News companies don’t need to compromise editorial integrity for native advertising

By Wayne Morgan


Norwich, United Kingdom


Native advertising, content marketing, advertorial ... whatever you call it, customers are turning to words and pictures as a method of getting their messages across more and more.

Some people would say it’s the antidote to adblocking, which, obviously, it isn’t, but it does help.

The reality is, it works — and, yes, it needs to be labeled appropriately, especially in the European Union. And rightly so, but that shouldn’t stop it from being any less engaging.

Native advertising can be beneficial to news brands and appealing to readers.
Native advertising can be beneficial to news brands and appealing to readers.

There are a plethora of revenue streams — your own direct products and third-party demand — that are increasingly becoming programmatic.

The trick you need to perform for your customers is the distribution of engaging content. There’s no point in having a beautiful piece of content if no one reads it. Do you generate the content for your customers or let them give it to you? Do you allow them to proof or edit, potentially calling in to question your editorial integrity?

Just because it’s labeled, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t meet your own strict editorial rules. In fact, the more it adheres to your ethos, the better it will be for your customers. You just need to get them to see that.

The worst pieces just scream about products and services, how good they are, and why you should buy them. That isn’t marketing through content. That’s advertising, and there are plenty of great products around to do that. If you want to get people to read it, you already know that it has to be content, genuinely brilliant content — just like yours.

If you can write it for your customer as if it were your own article, imagine how many people would read it — after all, writing is our game and building audience through that content is our lifeblood. This might give you some insight in to how you charge for this type of product.

If you are a huge publisher with bundles of users, you can go CPM, or maybe even CPC or CPA. If you are a smaller publisher, you might have flat pricing. The main thing to consider is that regardless of how you charge for it, people need to read it. That means, if you charge your customer to write their content for them, it needs to be the best it can be.

You probably have a word count limit. Should you charge for inserting a video or a gallery? Of course not; you want it to be brilliant. You can do a video or photo shoot and charge for that, but adding that in if already available is bonkers, right? Up-selling further distribution of the article, even programmatically, does have teeth, especially if you want them as an account rather than just a single insertion, because it worked.

Native advertising covers so many different product types. Page real estate is getting tighter, demand is growing, and your RPM strategy demands that you maximise every pixel. Upholding your editorial integrity will make content marketing work better for everyone.

About Wayne Morgan

By continuing to browse or by clicking “ACCEPT,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance your site experience. To learn more about how we use cookies, please see our privacy policy.