THURSDAY 25 FEB 2016 12:37 PM


Research has revealed that native advertising - promoted content that matches the form and function of the publisher website - has become a vital tool for the PR industry.

Nine out of 10 PR agencies agree that native advertising is an opportunity for the sector, and 75% believe that they are best placed to create and distribute content for brands. Additionally, 87% think that more could be done within the PR sector to increase their content marketing budget through their clients; native could be a way to access more budget.

Adyoulike, a native advertising platform, commissioned the survey surrounding the importance of native advertising in relation to PR. It contacted senior directors and heads of digital at 75 of the UK’s leading PR agencies, ranging in size from small businesses of 10 employees or less to multinational corporations with more than 100.

Half of the surveyed agencies already offer native advertising options to their clients, with an additional 19% planning to do so in the near future.

Francis Turner, UK managing director at Adyoulike, says, “The PR sector should be doing more with native advertising because it’s all about content – and that’s the industry’s strongest suit. After all, those agencies create eye-catching content every day. Brands see the potential of native to get their message out there in an engaging and immersive way that sits in-feed with publishers’ own content and doesn’t disrupt the online experience. PR firms should be aiming for a larger slice of the content marketing pie and native is a great way for them to get it.”

The study analysed the way PR agencies use native advertising to broaden their media coverage. Most agencies currently focus on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as organic outreach methods, and more than half also use paid campaigns on various platforms to increase number of views; Facebook receives the most budget as a paid-for method of sharing coverage. However, more than 50% feel less confident about explaining native advertising to their clients and two-thirds are concerned about the transparency of the payment approach.

“With complete transparency and understanding, PR agencies can use native to strengthen their client relationships, make their hard-earned media coverage stretch even further and even gain access to previously-untapped content budgets. Those who are doing so already or plan to kick off native campaigns in the near future are undoubtedly getting a leg-up on the competition”, says Turner.


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