Collaboration is the keyword for native advertising, if you ask the Director of Schibsted Brand Studio & Insights, Josefine Kvarnström. If we don’t work together and create win-win-win situation, there’s a risk that native advertising will suffer the same fate as display ads.
We interviewed Josefine Kvarnström when she attended Native Advertising DAYS 2017.
I think that good native advertising and the characteristics of that is to have a win-win-win connection.
Creating a win-win-win situation
“What characterises good native advertising is that it has to have a win-win-win connection.
This means: Working towards the audience so that they engage with the content, writing content that has the same tone and voice as the editorial content on a publisher site, and also, of course, creating content that really works for the customer.
When you get that win-win-win then it’s a good campaign. If you only do content that people are engaged with, but don’t understand is from a brand, then the brand will not be satisfied with the campaign.
This win-win-win is quite tricky to do, of course. But you have to start with your audience because those are the ones that will engage with your content. And then you have to be good at listening to the customer and what they want. But also get the customer to listen to you as a publisher so you will get that nice mix.”
If you want to engage with an audience on a publisher platform, you really have to listen to and trust the publisher.
“Creating good stories isn’t easy. Working as a journalist you need to have — at least in Sweden — three years of education at a university and I think you have to respect that when working with native advertising or content marketing as a customer.
If you want to engage with an audience on a publisher platform, you really have to listen to and trust the publisher so that you get the tone and the type of content that works for that platform.
If you are working with content on your own web page then, of course, the users that visit your web page know that it’s your content and write the content as you want. But if you would like to be seen on a publisher’s new site, it needs to be like the publishers other content. Otherwise, it won’t work.
You can see that a lot of brands are hiring journalists and I think that’s a good way of doing it. But if you want to do content that really works on a specific newspaper then you need to listen to that publisher and get the tips and tricks from the brand studio, for example, at the publishers.”
We also need to be bold to say no to some campaigns. To say that we can’t publish a piece because the client won’t get the results that they want.
Be bold enough to say no to clients
“I think one of the biggest challenges is that you are so into your brand and you love your brand so much that you forget the audience. You forget what is interesting for the reader.
You have to start with that, you have to start with the reader. You have to take a step back and look at your brand from an outer perspective than the ones you look at when you are within your company. That can be quite hard. And it can be hard when a publisher says that an idea that you have as the customer isn’t really gonna work. No one will read it.
As a publisher or as someone working within a brand studio, we need to be good at explaining to our customers why one thing will work and another thing won’t work. We also need to be bold to say no to some campaigns. To say that we can’t publish a piece because the client won’t get the results that they want. This is the only way to make native sustainable and to keep it a good way of doing advertisement.”
There’s a risk that with native advertising will have the same destiny as display ads.
Native advertising could have the same destiny as display ads
“I think we really need to work together. I think that is the main thing we need to focus on. We need to respect each other and we need to listen to each other.
If we don’t do that I think there’s a risk that with native advertising will have the same destiny as display ads. Because if we don’t do engaging content for our customers, and no one will engage in it, no will click on it, or no one will watch their video, then we’ll walk the same path as we have done with the display ads.
The first display ad, I think, had a CTR of like 40 percent, and now we’re down to 0.000. So we need to be very very careful with the native advertisements.
I think we need to see this as an opportunity to do more intelligent ads, but also respect our readers even more than we did with the display ads.”
Publishers really need to focus more on education and to prove for the customer that this really works.
We have to work together
“To be better with native advertisements or to work better together for a brand and a publisher, I think that publishers really need to focus more on education and to prove for the customer that this really works. You have to take the customer in your hand and show them the way and get them to trust you.
As a brand, I think it all starts with the trust as well. To listen to what the publisher has to say, maybe to lose some control.
Of course, we would love the customers to spend more money on native advertising and to put more of their budgets to that area. But I I understand that native advertising is quite new for a lot of customers. There are a lot of big customers that have tried it, but for the middle or the small businesses, I understand that it might feel a bit frightened to try this kind of advertisement. But I think we’ll keep on growing.
I think that is what we’ll see. I hope that there will still be a big focus on quality. I think it’s a risk with programmatic native and so on, that the quality will decrease and I don’t think that will be good for publishers.”