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How brands and publishers can create a sustainable native ecosystem

Digital strategist Pontus Staunstrup shares key takeaways from a Native Advertising DAYS 2017 panel discussion titled: "Sustainable collaboration models for native advertising".

The Native Advertising Insititute asked Pontus Staunstrup to share the key takeaways from the discussion about creating a sustainable native ecosystem.

Below are highlights from the interview which have been slightly edited for clarity.


Trust is essential

Trust is essential. The brands need to trust that the publishers understand storytelling and that they also understand the messaging from the brands perspective.

And the publishers are equally dependent on trust from the brands because they need to tell their stories, they need to tell great stories to their audience, and they can’t be hampered or hindered by too much of the corporate language or to a narrower mindset in terms of what works for a certain platform.

So it’s really important that the brands learn to trust publishers and that publishers learn to trust brands.

Knowledge sharing is key

In my experience and what I think came up during this panel that I was moderating is that knowledge sharing and sharing expertise and sharing what happens within technology, what happens within the development is really key.

RELATED: Six tips to succeed in native advertising and content marketing

It’s important for both brands and publishers to be very astute in sharing knowledge, sharing best practices, expanding on what works. Conferences like this like the Native Advertising Days or the website for the Native Advertising Institute can play a huge role in creating knowledge and knowledge sharing that benefits both parties.

Understand the platform

One thing that brands and publishers can learn from each other is to understand the right platform.

Every platform in native advertising, every publisher’s site or ecosystem is unique. And it’s really important for publishers to be very clear about what works on their platform and for the brands to actually pay attention to this. They need to adapt their message to that and allow the publishers to create great storytelling.

Setting the right expectations

Another key point that came up during the panel was the importance of setting the right expectations. Brands, at times, expect too much from one piece of native content and that’s not realistic.

RELATED: Brands Need to Understand that Native Is Not About Instant Results

You can’t have one piece of content that both builds the brand and converts into sales while creating a thought leadership presence. You have to have to manage your expectations, and you have to have realistic expectations.

That’s something that publishers can teach brands. But brands also have to teach publishers what is most important for them. What are the KPIs? What are the goals that they are actually trying to accomplish?

Native needs to be sold the right way

One thing that also stood out, in particular, is how important it is for publishers to train their sales staff to actually understand what selling needs or what native advertising entails. It’s not the same as selling display.

RELATED: WP Brandstudio’s important insights on selling native advertising

Publishers also need to understand how they can work together. How their native editors can work with the sales staff to teach the brands and to manage expectations. That is, I think, one of the key elements for a successful partnership between brands and publishers. That native is sold the right way.

Pontus Staunstrup is featured in this ebook where he shares his predictions for native advertising in 2018. Download it right here

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