Brands, as well as publishers, have to understand the value of content and understand the expectations of the audience.
One of the biggest challenges to native advertising has to do with the client-side, says Daniel Mandell, Chief Revenue Officer at Reuters, who leads the full-service custom content studio, Reuters Plus.
“The marketers have to be re-educated and brands, as well as publishers, have to understand the value of content and understand the expectations of the audience,” he says.
And he is not the only one who believes that clients need some education. But how can we educate them? And educate them about what exactly?
According to Daniel Mandell, case studies and sitting down with marketers with the entire team is a great place to start.
“We’re not always using salespeople to talk to the CMOs about partnerships. We’re engaging the whole team, including the people who are actually creating the content and distribution strategies.”
We invite practitioners from all over the world to talk about native advertising and content marketing.
At StoryLabs, the in-house brand marketing unit of Summit Media, one of the leading magazine publishers in the Philippines, they believe that educating the clients about native advertising requires an entire strategy of its own.
This is how Christine Sandejas, Group Publisher at Summit Media explains it:
“For starters, Summit Media holds annual digital marketing conferences for our advertising partners. We invite practitioners from all over the world to talk about native advertising and content marketing. We also conduct storytelling and insight-mining workshops for selected clients in their offices and equip our account executives with education materials to help advertisers and brands embrace native advertising, whether they’re new to the product or not,” she says.
They need to educate clients, guide them on briefs, be realistic about what can be achieved in the proposed turn around times.
Claire Austin, Content Marketing Evangelist at Linkedin, also believes that brands have a lot to learn.
“Brands have the upper hand and agencies are letting them get away with sloppy briefs, ridiculous turn around times, and price cutting. This can’t continue, there’s a limit and we’re nearing it. This is where agencies need to start thinking outside the box about how they attract brands and show their value and awesomeness without losing credibility as to be seen as “we’ll take anything”. They need to educate clients, guide them on briefs, be realistic about what can be achieved in the proposed turn around times. But most importantly they need to understand that great content takes time to create and the idea of ‘campaigns’ sit in the ad world, not in the content marketing world.”
We end up spending sizeable time educating our partners on why we must go beyond advertorials.
At HT Brand Studio, which is part of Hindustan Times Media Group, Head of the studio, Kaveri Jain also recognises the need to educate clients.
“Most marketers and agencies haven’t fully grasped the shift that is taking place and hence still treat native as a substitute to display advertising – which it is not. We end up spending sizeable time educating our partners on why we must go beyond advertorials and brand heavy stories towards smart native content. But to fully do justice to native, we need to break away from the deadline gridlock, limited investment and the unreasonable expectations of quick delivery.”