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Copyblogger’s 2014 State of Native Advertising Report

Over 2,000 people responded to Copyblogger's survey about the state of native advertising in 2014.

Tomorrow you'll find out what we learned. Stay tuned. 

Update: The post is now live:

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I've been thinking a lot about native advertising (although I didn't know that's what it was called!) over the last few months while working with a client to come up with some non-obvious promotional ideas. I've explained to her that P&G sponsored a number of soap operas and other radio/tv programs (I visited a movie set a couple of years ago for a cobranded "Family Movie Night" film paid for by P&G and Walmart). I also looked at the Michelin Stars and restaurant guide, The Guinness Book of World Records and even the weekly program from the 70s & 80s "Mutural of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" as examples. Glad to know what it's called now. Native Advertising
The Michelin guides are one of my favorite examples. :) Provide value and give your customers a good reason to consume more of your product (tires, in that case). 
So remember the Omaha Wild Kingdom, +Merlene Paynter. Great show. And it was probably just a few years ago that I found out a beer company was behind the world's record book. :D
Ultimately as I think I understand your definition that is all I do on my website, though I confess to not being entirely clear as to how you differentiate content marketing with native advertising, except perhaps native is always a type of content marketing but not all content marketing is native?
If I had a long, well-manicured, evil looking mustache, I'd be stroking it impishly and saying, "Hmmm. Tell me more." 

Looking forward to the next post. 
Close . . . What happens is that I or one of my writers tell stories about what our partners are doing to benefit senior living operators.  We disclose all over the website who are partners are.  So the goal is twofold: 1.  Create general awareness (think billboards) 2.  To drive business specifically to the partner.

It works more or less like this:
1.  Article is very heavy on content and light on sales, which means if you read the article you are going to find it to be an interesting story.
2.  If the article touches on an area of need, you are going to be able to walk away with some ideas about how to do that thing better.
3.  If you have a big need where you don't have resources or expertise you will hopefully reach out to the partner to see if they can help.

We have a lot more control because we produce the content and while it is an iterative process we maintain final control and approval rights.

Hope that is clear:  You can see the site at

A good example of a partner article would be:

Today more than half of the content is not sponsored and when we are fully up to speed the goal would be about 50/50.

Hope that helps.


I wonder why this had to be renamed as "native advertising" ...
When the "advertorial" (for print) and "sponsored" or "branded" content in other media channels already quite adequately conveyed the nature of this rather old and well-established form of advertising?

IMO: The only differences that I can imagine, could be if the level of clear and identifying disclosure somehow changes with a new name, to go along with a bigger slice of the proceeds going to the media outlet, as opposed to the content producer.

I hope that serious sources of journalism steer well clear of this re-packaged advertising, lest the credibility gap widen even further.
Hey +Merlene Paynter. Surely the examples you've quoted about are content marketing ones rather than native advertising? For example, the Michelin brothers created the guides themselves as a resource to help motorists (and to sell them tyres, natch) rather than paying for their brand to be associated with a guide that someone else created.

Semantics, perhaps, but an important distinction.
I think the distinction between Native (paid) advertorial and journalism has always been murky at best.  True, journalists are supposed to maintain objectivity and give a broader viewpoint based on examining the facts but they also serve a corporate entity at the end of the day.  Somebody has to pay to get the content done...whether it's the New York Times or XYZ company.  Just to zoom in on one example, I always get a laugh out of all the hand wringing that goes on in travel blogger circles.  Somehow freelancers are jeopardizing their objectivity & integrity if they visit a destination free or at a reduced rate.  But if somebody on staff at Travel & Leisure essentially does the same thing (employer foots the bill), it's no problem. 
+Steve Mirsky I absolutely agree with you and it is particularly humorous to me, because even with so called hard news most of the time there is a slant that determines which "facts" are highlighted and which don't show up.  One might argue that when this slant is political in can have a much more profound effect on and individual or society as a whole than a trip to Tahiti.
+Jo Fergus I am not quite sure how to take your post.  Maybe you could start by defining serious sources of journalism.  Virtually all big news outlets today approach their reporting, their story telling with a slant mostly either conservative or liberal, but it is pretty tough to find that theoretical unbiased news outlet. 

Yeah...Really big difference between slanting along societal and ideological lines (ie. Lib/Con) and slanting a story to sell and promote one service/product provider over another. I'm rather surprised that this would even need to be pointed out, to be honest.

To continue in the tangent that was raised, a journalistic slant is usually an implicitly acknowledged quality of specific media outlets. One that's managed (within reason) to satisfy existing audience expectations without losing credibility with wider audiences. At one time, that label was avoided but audience segmentation has forced editors to walk a finer line nowadays...for a variety of reasons. Some outlets do it better than others of course.

"Serious" journalism is generally practised by members of the "hard" news media.

This all begs the question of how and why the subject of "journalist bias" can be getting associated with the subjects of promotional/commercial content production/publishing. Unless of course, someone would like to avoid or obfuscate the clear and distinct differences that already exist between these two very separate subjects. I've never heard tell of of any large media outlets where members of the the Ad Sales and News Depts. attend the same meetings. Though stranger things have happened I suppose.

Getting back to the subject at hand...Advertorials in respected publications have ALWAYS been clearly labeled as "paid advertising" for very good and long-standing reasons. Those reasons have not suddenly changed. What has changed though is an explosive plethora of lessor or niche media outlets that might not adhere to the standards of classic journalism. Of course, their audiences already know what to expect from them in both their slant and journalistic qualities.

I also have thoughts about how paid.native/branded/sponsored(etc) content can be integrated into softer journalism without losing credibility, but that's an expansive subject for another day
I may be overly sensitive to this issue because I have watched PBS go after a single company in my industry telling only part of the story under the guise of serious investigative journalism.  In doing so I am fearful that they are doing very little good and great damage. 

And I am thinking it would be great for you to be expansive . . .

Thanks for sharing -- the CyberAlert Blog is working on a response article now. Important question: who did you survey? Post mentions 2,000+ responses, but no mention of the sample. Is it the general public? Working professionals? Marketing pros only? The sample has a big impact on the results, I think. No surprise that the general public knows little about native advertising, but if it's marketing pros, that's quite astonishing.
Sure, thanks for sharing the results! Very interesting survey.
+Copyblogger  My Brand manager is pushing me to create an advertorial or native advertising for our franchisees at a local level.  His idea was to allow prewritten content for franchisees to use at a local level in local magazines.  My concern is that many local level magazine publish an online versions.  If more than one franchisee used the prewritten advertorial would that cause duplicate content online and potentially hurt the franchisee or publisher?  Or would this just be syndicated content? Basically I want to know if this is a good idea for local level franchisees or if we should do it at a national level?
Publishing it online would be diluting search but on a local level it may not be an issue. 
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