10 Quick Insights from Native Advertising Days 2017

Here are 10 things I learnt at this year’s edition of the world’s biggest conference on native advertising.
Native Advertising DAYS 2017

Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 12.06.52By Pontus Staunstrup
Head of Content strategy and social media at PostNord
Stockholm, Sweden
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Here are 10 things I learned at this year’s edition of the world’s biggest conference on native advertising

It was that time of the year again – when native advertisers from all over the world gather in Berlin to listen to great presentations, hand out awards and of course hang out together. The represented publishers, brands, agencies and tech vendors. This year there were more than 400 of them, from more than 30 countries.

Here are ten things that I picked up regarding the state of native advertising as we approach the end of 2017:

1. Both brands and publishers believe in native

Jesper Laursen, founder of Native Advertising Institute, kicked off the conference and shared some numbers from recent surveys. It was apparent that both marketers and publishers still view native advertising as something positive and worthwhile – and believe that native’s share of marketing budgets will continue to grow.

1Budgets

2. Build on something you have to get native going

Jeppe Madsbad Lauritzen, Santander’s Nordic Marketing Director, told the story of how his company got into native advertising and content marketing. The head office in Spain had arranged for the Formula 1-star Kimi Raikkonen to come to Denmark. How could the local marketing department make the most of it?

RELATED: Why Santander Consumer Bank’s Future Marketing Strategy Will Be All Pull

Together with Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet, the solution was to produce native content that connected the visiting superstar with car loans, which is Santander’s main business. That way they got a lot more out of both the visit and their marketing spend. Nowadays Santander is investing in native and content marketing across the Nordics.

2Kimi

3. Understanding the platform is key

Several of the speakers talked about the importance of understanding the platform, i.e where the content will appear. One who did it really well was Johan Rikner, founder of N365.

RELATED: Succeeding with Sponsored Video on Social Media

He showed how a video on how to make hamburgers got a lot more attention than Volvo’s first commercial with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Facebook, despite both videos being published on the same day. Far too many companies and agencies still make the mistake of running traditional commercials on social channels.

3PlatformUnderstanding

4. Learn the tools – and make sure you own them

Mikkel Kruse, Head of Paid Media at Brand Movers, took us on a deep dive in Facebook’s ad tools, in particular, the Power Editor. It offers a number of possibilities to test the right combination of imagery, text and Call to Action. Mikkel encouraged the audience to really make use of that.

RELATED: “Everyone Seems Lost on How to Best Use Their Data”

He had one other piece of advice that too many companies may well be the most important one – make sure you are the owner of your ad account, not an agency or someone else. A lot of companies have not done this, and it means that they don’t have access to their own ad data.

4BrandMovers

5. Adapt native content to social media

Hannah Meium from DDB in New York talked about the importance of adapting content created for a media platform to what works in different social media channels. She showed several examples of this, and one of them was from the insurance company State Farm. They had used two football players in their native ads, and repositioned the content so it could be used in the athletes’ own social media channels.

5SocialMedia

6. Slow down and get better results

One of the leading experts in B2B content marketing, Jason Miller from LinkedIn, strongly recommended that we should decrease the amount of content we produce and instead focus on length and quality.

RELATED: The 3 Secrets to LinkedIn That Marketers Tend to Overlook

That’s what they’ve been doing at LinkedIn in the last year and it has provided very good results. Here are some of the numbers Jason shared:

6JasonMiller

7. Let the truth set you free (in more ways than one)

Melanie Deziel kicked off Day 2. Most of you know her as the brains behind one of the best pieces of native ever – Women Inmates, that T Brand Studio created for Netflix.

RELATED: The Standard for Native Ads are Almost Higher Than for Journalism

Melanie shared a lot of specific tips on how companies, in particular, should think in order to create great native advertising. One of them was this clever use of the word Truth – both a reminder of the importance of real stories and a smart acronym for good storytelling:

7Truth

8. Native advertising works

The New York Times got into native advertising, or branded content as they prefer to call it, early. Lauren Reddy from their studio, T Brand, gave an interesting talk and one of the things she shared was several reasons why they have found that native advertising works:

7NativeWorks

9. Learn the tech landscape

Marketing, in general, is in the midst of a technological revolution, and that is very much impacting native advertising as well. Chad Pollit, a well-known expert in digital marketing, has spent the last year mapping the changing landscape, and he covered it from several angles during his talk – from the perspective of publishers, brands, and agencies.

RELATED: “Marketers Can’t Rely on the Organic Channels of Last Decade to Deliver the Traffic They so Desire”

He promised that there will soon be an update to the infographic below – and stressed the importance for everyone to pay attention to what happens in tech:

8AdTEch

10. Learn the rules

One of the last speakers at the event was Annie Granatstein from Washington Post’s Brand studio. She gave a very interesting presentation with several examples of work they had done for different customers.

RELATED: The Washington Post’s Brand Studio: Story First, Last and Always

Annie also shared five very relevant rules of engagement that can be used to create great stories:

8Rulesof

There you have them – my 10 quick insights from Native Advertising Days 2017.

What about the awards, you ask. Who won them? Here is the complete list.

This article was originally published on Staunstrup.se and is reprinted here with permission.

DOWNLOAD: Native Advertising Trends 2017 – The Magazine Industry

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