We recently hosted our second native ad talks, this time talking Content Production. Moderated by Lucia Moses, our panelists were Adam Aston (Editorial Director the NY Times T Brand Studio) and Joe Lazauskas (Editor, Contently). During the evening, they shared insights, on how to produce the best native ad content.

What was clear from the conversation is that everyone around the table wants the best work. This boils down to a few things, clear objectives, getting the right talent, being a good client and giving it the time it needs. What follows is a synopsis of the discussion. In the end is a link to the video and audio, with time stamps to particular topics.


How to be the dream client

Adam talked about how the stars aligned for the creation of the Orange is the New Black piece, the key things for (as he put it) the dream are to:

  • Come to the table with clear goals for the content
  • Realize this is a quality game; give your team time to gestate
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Bring data and/or topic areas tot he table, it helps
  • Be comfortable with the article mentioning competitors, it has to draw people in

The flipside of this too is publishers doing their part; both panelists spoke to this from their experiences as Editors


How publishers get the best work

Involving brands in the content creation process does put a spanner in the works, so publishers have to reflect that.

  • Hire the best talent
  • Don’t just throw your team at the whim of the brand, maintain editorial standards
  • Be upfront around your code of ethics or conduct to establish how you produce native
  • Continual feedback with client, not just at the end
  • Develop understanding of different market regulations for marketing messages
  • Develop processes for clearing data & image rights for advertising purposes, some industries are more regulated than others
  • Arm yourself with data to make recommendations


Watch the full video or audio to get the whole conversation, or review the timestamps for key parts of the conversation. If you’d like to attend future native ad events, follow @giveitanudge on Twitter.


Thanks to Powerlinks for sponsoring the talks.



You can jump ahead to particular topics, at these timestamps:

4:15 Quality is key
5:15 having your goals set in the beginning
5.55 How to hire for native
9:26 How to protect journalists
15:12 The dream client
16:12 Orange is the new black setting the standard
18:18 How quizzes actually help a brand articulate a message
20:00 Once produced putting the content through brand safety
21:50 Rights to information and clearnace
24:50 Q&A
29:25 One offs vs long term series
35.20 Discus Casper
35:50 Should go to an agency or publisher for the content hub?
36:14 how does mobile play in native? Mobile first or mobile only
39:20 to infinite scroll or not
40:10 Favorite buzzwords?
42:00 How native is different from advertorial
42:20 all the terms for native advertising (find this link)
42:40 Favorite work that’s not yours
45:30 Programmatic placement of native content
48:40 Multiple layers of approval
50:25 On what does the ideation process look like
53:20 Concludes.



How to Produce the Best Native Content, from Some of the Best in the Business – Nudge, a smart dashboard for your content