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Why publishers should be making the move to native advertising

Founded in 2012, Playbuzz is a leading authoring and distribution platform for publishers, brands and agencies to create engaging content for editorial and commercial use via interactive formats. WNIP caught up with Daniel Fisher, Managing Director (Europe) of Playbuzz, to discuss branded content, native advertising and engaging audiences in 2017.

Why are brands and publishers making the move to native advertising?

Native advertising is a very wide term, and brands have always embraced forms of advertising that give them an outlet to tell their story while forming a connection with a consumer. That is age old. The challenge with digital is to show a brand has a dialogue with a consumer through content to suit digital platforms, rather than just re-purposing TV advertising. Brands are finding branded content to be more effective and measurable.

For publishers, branded content is the natural response to issues of viewability or lack thereof, ad blockers and continual downward pressure on traditional ad unit RPMs. It enables publishers to re-invigorate their commercial models with what they do best – create content which engages their audiences.

How can publishers optimise their native advertising for best results?

Publishers can and should use real-time data around user interaction with their branded content,  as is possible when working with a platform such as Playbuzz.

Do you think publishers fully understand the impact of branded content? What would be your top tips?

There are a few ways in which publishers can maximise the impact of branded content.   For example, by using formats which pass data back to them so that they understand how readers interact with the content.  Also running regular brand surveys simultaneously proves helpful in understanding if content led to an increase in brand awareness, affinity and more.

We made a decision at Playbuzz to judge native content performance by engagement as opposed to the traditional measure of impressions or page views, as engagement gives a far richer  insight into the success of the content.

Why is it so important for native content to be socially sharable?

It is important for all content, advertising or otherwise, to be socially shareable simply because most content is discovered and consumed via social. You just need to look at the fact that publishers have agreed to integrate with Facebook Instant Articles  and Google AMP, something which would have been totally rejected by media owners just a few years ago. It is generally accepted that platforms drive the agenda today.

And what would be your top tips for brands,who are looking to embrace native?

  1. Don’t reinvent the wheel. You know what works with your audience editorially. Stick to your guns and use that insight to create great branded content.
  2. Work with partners who can give you insights into how your content is performing.
  3. Introduce meaningful engagement metrics to show your advertising partners maximum value and ROI.

What can we expect to see from branded content in 2017?

The mega platforms – Facebook (and Instagram), Snapchat and Google will continue to innovate, replicate and battle it out for an even greater share of voice.

A number of the large media owners are now restructured and ready to re-position themselves as branded content power houses. Because of this investment, we’ll see a big shift of budgets to content solutions as opposed to traditional ad units.

What’s next for branded content, do you think new technology will provide new opportunities?

New technology always provides new opportunities. Playbuzz is focused on bringing a scalable and technology-focused approach to content solutions for brands. We are doing this by introducing the ability to engage audiences with interactive storytelling at scale across platforms and media owners.

Thank you and good luck for the coming year….