Native Content at it’s very heart is about fitting within a publishers style of content for a seamless user experience that allows brands to engage with the publishers audience. We’ve all seen great examples of true native content; NY Times for Netflix, BuzzFeed for BMW i3 and more. Why do these work so well? Because they combine a brand message with an editorial standpoint from a publisher that readers appreciate.
To help explain why these work so well lets take a look at a style that doesn’t perform well, and doesn’t (to us) feel like native content.
Some publishers run content hubs, these are either a collection of branded content, or a microsite, in a separate section on the publishers site. The aim being to drive readers there, hoping to keep them on network. However, whilst these garner traffic volume, we don’t see quality engagement from these formats.
Paying for a publisher experience then placing that content on a ‘microsite’ that you have to pay money to drive people to, is superfluous. You’ve paid for that publishers tone of voice, style and audience, why put an extra barrier in place and take the reader away from from where they normally interact with the content?
Readers are smart and loyal to their publishers of choice. They read the content on that site, be it a VICE, Mashable or NY Times article because they love the content, the journalists style of writing and the identity of the publication. Sending readers to a part of the website which looks heavily branded and different to their normal view, can annoy the reader.
Native content works best when it’s a seamless discovery between paid and non paid content in the format, place and tone that they, the reader understands.
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