`Native adverting` sounds intriguing , but isn`t it really just new terminology for advertorial or client sponsored content, which has been used widely in b2b journals and b2c magazines? What is new, however, is that there are now so many ways to deliver this.
I`m talking about the ever widening options of print advertorial, digital journal advertorial, website `contributions`, sponsored blogs, videos, still images, articles and social media posts and more.
So, how are we supposed to approach all these opportunities and get the most out of them?
Key principles still apply
You, of course, still have to make judgements based on the type of product or service, the nature of the market, the different stages in the sales funnel and the creative needs of your messages.In getting real, maybe we need to remind ourselves of the essentials – that even more careful and intelligent planning is now necessary, that producing high-quality material is essential …and putting it in the right environment is still key!
a)Planning – I`m beginning to feel turned-off by the `customer journey` terminology that is so prevalent at the moment, but the `mix` does come down to the way that the researching, buying and after-sales process works in each particular marketplace. Using the right combination of activities for each stage now needs a lot more thought than it used to. And, as `content` is considered much more credible than advertising (57% against 10% in a 2013 survey by `Seven`, a content marketing publisher), it`s much more likely to be valued.
b)High quality content – It really is worth investing in professional writers for, at least, some of your advertorial and blogs, not only from the media `acceptance` standpoint, but also because it`s going to reflect on your brand and it`s values. Don`t underestimate the power and authority of insightful, informative, professionally written and honest copy. Then, although professional photography and video can be expensive, it will be a great investment if done right – really transforming both the impact of your material and contributing greatly to the creation/maintenance of a valuable personality for your brand (OK, your own photographic output can be good too, but… ).
c) Environment – Just ask the right questions to ensure that you place your content in a magazine/journal/website that the reader trusts and that is going to adhere to the editorial and legal requirements that are not always applied online. And this will also help assure you that your messages should be alongside other credible content that won`t damage your brand reputation by association.
Why buy into the idea of native?
We all know that buyers are now incredibly receptive to the many forms of information that are going to help them form an opinion and move them forward in their appraisals and decision-making and using the editorial style and credibility of print and online media could offer you many advantages.
Dudley Masters, Account Director, Acumen Marketing Communications,
Sevenoaks, Kent. 01732 456444