You’ve landed a contract with an advertiser for native advertising on your blog or specialized website? The work has just begun. Here are a few tips to maximize the partnership’s chances of success. In addition, the advertiser may actually be unfamiliar with native advertising. This article also contains arguments to convince them to leave it to you.
Determine what a native ad is
Ask yourself this question: what is native content on your media? Is this an article that could make the front page, a video inserted between two other editorials, a sequence in a podcast? The answer is never obvious.
It’s up to you to make a choice that respects your graphic style guidelines, your editorial line, and that harmonizes with the content without misleading your reader.
Know your advertiser’s goals and objectives
In theory, the advertiser has approached you because your audience matches their core target. However, it’s possible that they are only interested in a fraction of your audience. It is essential to keep that in mind because it can have an impact on the content itself, as well as on its subsequent distribution on social networks.
Moreover, what is their objective?: simple brand awareness? Commitment? Qualified traffic? Sales? The possibilities are numerous. Make sure the advertiser has a clear objective, otherwise you will not be able to measure the partnership’s success together with the client.
Again, the advertiser’s goals have a great influence on the final content that you will create and distribute. The worst case would be to create high quality content that does not meet the advertiser’s objective. The deal must be win-win.
Define the fine line between utility and advertising
Here we touch on the biggest challenge with native advertising. It must bring added value to the user, typically by providing informative or entertaining content, but it is still an advertisement. The advertiser will generally push for more visibility, hoping to maximize the return on their advertising investment. Take into account their requests but know where to draw the red line. “Over-branded” content can be counterproductive. A subtle integration of the product or brand will generally be better received by the user.
The right dose also depends on your readership. The more native advertising you do in your columns, the more you will learn what is acceptable or not for your audience. So be attentive to their feedback or comments, they’re a goldmine.
Persuade advertisers to tell a story
Advertisers know how to talk about their brand or product, they are used to doing it in their traditional campaigns or in press releases. But they are much less comfortable when it comes to doing a bit of storytelling.
It’s not about moving into unrelated areas. There are thousands of stories to write, from company life, product development, or even customer experience. The advertiser simply might not see it but it’s up to you to find these stories, to showcase them, and convince the advertiser that a tale is better than a long sales pitch.
Determining the story to be told may even have an impact on the type of content ultimately created. Some stories will be easier to tell in a long article, others in a short video. Or why not a slideshow?
Pay attention to budgetary aspects
Finding an engaging story to tell in an ideal format is one thing. Having the budget to do it is another. It is likely that your creativity will be limited by the budget allocated to you.
You can try to convince the advertiser to chip in a bit more. But don’t ask for the moon. Therefore, keeping the budget in mind from the beginning will allow you to stay within the project’s scope.
If you had in mind an article with a video and interactive content, and the budget prevents you from producing it, perhaps it’s possible to limit yourself to only one of these types of content. If it’s successful, the advertiser may sign up for a second campaign with you, letting you develop your other ideas and complete the first campaign. Nothing gets wasted!
Beware, know how to refuse a campaign if the budget is too small, and that would prevent you from creating content that is consistent with the level of quality that your readers are used to. Everyone would lose.
Maximize the life of the campaign
This is often the deal: sponsored content can be removed from the site after x weeks. Yet once the content is created, why not give it a second life? If the advertiser asks you to republish your content on their own channels, go ahead and accept. If you are flexible, it is more likely that the advertiser will use your services again…