4 Reasons Newspapers Will Fail At Native

29 Sep 4 Reasons Newspapers Will Fail At Native

Native advertising is rightfully a great newspaper opportunity. Sadly most will miss the boat. There are four reasons why:

  1. We are afraid to charge enough for our native advertising.
  2. We will cheap out on producing sponsored content.
  3. We won’t push the envelope to deliver engaging native ads.
  4. Poor creative will deliver poor results.
    If we don't invest in quality creative we will miss the mark in native advertising.

    If we don’t invest in quality creative we will miss the mark in native advertising.

“We can only charge $300 tops for native ads in our markets,” an executive at one media company explained to me recently. “So the cost of the creative must be less than $100.”

There are two problems with this statement. First, this executive was guessing about how much he could charge. He had not done any research nor tested pricing. He just “felt” that $300 was the top price he could get based on what his markets were able to get for other forms of online advertising.

Second, you simply cannot buy much “creative” for less than $100 bucks these days. Sure you can get a freelancer to produce an article for less than $100, but how good will that article be?  More important, how creative and engaging will it be?

In his article for Quartz entitled “Brace yourself for the corporate journalism wave,” Frederic Fllloux writes:

For media companies, going decisively for branded content is also a way to regain control on their own business. Instead of getting avalanches of ready-to-eat campaigns from media buying agencies, they retain more control on the creation of advertising elements by dealing with the creative agencies or even with the brand themselves. Such a move goes with some constraints, though. Entering branded content at a credible scale requires investments. To serve its advertising clients, BuzzFeed maintains 50 people in its own design studio. Relative to the size of their entire staff, many other new media companies decided from the outset to build fairly large creative teams (including Quartz). That’s precisely why I believe most legacy media will miss this train (again). Focused on short-term cost control, also under pressure from conservative newsrooms who see branded content as the Antichrist, they will delay the move. In the meantime, pure players will jump on the opportunity.

We cannot afford to miss out on many more opportunities when they come knocking. Native advertising is knocking. While it certainly is not the solution to all of our industry’s problems, it can help us command more money for online advertising. Unfortunately, our cut- costs -first mentality virtually guarantees the content we produce for advertisers will not be very good. Once again we open the door for somebody else to take our place.

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