Pitching, Selling and Creating Native Advertising

Podcast: Melanie Deziel, Branded Content Consultant & Founder of StoryFuel, reveals her secrets to pitching, selling and creating native advertising
pitching native advertising

This is the show notes for the Native Advertising PowerHouse Podcast episode #3 – You can listen to all our podcast episodes right here.


How do you make brands understand that they need to let go and keep out of the storyline? What can you do to make sure no one steals your idea? Which role do creatives play in the sales process and what is the best advice for selling native advertising?

In this episode, we welcome Melanie Deziel, Branded Content Consultant and founder of StoryFuel. She shares insights and tips from her experience in the field and reminds us all of the importance of trust and being honest.

Duration: 58:45

About today’s guest

Melanie Deziel is an award-winning content strategist who has made it her mission to bring the tools, tactics and best practices of journalism to branded content, marketing and sales team. She is the founder of StoryFuel, offering brand storytelling consulting for brands and publishers.

Melanie Deziel was the first Editor of Branded Content at the New York Times, where she, amongst others, wrote the in-depth native advertising piece “Women Inmates” in partnership with Netflix and Orange Is The New Black. Melanie Deziel has also worked in Branded Content at the Huffington Post and served as the Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc’s 35+ US publications.

Show notes

00.00-1.12

Introduction

Resources mentioned

“The Women Inmates”-piece from 2014 for Netflix and Orange Is The New Black (New York Times): https://paidpost.nytimes.com/netflix/women-inmates-separate-but-not-equal.html

100 Significant Women in Native Advertising: http://offers.nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/100-significant-women-in-native-advertising-2018

Native Advertising DAYS 2018: https://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/days/

01.13-4.10

Melanie Deziel’s background in native advertising, from Huffington Post to T Brand Studio to Time Inc. to starting StoryFuel.

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4.11-8.13

What is good native advertising? And which part of the funnel can you serve with native advertising?

“What’s good is so dependent on the context. It has to acknowledge the context, it has to be audience centric, and it has to come from a place of true desire to serve” – Melanie Deziel.

8.14-12.20

Which piece are you particularly proud of?

“The Women Inmates”-piece from 2014 for Netflix and Orange Is The New Black (New York Times): https://paidpost.nytimes.com/netflix/women-inmates-separate-but-not-equal.html

“Grit & Grace”-piece for Cole Haan (New York Times): https://paidpost.nytimes.com/cole-haan/grit-and-grace.html

12.21-15.40

The process behind branded content pieces at New York Times’ T Brand Studio from RFP to product.

15.41-20.13

How to make brands understand that they shouldn’t control the story or infuse the brand in every line of the story?

“I do think that it is our responsibility as publishers, as content studios, as storytellers, to be honest with our brands when we’re working together. About what their decisions will do to their content. And I’ve found that if I take that approach, they generally appreciate it” — Melanie Deziel

20.14-28.26

Pros and cons of working with RFPs and proactive pitching, going through agencies, and making sure no one steals your idea.

“I think, unfortunately, in the current environment, the way our industry works right now, coming up with ideas is the equivalent of filling out a job application and if you wanna get the job, you have to fill out the job application” — Melanie Deziel

28.27-31.23

The process of coming up with creative concepts and the importance of being realistic and bringing in different perspectives.

“You wanna really take a look at the RFP. What’s the key objective of the brand, what’s the brand trying to accomplish? You wanna take some time to think about things like the budget and the timing – what’s actually realistic?” — Melanie Deziel

31.24-13

Organising a studio from scratch, figuring out who to hire first and the importance of mirroring the editorial side of the business.

“A studio needs to be custom fit for the organisation where it lives” — Melanie Deziel

38.14-42.56

Which role do creatives play in the sales process and what is the best advice for selling native advertising?

“Finding a strategic way to bring in a creative or editorial or someone who is not part of the sales team to give a content perspective can have a lot of value” — Melanie Deziel

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42.57-47.43

Using editorial staff to create native advertising, labelling and jeopardising trust

“I very much like the idea of keeping the creation of branded content and editorial content separate inside a publisher – and especially at a newscentric publisher where trust is really the only thing keeping you in business with your readers” — Melanie Deziel

Resources mentioned

Study including numbers on labelling “Native Advertising Trends 2017 in the News Media Industry”: http://offers.nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/nativeadnewsmedia17

47.44-51.17

Looking into the near future of native advertising and native as an adjective.

“I’m excited to see the way new platforms and formats will challenge us to think about what native is in those contexts” — Melanie Deziel

Resources mentioned

Native Advertising DAYS conference: https://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/days/  

51.18-55.22

How native should native be? Should it be native to one publication only even though it creates problems with scalability? … And a little dating advice!

“A lot of the raw assets that you create in the process of creating content for one platform can be repurposed and reused in another” — Melanie Deziel

55.23-57.18

Melanie Deziel life right now, consulting and speaking.

Resources mentioned

Native Advertising DAYS conference: https://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/days/  

Free story idea guide from Melanie Deziel: https://www.storyfuel.co/ideaguide

All resources mentioned

100 Significant Women in Native Advertising: http://offers.nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/100-significant-women-in-native-advertising-2018  

Native Advertising DAYS 2018 conference: https://nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/days/

“Woman Inmates”-piece for Netflix: https://paidpost.nytimes.com/netflix/women-inmates-separate-but-not-equal.html

“Grit & Grace”-piece for Cole Haan: https://paidpost.nytimes.com/cole-haan/grit-and-grace.html

Study including numbers on labelling “Native Advertising Trends 2017 in the News Media Industry”: http://offers.nativeadvertisinginstitute.com/nativeadnewsmedia17

Melanie Deziel’s consultant firm StoryFuel: https://www.storyfuel.co/

Free story idea guide from Melanie Deziel: https://www.storyfuel.co/ideaguide  

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