There is no doubt that native advertising is becoming a more and more important part of the revenue stream for publishers.
But not all countries are as far ahead as, for example, USA when it comes to being native advertising experts. So what is the actual state of native advertising if we dive into some of the more “unknown” countries in the native advertising landscape? What are their biggest challenges?
We wanted to find out. So we asked seven attendees at Native Advertising DAYS 2017 in Berlin about the state of native advertising in their countries.
Here’s what they told us:
We are the first agency in the region who have established native advertising as a special part of our business.
Serbia: Still in its infancy
Borislav Milanovic, CEO, Represent System, Serbia:
“Native is still in its infancy in Serbia. Only a few media, the biggest media, have established their native content studios and we still don’t have a wide range of agencies working with native advertising. We are the first agency in the region who have established native advertising as a special part of our business.
But the media in Serbia is in a difficult situation with a lack of money from the marketing side so they are looking for new business models. Therefore, they have started to see native advertising as a new revenue source that will help keep them alive.
There are two great challenges in Serbia concerning native advertising. The first is lack of knowledge on the client-side. They still don’t know about the possibilities to publish articles and information without special control from the media-side. The second problem is the lack of people with enough knowledge about how to do native advertising. Moreover, we have also had some discussions about the ethics of native advertising.”
It is quite common to use as part of the media mix.
Finland: The development has slowed down
Elina Mansner, Head of Brand and Customer Marketing, DNA Plc, Finland:
“The state of native advertising in Finland is currently quite okay. In the past couple of years, it has developed a lot and it is now fairly popular and it is quite common to use as part of the media mix.
I would say that the biggest challenge at the moment in Finland is that the development has slowed down. Two or three years ago, it was very interesting to pilot the solutions and get the media to be excited about the development. But at the moment, the solutions are there, so my biggest concern is that the development will slow down.
I would like to see the media houses being more active in developing new ways of offering native advertising to the brands.”
It only started about three years ago and the first provider was actually us.
South Korea: It’s growing but has a major barrier
Huney Kong, Publisher & CEO at Wikitree – Social Network News Service, South Korea:
“Native advertising in South Korea is still at an early stage. It only started about three years ago and the first provider was actually us, Wikitree. But now, the native advertising market is growing.
The main advertisers are companies like Samsung, Hyundai Motors, and LG. But advertisers are expanding to consumer brands, movies and things like that. So it’s growing and it’s very promising, I think.
The biggest challenge — and this is a big problem in Korea in terms of native advertising — is that we have a special online platform called Naver. It has a share of web searches that is around 80% of the total of online searches. But Naver keeps news media from posting native advertising on their portal and this is a very big barrier and a big problem.”
The biggest concern in relation to native is that it’s very hard to measure results.
Russia: The quality grows because of competition
Irina Artemova, Content Manager at Dvevbnik.ru, Russia:
“In Russia, the interest for this form of advertising grows actively these years. More and more brands have decided to try it out, and more and more publishers have started to offer native advertising and since the publishers compete for the brands, the quality of native advertising is also growing.
The biggest concern in relation to native is that it’s very hard to measure results, which is why some brands doubt the efficiency of native advertising. For marketers, it’s very important to understand how much money they spend and which results they get, but with native advertising that’s not that easy. And we still don’t know how to overcome this challenge or how to educate the marketers.
I communicate with clients and brands, and sometimes they ask us to mention the brand three, maybe four times in an article because they think it works and is more efficient. It’s hard to explain to them why it doesn’t work.”
Many publishers and lots of media experiment with native advertising.
Slovakia: United labeling and guidelines
Peter Nagy, Native Advertising Manager, Petit Press, Slovakia:
“Currently, it’s an advertising offering that’s expanding. It’s very popular. Many publishers and lots of media experiment with native advertising.
A thing that I would like to point out is that a bunch of media – we are 7 or 8 – have come together and created a native advertising work group where we try to establish the best practices for native advertising in our country. I think this is a very special effort which will lead to united labeling of native and guidelines for all the clients and marketing managers out there so they will know how to approach native advertising.
Right now, the clients are mostly worried about ROI; whether the money they put into native will come back in some form. Another worry for them is the labeling and the way the companies are depicted in the content pieces. They tend to be very controlling about what gets out there, which is sometimes a good thing – but other times not.
When it comes to the audiences, they still do not really understand what native is about since it’s still a very young type of advertising. In Slovakia, we have been experimenting with native advertising for about three years, but it’s only been around for real for about 1.5 years or so. So the audience is only getting to know this form of advertising.”
We are still the only premium native advertising agency in Croatia.
Croatia: A hype around native
Ana Plisic, Editorial Director at Native Ad Studio of Hanza Media, Croatia:
“We, Hanza Media, were the first native advertising agency in Croatia and we are still the only premium native advertising agency in Croatia. But within the last two years, a lot more native agencies have been launched in the media publishing houses, and many content agencies and PR agencies are also doing some forms of native.
So, brands have become familiar with native and I think now we have kind of a hype around native in Croatia. But I think it can grow much bigger. Particularly when we can all agree on the principles of native.”
Pretty much every major publisher has launched its own client studio in the last couple of years.
Sweden: Taking transparency seriously
David Landes, then Head of Commercial Content at The Local Europe, Sweden:
“I think the state of native advertising in Sweden is healthy and growing. Pretty much every major publisher has launched its own client studio in the last couple of years. And a lot of niche publishers are getting into the game as well.
I think Sweden was fairly early to adopt and experiment with this. In the spring of 2017, the major publishing organization issued some guidelines, so I think it’s an industry where they are taking responsibility for transparency very seriously.”
Want to need more about the state of native advertising in the news media industry?
Download “Native Advertising Trends in News Media 2017”