Sponsored content, advertorial and in-stream ads are different types of native advertising. Buzzfeed are doing it, the New York Times are doing it. Native advertising has become a buzzword of late, but it is not new – marketers have made use of content marketing for some time and publishers have offered the platform for just as long. Naturejobs has already been doing it in print and online with products like the Inside Views. Now, we’re bringing native advertising to the Naturejobs blog. And we’re determined to get the balance right and explain the what, how and why.
Last year, the Online Publishers Association did some research into which of their members were using native advertising, and what for. The OPA asked their members how they defined native advertising, and the below were three of the top four ideas that came to mind:
– Content either provided by, produced in conjunction with or created on behalf of our advertisers that runs within the editorial stream.
– Editorial value to the reader and conforms to the reader’s expectations.
– Clear delineation and labelling of advertised content.
The study also found that best practices for native advertising include:
– Transparency: native advertising assets should be clearly labelled
– Discoverability: native should be discoverable as any other content
– Value: native advertising should provide the same value as any other content
It is important for publishers to offer advertising opportunities as it provides an important source of income, especially when offering content free of charge to the readers, as is the case with Naturejobs.com and the Naturejobs blog. Native advertising is one such opportunity for advertisers. Importantly though, readers are finding it useful, as it provides a deeper insight into the companies and brands that interest them.
Native advertising on the Naturejobs blog
For the purpose of Naturejobs, it is a combination of all of the above that comprises native advertising. On Naturejobs.com we have had advertising for many years which should be relevant to you, the scientist (vacancies, courses, events, grants). Now, we don’t just want to use traditional advertising to bring potentially interesting courses or industrial placements to you. We also want to bring you insightful content from those who have experienced these environments.
Here on the Naturejobs blog we want the native advertising content to bring as much value to you, our readers, as our own content. As a result, we have set some ground rules to make this happen.
Native advertising requires a delicate balance between the audience needs and customer needs. To make sure both are met, we’ve put some strict rules in place.
1) All native advertising features on the Naturejobs blog are going to go through a strict editorial process, like any other content, so that they match the style of the blog. There will be no contact between the editor and the advertising campaign leaders regarding campaign negotiations.
2) All native advertising posts will be clearly labelled as such. These labels will be the first line, and will read: Sponsored content. This article was written by [insert author name], and was sponsored by [insert company name].
Just as importantly, we’ll make sure that behind the scenes, commercial relationships with vendors have no impact on our core coverage and analysis of the media industry and its issues.
We are confident that we can get the balance right and offer native advertising products that are attractive to our advertisers as well as interesting and useful to our readers. Neither Naturejobs nor any of the potential blog post sponsors wish to create content that displeases the readers. Explaining the how and why will help with this but your feedback is invaluable, so if you have any questions, concerns, comments on native advertising on the blog, please do get in touch and email julie.gould [at] nature [dot] com.