Native Advertising on social websites has caused rapid change in the PR and advertising industry. The emphasis now lies on content and agencies of all descriptions are being forced to become involved in content creation. As a result, traditional dividing lines are dissolving and agencies need to adapt to this in order to prevent being left behind.
Native Advertising means that the ad unit itself is now simply built into the visual design within the social network; it looks like any other piece of content you might consume there. It means that large brands can analyse their engagement with consumers through the reach and penetration. Undoubtedly brands will attempt to mirror their TV spending in social spending in the coming months and years because of this.
The rise of native advertising in social means that the focus is increasingly on the creation of good quality content. Paid media is only as good as the content behind it and content is only as good as how many relevant people see it. For the first time we’re seeing traditional media agencies having to think about content themes and calendars. Likewise we’re also seeing PR agencies being given media spend to assist them in amplifying content creation they create. Furthermore, the agency that traditionally focused on paid can now easily create content online and likewise the agency creating the content can amplify that content through paid.
The problem is, if the ad creative is built into the way information is consumed on the site then who owns the content?
Additionally, native advertising poses a threat to traditional ways of working, which may be best left as they are. As it stands, advertising is in the middle of a mini land grab and the blurring of traditional lines has the potential to cause confusion and an unwelcome change to established structures.
In terms of ownership, as we’ve seen through the emergence of new paid technology, paid media in social works best when there’s a clear and consistent communication strategy in place and where advertising spend is used to boost better quality native units.
It is too early to say how large the influence of native advertising on social will be overall, but it is clear that we are closer than ever before to a time when agencies of different disciplines can confidently pitch to be the ‘voice of the brand’. Native Advertising has facilitated the democratisation of advertising where the agency that is best able to demonstrate how they can combine content and paid to deliver both optimal engagement and performance wins.
Although it is still within the early stages, it is obvious that advertising within social website content is encouraging agencies of all descriptions to involve themselves in new aspects of the industry. The traditional defining lines are disappearing, but as a result advertising has become a democracy where the best agency will win. It will be interesting to see how this emergence continues to influence the old established agency model.
Paul Turner, GM, EMEA at Adaptly