Until recently, my entire professional career has been spent within some of the world’s leading publishers and the three most important values I learned are trust, quality and experience.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that now, more than any time in a generation, those values define the future of the media.
Yet, until recently, those trusted publishers and their journalists are struggling with the decline of print advertising and the migration of spend towards social platforms who benefit from only having to pay a small fee to the content creators (#cutecatpics).
I am optimistic that society and brands have already started to recognize quality journalism (content creators and storytelling) not least because 80% of all time spent online is consuming content outside of the big social platforms. Let’s hope that this logical shift back to quality will only accelerate now that the world’s population is rediscovering the importance of quality information.
How do we ensure that quality news and journalism achieve a sustainable position within the media ecosystem? One way that we can assure this future as readers is to ensure that we become more thoughtful about what we consume and where (almost like how we consciously shop for food with better providence). As media and marketing professionals, we should also start to recognize and prioritize the importance of quality environments and content as a proxy for quality advertising outcomes.
It may be a little self-serving for me to point to native and sponsored content as part of the answer and opportunity but there is absolutely no doubt that it remains an unexploited channel.
So why is this channel still underdeveloped?
Native achieves exceptional results and cost per outcome returns but the hard truth, until now, is that the quality of content and advertising has been extremely poor.
It pains me to see such low quality content being served in such premium environments. Yesterday, I was reading an article on one of the best known sites and I was served a link to the five best solutions for senior incontinence. Whilst I may have recently hit 40, I don’t think this was ever going to improve my experience!
In-feed sponsored content is booming on platforms like Facebook where they get it right by integrating personalized content that works for the user. That platform won’t scale for professional or B2B content but there’s no reason why we can’t produce an equally efficient approach to the “open” internet using quality publishers, aligned sponsored content and excellent technology.
Research proves that native advertising and sponsored content work to drive better engagement and ROI than standard display. However, unlike programmatic, where the industry has moved to improve quality and leverage the channel as an opportunity to personalize vs. simply serve poor quality ads into remnant inventory, native and sponsored content remains underrepresented in the ecosystem.
Quality is the starting point. Dianomi has been working hard in the background with the leading publishers (Reuters, MarketWatch…) to build a high quality supply of native opportunity. We’ve been working with a number of financial and technology brands to test delivery of high quality sponsored content into these premium environments to measure the results for both the publishers and the brands.
The results have been extremely encouraging. It’s not surprising that the publishers / editors are leaning in, monetizing without damaging the integrity of the “trust, quality and experience” mantra we discussed at the outset. Brands are also excited for the same reasons. It turns out that quality context unlocks performance and our native platform unlocks the scale.
I am excited to continue this work with the whole advertising eco-system. I’m determined to not allow Dianomi to dilute its purpose by taking on the wrong type of content/ brands. We are committed to financial, business and technology brands and publishers.
If you are a publisher, an agency focused on helping brands leverage their content investment in a safe and positive way or a brand – I’d be delighted for you to reach out.
Now is the time to do business in the right way which means, creating trust, quality and a fantastic experience for the consumer.