Is your team ready to take on native? Whether it is producers who can create excellent branded content or real-time copywriters who can work on the fly, there are clear signs that show agency dynamics are fundamentally shifting. In a Sharethrough-authored article on AdAge, we breakdown the reasons behind this shift as well as the type of roles that will help drive native content moving forward. For many of the companies below, these types of roles are already being examined, and in some cases, filled.
Additionally, while most of us have been busy watching the Olympics this week, the trio of Facebook, Digg and Google have been busy making headlines.
Don’t call it a comeback — this week Digg launched their new, advertisement-free site. By removing all ads (both native and display), Digg is making a decision to refocus on their users and rebuild a community base that long ago moved to competitors like Reddit. While their initial plan centers on community building, their clean, image-focused layout hints at a monetization strategy that will be focused solely on native. As Digiday’s Brian Morrissey points out in article below, “For content-based sites like Digg, the banner is unwanted.”
Google got a little bigger this week with its $250 million acquisition of Wildfire. Wildfire, a social marketing company, allows companies to manage their social media campaigns across the Internet. While their ability to offer sophisticated insights into application development and analytics provides tangible value, TechCrunch points out that they do not have the social API relationships to allow them to place ads. Instead, they have an exclusive social ad deal with social start-up, Adaptly. Safe to say that their social advertising M&A acquisitions are far from over….
Speaking of social advertising, Facebook continues to make news after its earnings last week by teeing up their new ad product, “Promoted Posts”. In this model, brands pay per status update based on how many of their followers they want to see the update. This is another attempt by Facebook to segment brands’ followers into groups that they can individually monetize, next up “Targeted Posts” a la Linkedin.
Don Draper may not understand why having a native team is important, but we certainly do. In an age where branded content and native postings are becoming the norm, it is imperative that agency teams stay ahead of the curve. By bringing in new talent that knows how to work within a native environment, agencies can think more creatively, respond to social media suggestions quicker, and pivot to new trends more efficiently. This article does an excellent job breaking down the talent categories that matter.
Digiday – The Aesthetic Pity of Web Advertising
Brian Morrissey does an excellent job breaking down what he calls the “display advertising industrial complex”. In layman’s terms, this essentially means that some form of banners will exist for the foreseeable future because advertisers are already used to dumping billions of dollars into them. Because of the complex, it is even more important for native platforms, like Sharethrough, to continue to find scalable solutions and showcase analytics highlighting the power of native advertising over banners. When you have people like Gawker founder Nick Denton saying he hopes one day his sites won’t run banners, you are on to something.
Mashable – Digg is Back With New App and Site Re-Launch
As discussed in the opening paragraphs, Digg rolled out a new website. By using larger story panes and a cleaner approach, the website looks more polished and is receiving positive feedback. One thing that is interesting to note about the new site is that much more of the content is picked by editors than users. This is very different from previous Digg versions that tried to remain user-centric. However, given that BetaWorks, which owns the news aggregator News.me, acquired Digg; it is no surprise that Digg has taken on more of an editorial voice and has moved further away from purely user-generated content.
With the $250 million acquisition of Wildfire, Google made a statement that they consider social a very important part of the future. While AdWords has been a gigantic moneymaker in the search world, gaining access to social data will allow Google to find in-roads within Facebook and Twitter’s ad strategies. Wildfire is an excellent first step for Google, as they can help educate Google on social and begin to think of a strategy around social advertising.
While last week was all about their earnings, this week was all about Facebook’s new “Promoted Posts”. Facebook, in essence, has (smartly) decided to charge brands to interact with their followers. While the prices range significantly depending on how many followers you want to engage, brands are now met with a choice every time they have a new link, statement, or video they want to post. Now the waiting game is on to see whether brands consider their Facebook community as valuable as Facebook believes it is.
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