During the last week, there’s been a lively conversation on Twitter around #nativeadvertising. Much of it was sparked by a recent webcast from the Altimeter Group’s Rebecca Lieb. Detractors seem to think that native advertising is simply a dressed up form of advertorial. However, if you give Lieb’s presentation a closer reading, you’ll see why it pays to understand the nuances at work here.
So what is native advertising? Lieb defines it as: “a form of converged media that combines paid and owned media into a form of commercial messaging that is fully integrated into and often unique to a specific delivery platform.”
Let’s break it down. Converged media, also coined by the Altimeter Group, refers to the increasing intersection of paid, owned and earned media practice. Lieb looks at native advertising as primarily falling into the paid and owned territories, while she was careful to comment in her webcast that earned media certainly comes into play in amplifying native advertising campaigns.
Brands, agencies and content creators have a huge stake in the emerging trend of native advertising. In fact, it’s becoming so prevalent that the FCC has scheduled hearings in December to study this issue. Lieb predicted FCC disclosure guidelines for native advertising to come in the near future.
Lieb’s insight for all of us is that native advertising is specific to a platform, and as marketers, we need to be fully aware of how our commercial messaging adapts, changes and can resonate within the many platforms available to us. A few tips:
- Commercial messaging, and more importantly our CTA, in a sponsored tweet will read quite differently in a sponsored update on LinkedIn, and morphs yet again when presented as a sponsored article that appears among the headlines on Forbes.com.
- That strategic thinking we apply to any campaign should be present in the native advertising space as well.
- Lieb emphasized that cross-training between media disciplines is needed now more than ever. I’m certainly finding that in practice at CMD, native advertising may be sold by CPM, but it’s rooted in content creation and almost always requires repackaging from editorial teams.
Native advertising resources:
- Take a look at new syndication services, like two-year-old Nativo
- Sharethrough’s native advertising sponsored content leaderboard – it’s a great place to see what the big brands are doing
- Altimeter Group’s full report on native advertising, including a list of vendors
- Altimeter Group’s discussion of converged media
So do you view your work as part of native advertising? In what ways?