A lot of hype seems to be directed toward native advertising, aka advertorials or sponsored content — it goes by many aliases. The hype machine really ramped up when it became clear that Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr was made specifically to monetize the site using native adverts on blogs hosted on the Tumblr platform.
This isn’t new – in fact, Tumblr has been trying to increase revenues using this method in the past year – but the gossips say its failure to hit targets led to its sale to Yahoo.
Either way, this is a new adaptation of the marketing inventory. It’s incumbent on us to get fluent in the new language and figure out the landscape fast.
Definitions abound for what content marketing is, but the interesting part is what it can do for your brand – or your clients’ brands.
A Surprise Deception
I’m sure that as a marketing professional you always keep an eye out for how messaging and branding is being delivered. I do. And so it came as a real surprise to me when I totally missed the marketing message in a very long newspaper article. There were two surprises: first, it was about soccer – I’m not a fan – but the content was all about the management style of the coach and how a second division side was now challenging for top slot. I read all the way to the end only to find the words: “Jürgen Klopp is proud to wear PUMA – who are also a partner of Borussia Dortmund.”
Puma? That was a brand writing engaging content in a paid-for newspaper that I had just enjoyed reading! The realization took my breath away.
Audience Sharing Through Native Advertising
Superficially, native advertising is just new content in purchased space online (see more examples). But I think there’s so much more to it than just buying advertising.
Audience sharing is a critical part of the mix. The engagement and alignment between both the advertiser’s and newspaper media’s audiences is the “secret sauce” that can really deliver stunning returns for both parties.
Think about it like this. Puma seeds the content onto The Guardian’s website, but it’s also reproduced on YouTube (video embed) on the football club fan page, sent out to readers via a newsletter and blog and syndicated to football aggregation websites. The newspaper gains readers who wouldn’t normally visit, and all its other advertisers benefit from eyeballs and potential clicks. Similarly, the newspaper’s readers consume the content online, in print, via apps and other social sites where it has been shared. It all serves to benefit Puma with access to audiences far beyond its already engaged fans and clothing lovers.
Seems like a win-win-win to me. Now, if media could arrange pricing so that the contribution to readership delivered by the brand was taken into account along with the payment for the space, then that’d be a truly symbiotic partnership. This would provide flexible pricing and the possibility of significant increases in revenues. It’s payment by results in action.
Originally published Jun 11, 2013 1:00:43 AM, updated July 28 2017