The Native Advertising Institute (NAI) outlined six challenges for native advertising in 2017 that bear noting. Tim Cain, founder of Digital First Media in the U.K, notes them here, and we'll elucidate them further:
1. Create good content: Cain says this is “easier said than done,” but it can be accomplished. Marketers and content studios need to identify “engaging and fresh ideas” and find the right partners in-house or externally to ensure the best possible content.
2. Collaborate and integrate with editorial teams: Why not cross the divide and collaborate with editorial teams? Smart publishers are breaking down the walls between editorial and branded content teams to collaborate on ideas that will resonate with target audiences. How can branded content teams respectfully tap into editorial teams for ideation and, in some cases, creation of native content?
3. Reach and target: “Ensure that content reaches its intended audience and is amplified effectively through social media.” Resources need to be allocated to content distribution as well as product.
4. Focus on strategic storytelling: Native shouldn’t be viewed as short-term. Use it to build an ongoing relationship that extends throughout the purchase funnel. What pieces of content do you need to tell the story at each stage of the customer “journey”?
5. Make it short, visual and sharable: Since everyone's attention span is about as short as a snap on Snapchat, think about creating short, bite-sized pieces of content that are snackable and shareable. Video and visuals are highly desirable.
6. Measure: Measuring the performance of native campaigns continues to be one of the hardest things to achieve, considering the lack of unified standards and metrics in this area. There should be a segue to an engagement model focused on interaction and action, with less emphasis on click-through rates.