Is native advertising a waste of time?
By now we can pretty much agree that the firewall between editorial and advertising has crumbled into the dust of ancient history. Frankly, I’m not sure it wasn’t a fiction for some publications anyway. In fact, I once tried to drop a press release back in the day when advertising and PR were two distinct disciplines and was told by the publication that I really needed to buy some advertising if I expected the news item to run.
But back to today. “Native advertising,” sort of an advertorial on steroids, is institutionalized line-blurring between what seems like editorial and ends up being advertising. It’s just done with more finesse. If you, the advertiser, choose to do native advertising in a publication like Forbes, you’re piggybacking and will pay lavishly for the ride. If the native ad is good and the reader follows the trail back to you, which brand gets the most benefit, Forbes or yours? Some think it’s not your brand getting the benefit.
Perhaps you should spend your efforts and your dollars building your own brand with your own content on your own site rather than be a digital sharecropper. On the other hand, that requires an investment in a solid brand, a publishing platform (whatever that looks like for you), and a steady stream of original content. It’s do-able: which do you prefer?
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