Native advertising is complicated to define for media companies - and advertisers are also confused.
Quad City Times shared this sample of how they describe native advertising features and benefits. Keep these one sheets as a start to create your own and train your teams.
1. Position your business as the expert in your industry through informational articles sponsored by you
2. We write the articles. It is not an advertorial.
3. It can run both online and in print.
4. The online portion runs as an article through the home page of our website and another appropriate heading (IE Health and Fitness)
5. Click through to the article page with links to your website
6. The content is written keyword heavy and SEO friendly
7. Articles remain archived on qctimes.com for a minimum of one year
8. You recieve suggested social posts for you to use on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to help drive traffic.
9. Simply put, this is an article that resembles a staff reporter's work - making it "native" - but is actually content written for an ad sponsor.
Their list of key benefits from native advertising is also useful:
1. Credibility of native ads: Trust and authority of the newspaper washes over the advertiser
2. Authoritative: Positions the advertiser as the opinion leader in the community for their category of business
3. Flexible: Article can appear in print and online
4. Impactful: Online article appears on home page as part of the news
5. Direct: Article links to advertiser's site
6. SEO friendly: Article emphasizes key works important to the advertiser's rank in organic search
7. Long lasting: Articles remain in the archive for a year or more
Many thanks to Katie Wilson, Digital Advertising Directory, QCT Media Group, owned by Lee Enterprises, for sharing these tips at the 2014 Native Advertising Summit.