You Need to Teach, Guide and Inspire Your Readers

"Make sure to have timing, and engage people in your message by teaching them something new, guide and inspire them," says Lotta Tjulin-Thornqvist, Schibsted Brand Studio
inspire readers

NAI_badge18-03Educating clients, collaborating, timing, and engaging your audience is the key to successful native advertising and the key to a great native advertising studio, says Lotta Tjulin-ThornqvistHead of Creative Sales at the Swedish Schibsted Brand Studio who was a speaker at Native Advertising DAYS 2018.

We asked Lotta to share some insights from her work at the studio.

When and why did Schibsted Brand Studio come to life?

Aftonbladet started its first native studio in 2008 and created native campaign sites for some of Swedens largest brand (such as Volvo and SEB).

This was back when brands did not have a lot of content on their own websites and therefore had these microsites which were marketed on aftonbladet.se in combination with advertorials in the daily newspaper to get people engaged in the brand and their products.

In 2013, when the news site Omni was launched, Schibsted had one native studio for every publisher. So one for Omni, one for Aftonbladet and one for Svenska Dagbladet.

The form we are in now was launched in January 2016. We produce and distribute native content in all forms and shapes for news sites Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Omni and Omni Ekonomi, lifestyle-destination Perfect Guide, marketplace Blocket.se, weather-service Klart.se and tv.nu – an online tv-guide for tv and streaming.

All specialists and editors in our Brand Studio work very close to these Client Managers when pitching and creating campaigns.

How is the studio organised?

Currently, around 20 people work at Schibsted Brand Studio.

A mix of creative specialists, project managers and creative editors work with native text and video, social, sponsorship and innovation, focusing on delivering best possible ideas and productions within text, video and innovation in content marketing.

We distribute throughout Schibsteds ecosystem and/or produce for our customer to use on own/other platforms and sites.

RELATED: How to Hire a Core Team to Your Native Ad Studio (Podcast)

All creative editors are journalists with various experience from both Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet and local newspapers.

Schibsted has a Sales organisation with 100+ Client Managers who handles all business each advertiser has with Schibsted.

All specialists and editors in our Brand Studio work very close to these Client Managers when pitching and creating campaigns.

We make sure our advertisers know when to do native vs doing more traditional campaigns – and how to make the best of combining them.

How do you sell your native advertising? What’s the best process?

Our native is sold as single campaigns or long-term collaborations. We have a fixed price that guarantees customers both impressions, clicks on article/video and a set number of articles/videos.

We make sure our advertisers know when to do native vs doing more traditional campaigns – and how to make the best of combining them.

We talk about native as a way to reach deeper into brands values, explaining complex products and engaging people in your brand and your message.

Buyers today have come a long way in understanding how to discuss content vs KPIs and this is making our business so much better.

What are the biggest challenges you have come across regarding native advertising at Schibsted Brand Studio and how did you overcome these?

The main challenge the past couple of years has been convincing advertisers of the effect when using native ads as a part of their marketing plans.

We have spent a lot of time educating buyers on how to evaluate results. Also, how to create the best possible content to get the best possible effect.

RELATED: Why Salespeople Are Critically Important to Branded Content

Buyers today have come a long way in understanding how to discuss content vs KPIs and this is making our business so much better.

We can now guide advertisers before we start creating content to make sure we set the right expectations for each campaign.

If you want to engage people and reach high time spent, for example, you can´t also expect to drive high conversion. So it´s important to set criteria from the get-go.

You need to distribute content to the right audience, at the right time, with the right message.

How would you define great native advertising?

Engaging your audience in your message is key. Ask yourself why someone should click to read or look at your content.

There is a great competition in the Swedish market, and there is a lot of great content being produced.

RELATED: A Successful Native Advertising Campaign Starts at the End

But you need to distribute content to the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. This is where our creative editors enter, they are journalists that understand both the receiver and the importance of the brand getting their commercial message through.

Make sure to have timing, and engage people in your message by teaching them something new, guide and inspire them.

Most importantly, we make sure our creative editors lead the way.

What’s your secret to creating a great partnership with brands and creating successful native advertising campaigns?

Collaboration is key.

We are always open to discuss content och KPIs with our advertisers. Most importantly, we make sure our creative editors lead the way. If they do not believe content is strong enough, we make sure it is before the campaign launch.

Our customers know they can trust us in this, and therefore, they keep coming back to work with us.

Make sure customer understands what KPIs are most important to evaluate the campaign on.

What have been your most important learnings so far that other studios could learn from?

Establish your editors in your studio as the experts. Never let go of creating high-quality content relevant for the platforms and sites you distribute on.

Make sure customer understands what KPIs are most important to evaluate the campaign on.

We have found insights to create future guidelines for brands that wish to use native in their media mix.

You are official keynote speakers at this year’s Native Advertising DAYS. Why should attendees at the conference absolutely not miss your presentation?

We are presenting the world’s largest native study, the ‘Schibsted Native Study which launched at Aftonbladet, Omni and Omni Economy this spring.

16 advertisers joined the study and Inizio collected data from over 20 000 respondents which Stockholm School of Economics (Erik Modig) investigated to measure the advertising effects of native.

The study created unique insights:

• What advertising effects give native advertising – how do we drive brand awareness and sale?

• What are the options for different brands and products – how to fit native into the media mix?

• How should native be designed to best drive different types of effects – should we address feelings or information and how much sales should we include?

By engaging readers in different types of native articles, we have found insights to create future guidelines for brands that wish to use native in their media mix.

We will share all insights from this study to make sure the entire market for native advertisers is at its absolute best. The better content we produce, the better a user experience we create. It´s a win-win.

What do you look forward to the most at this year’s Native Advertising DAYS?

I will definitely attend Keynote-speakers and I can see there is a lot of interesting Roundtables as well.

Carlon Wies’ presentation on Branded Content is a must for me since we also see a growing market for this.

And, the Awards Gala of course.

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