Excuses don’t make you extra revenue

07 Sep Excuses don’t make you extra revenue

Sadly, there are 1001 excuses for not embracing native advertising:It’s hard to sell

  • It costs too much
  • Advertisers don’t renew
  • Facebook has ruined it
  • Readers don’t like it
  • Advertisers don’t understand it
  • Sales reps can’t sell it
  • Sales reps don’t like to sell digital because the commissions are smaller

The list goes on and on and on …

And here’s the truth: Every “excuse” above is true. Yet, this year media companies will somehow manage to sell more than $8 billion in native advertising/sponsored content despite all of these objections.

Lynn McLamb, formerly of Civitas Media and now with the community papers of Evening Post Industries says, “the fun begins when a prospect says, ‘no.’” Meaning it is our job as salespeople to overcome objections. It is your job to actually SELL.

There are 1001 excuses. Then there is reality: A huge amount of revenue can be made from selling and presenting native advertising for local businesses – if you do it correctly.


The truth is you can charge a premium price for digital with native advertising. That means your reps make more commission, which refutes one of the major excuses listed above.

Yes, it is hard work.

Yes, native advertising deserves a premium price. Would you actually charge the standard rate to run a positive story on behalf of your advertiser on the front page of your print newspaper? Give me a break.

Yes, it is difficult to renew native advertisers unless you provide them with proof that their native advertising campaign is working and that the investment is worthwhile.

No, Facebook has not ruined it. In fact, Facebook is well aware that its base is eroding and that sponsored content from media companies like yours might very well be a good thing.

Readers appreciate well-conceived, useful, interesting, entertaining native advertising. The proof is in the higher click through rates for online native advertising when compared to those for display advertising. Readers engage with native content for three, four, even five minutes or more, which is double the rate of engagement for most news stories on your site.

It is true that advertisers don’t understand the benefits of native. And precisely when did it stop being the job of sales people to explain the benefits of the advertising they are selling to advertisers?

Because you have the biggest, most prestigious megaphone in your community, here are just a few of the benefits of local native advertising to your advertisers:

In today’s world search recognition is the Holy Grail. Well-executed native advertising also can help advertisers in search. Your advertisers know that if they don’t show up in search they are dead. This goes for plumbers and banks, weight loss studios and car dealers.

So what’s so hard about selling something that benefits local businesses in search? What’s so hard about taking a new idea to your potential customers? Even when they don’t buy, they respect you for educating them.

Nobody said selling native was “easy.”

No selling is easy these days.

However, if you, your sales reps and your advertisers understand that name of the game today, which is being there when somebody looks for you online, then native is part of the answer and should be a natural sale as a solution.

Renewals will follow if you show how many people see the native content, interact with it, click through to the advertiser’s site and like, share or even love and comment on it on social media.

I recently read something that suggested that every person spend 20 seconds doing something that terrifies them every day. Learning to swim if you don’t know how. Singing in public when you know you “can’t sing.” Telling your boss what you really think of their idea … whatever it is that terrifies you.

Just 20 seconds – and it will change your life. So let’s spend 20 seconds suspending excuses and actually selling native advertising. Some media organizations are already doing this and generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue. The question becomes: Why not you?

The real question is: What’s your excuse? As my mother used to tell me: “Can’t never did anything.”