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How we helped visualise the native landscape

By | Company News, Native advertising, Uncategorized

I recently wrote a piece entitled ‘Help! Which type of native advertising should I choose?’. Its purpose? To cut through some of the jargon bandied around in the industry when it comes to describing different forms of native.

Given the growing importance of native within the digital ad landscape, it’s no surprise that it’s also something the IAB have been wrestling with. As members of the IAB’s Content & Native Council, we’ve been helping the industry define the various executions of native in the UK.

It all started with a framework back in May. Here you’ll find the three types of native the council decided to define based on how content-based media spends are invested:

Native distribution ad formats:

These are ad units that mirror a publisher’s overall style and layout. This encompasses in-feed click-out and content recommendation units. These are usually a click-out from the headline unit to the brand’s site or landing page. Sometimes called programmatic native display.

Publisher hosted and / or made:

This is for on-site editorial-based content and falls into three categories:

1. Publisher controlled content. Essentially content that the advertiser has no control over. Often this content won’t be directly related to the brand. They are simply sponsoring its production.

2. Publisher hosted and / or made. This is where advertisers partner with publishers or networks such as TAN Media to provide or support editorial-based content. Content sign-off is from the brand.

3. Joint publisher/advertiser controlled commercial content. This is defined as ‘made by publisher and/or brand, enabled by brand but may have been produced even without brand funding’. It’s publisher controlled but with brand input.


This defined as ‘any form of content which is conceived, owned and managed by an advertiser.’ This can include social media channels or brand websites for example – essentially anything that’s not on a publisher’s website.

You can find the exact definitions on the IAB Website here. And whilst frameworks and charts are all very helpful as a starting point, actually seeing the various executions in situ is what really brings this project to life.

With that in mind, the IAB tasked suppliers with helping create a Content and Native Gallery. The 50-page PDF is now available for download on the IAB site.

You’ll find our contribution (including case studies) in section 2 – Advertiser-controlled commercial content, following the Guardian and Telegraph, so please take a look.

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The natives are getting restless; there’s an uprising in the air

By | Company News, Native advertising

The rise and rise of native advertising is a testament to its own power as an advertising concept. Articles, like this one, are appearing increasingly across the media horizon, so the logic and rational underlying native advertising converts those who want to engage with the market rather than just sell to them.

A good example of this is Mozilla, the parent of the Firefox browser. Mozilla had always been seen as occupying the moral high ground of the main browsers; eschewing the overtly commercial positioning of the other big players.

No longer, it would seem; Mozilla have announced that the top three lines of search results are, in effect, up for sale. Previously they had even been planning to give their searches a default of blocking the cookies of third parties; now they seem to have done a complete volte-face and are selling them tickets to the front row.

Mozilla has sold out? Not a bit of it, and this is where advertisers really need to give the native approach a thorough looking at; the key to native advertising is that it seeks to deliver customer value, not just at the point of sale, but at every stage of the sales funnel. That means delivering value at the first point of contact, simply by being interesting, relevant and engaging on a platform of shared interest; value during the process of investigation and evaluation by giving potential customers access to information, white papers, and guides that help to educate their decisions; and value in offering a partnership access to evolving solutions and technology.
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Has LinkedIn just gone native or has native advertising just found a new best friend?

By | Company News, Native advertising, Social Media

When you’ve hit on a formula that works, as LinkedIn did so well with their ‘B2B people’ social network, there does inevitably come a time when you reach that strategic cross-roads and say – ok, where next?

Of course, once you start seriously monetising your products and services, especially when you have a pack of growth hungry investors on board, the options you consider will inevitably be driven by ROI, even if that does imply a change of course.

No doubt LinkedIn will continue to build on their original huge success linking up HR professionals and taking that through to Marketing, Finance and other specialist groups, creating a lot of revenue opportunities along the way; but what they really need is something that embeds them with the very people they are linking together.

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