Contextual relevance has been a hot phrase for the past five years and the industry is no closer to perfecting it now. But we’re getting there. It’s the simple art of offering content that is relevant to the conversation that a user is already partaking it. On the non-publisher side, this can even include a range of content that addresses each stage of the customer journey. Or even addresses each influencer within that decision making process.
Our work with Khaleej Times is a testament to the fact that this revenue model represents the future of the publishing industry, as distribution platforms like C2 enter better programmatic content markets.
Here are the top four trends we foresee will become commonplace in native advertising
Content Will Always Trump Advertising
In the world of two way communication, researching claims and ad-blocking, studies reflect the weak position that advertising has over influencing customer decision making. Content that educates, inspires and motivates has played the greatest role in communicating a value proposition and evoking an action of substance. Native will represent the key content distribution strategy in 2017, where good content will be rewarded and shared, unlike a display ad or 15 second spot. This is the path towards brand building, a lost art regaining prominence.
Lights, Camera, Landing Page
Optimization of a pre-click landing page was all the rage in 2016, but in 2017, the post-click landing page will become the maker or breaker for a campaign. When brands enhance in-house content marketing efforts, they pay off in spades. Content in a variety of formats will need to come from creative agencies that understand brand strategy, rather than digital agencies which should stick to transactional technical elements of the campaign.
Good Content or No Content
The failure of the new Assassin’s Creed movie just goes to show that good actors, huge budgets and big name directors can do nothing for a poor script. Terrible content will always offset any energy devoted towards its support function. Let experts in content do their job. Make suggestions if you want, but don’t be the final decision maker. Only experts must offer an input and brief. Everyone else should respect the expert or leave the room. There is no room for debate.
Synergy or Else
Publishers and journalists know what their readers want, advertisers know what value the provide and agencies should stand firmly between the two to deliver on the best of both worlds without diluting the brand of one for the other. This synergy will be imperative in 2017, as we move into a world where a reality TV star can become ruler of the free world. We must recognize that we are far stronger together than we are apart.
It’s the age of ad blockers against pre-roll and banner ads. Work together to research, create, curate, distribute, guide, convert and optimize native advertising.
It’s a team effort.