If you’re involved with native advertising in any way, you need to know about the Native Advertising Institute (NAI), an association dedicated to helping marketers become successful in this space.
That’s a pretty simple mission for an increasingly complicated sector under the enormous umbrella of content marketing. Formed in early 2015 and based in Copenhagen, the NAI provides blog posts, a resource library, case studies, best practices, how-to guides, industry news and classes. It recently produced an ebook with 20 predictions for native advertising in 2016 developed with the help of well-known practitioners in the field.
Native Insider spoke with Christine “Stine” Holmgaard, NAI’s head of influencers & events, who also works in content marketing at Brand Movers, an agency based in Copenhagen.
Native Insider: Why is there a need for NAI?
“Stine” Holmgaard: There was no organization for native, [though] it’s been around for ages. Brand Movers was doing it for a long time. Marketers knew they needed it.
We want to raise the quality of native. There’s a lot of potential in native in terms of creativity and stuff that people want to read.
Our goal is to create a hub so that people can get smarter about native.
Europe isn’t that far ahead in native. I think the group that needs the most help right now is the media companies in Europe. They need new business models in order to do native. I also find that brands don’t know about native that much.
Native Insider: What are the challenges around native advertising?
Holmgaard: Agencies want to learn how to do native, and people are starting to question the creativity of it. Because advertisers haven’t done a very good job, consumers are choosing not to see ads.
And there’s a misunderstanding between content marketing vs. native. Content marketing is much more long-term. it’s not advertising that pushes products and services into peoples’ faces. It has to be relevant and have a certain kind of utility to it.
Native is paid content. Its uniqueness is that it’s a type of advertising that doesn’t disrupt, and it’s labeled. People need to be able to use the content for something: to get informed, to learn something. It must meet a need, perhaps for entertainment.
Content marketing is an umbrella, and native is part of the mix.
Native Insider: In the U.S., the FTC guidance on native advertising is kind of a big deal. What do you make of it?
Holmgaard: Consumers are still confused. People are not used to reading labeled content. We need to ask consumers how to go about this.
Native Insider: What are your goals for NAI?
Holmgaard: We want to get the hub underway and raise awareness.
If we fail at native, I’m not sure what will be next. We’re planning to do some research pieces on native and more ebooks. We want to get our global blog running with contributors.
The biggest issue is, people don’t know how to do native. Where do you start? And no one knows where native dollars are coming from.