising initiatives.

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