Young women no longer watch traditional broadcast TV. Nor do they read newspapers and, like all young people, they can be pretty difficult to engage through social media. So how does as an advertiser reach them?

Millennials are a difficult group to reach because they consume media and advertising differently than older generations. They are digital natives, always connected, and have developed their own ways of communicating. To engage Millennials, a brand needs to be relevant, make a connection, and communicate authentically.

At Denmark’s biggest news publisher, Ekstra Bladet, we have developed a solution for connecting with young female Millennials: Shero.

Shero is a niche media brand born to handle native advertising. At the same time, Shero is developed specially to target young women, a group that both publishers and advertisers have difficulty reaching.

Shero’s relatable content is written by and for young women in a way that speaks to them and empowers them.
Shero’s relatable content is written by and for young women in a way that speaks to them and empowers them.

We have, in just a few years, developed a strong bond with our young female readers. At Shero, we believe all women are sheroes and we value the fact that no two sheroes are alike. We write about all the stuff going on in young women’s lives — being with friends, having fun, tackling stress or depression, and struggling with growing up.

Even though Shero is a young media brand in an industry filled with other established women’s magazine brands, we have rapidly grown into one of the largest women’s Web sites in Denmark. Shero has a strong connection with young women because Shero is in fact being driven by young women. We don’t try to imagine what a young woman would feel. We write about things we ourselves experience and think in the language that we ourselves use.

We have built a strong platform and connection with our readers that advertisers also can tap into through a native partnership. Always, a global producer of women’s hygiene products owned by Proctor and Gamble, is one of our best examples thus far.

Shero provided Always with an ideal audience connection for its recent native ad campaign.
Shero provided Always with an ideal audience connection for its recent native ad campaign.

Always already had brand awareness among young women but wanted to build an even stronger relationship with the target group. More specifically, Always wanted to break down taboos about menstruation. At Shero, we see it as our most important task to break down taboos and talk about things that young women are struggling with. So it makes an ideal native partnership.

Together we developed a native strategy that revolved around the period taboo. Young women shouldn’t feel embarrassed about their period at all. Instead, we should celebrate it!

The important ingredient here was how we ensured that all campaign creatives were in sync with Shero’s editorial content and tone of voice. To make sure this was the case, Always allowed two journalists from Shero to produce all native articles and videos in the same way, as they would produce editorial content for Shero. The message from Always was thus communicated with Shero’s credibility, trustworthiness, and authenticity — and Shero’s readers loved it.

The editors at Shero feel that a key to successful native ad campaigns is producing content that serves the readers as well as the advertiser, and the Always campaign is an example of just that.
The editors at Shero feel that a key to successful native ad campaigns is producing content that serves the readers as well as the advertiser, and the Always campaign is an example of just that.

The results speak for themselves. Half of the target group developed a more positive attitude towards the Always brand. There was a 276% increase in readers who believe Always was relevant to them, and a 65% increase in young girls using Always.

The success of this campaign offers guidelines for media brands and advertisers looking for native partnerships. Our key learnings about creating successful native partnerships are as follows:

  1. The match between target audience of the media brand and the advertiser is key, as a good match enables the design of highly relevant and targeted campaign messages. Shero and Always had such a match, as Shero’s readers were exactly the young women that Always needed to engage.
  2. The campaign should be designed to be in sync with the values of both the media brand and advertiser, as this supports trustworthy communication of strong and engaging messages. This was the case in the Always campaign, which communicated that young women should celebrate their period — a message very much in line with Shero’s mission of celebrating all aspects of young women’s lives.
  3. Trust by the advertiser in the ability of the media brand to design and execute creatives is key to communicating authentically. Always trusted Shero with the production of all creatives, allowing Shero to communicate the campaign message with the same tone of voice that has made young women love Shero’s editorial content.

By following these guidelines, native partnerships will result in more successful campaigns that are highly targeted and have engaging messages that are communicated authentically. In our experience, this creates maximum effect for the advertiser and makes native campaigns a positive addition to the mix of editorial content for the users of a media brand.