Last week we held another webinar in our Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Native Advertising: Latest Ad Fad, or the Future of Publishing? The webinar included a rock star group of speakers, including Tessa Gould, the Huffington Post Media Group's Director of Native Advertising; Dan Greenberg, the founder and CEO of Sharethrough; Lauren Drell, the Branded Content Editor at Mashable; and Jack Crawczyk, the Director of Product Management at Pandora.

Dan Greenberg, the founder and CEO of Sharethrough, started us off by talking us through what native advertising is and how effective it is. Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience. For marketers this means that it helps combat “banner blindness,” and the numbers prove that out in some of Sharethrough’s end user research with IPG Media Lab; it shows that native advertising has a higher lift and purchase intent than banner ads. 

Jack Crawczyk, the Director of Product Management at Pandora, then took us through the inverse relationship between the reach of TV advertising and the number of commercials being created each year, which only underscores the need for native advertising. Then he took us through a great example with Gatorade, and how they ran a very multidimensional multimedia native ad campaign including Web, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pandora.

Tessa Gould, the Huffington Post Media Group's Director of Native Advertising, showed us how Chipotle put native advertising to work for them in the Huffington Post. They leveraged a part of the Chipotle brand around Green Farming and awareness of GMOs that works perfectly with Chipotle to do some native advertising – a really great example. Tessa also mentioned how a full 1/3 of all engagement with the Chipotle content happened 1 month after the content was posted which points to the “long tail” of this type of native advertising. 

And finally Lauren Drell, the Branded Content Editor at Mashable, took us through Mashable’s approach to native advertising and how your content strategy really doesn’t work if people don’t see the content – therefore distribution is key. 

If you have been on a SocialMediaToday webinar before, you know they are very “participant-driven” and we love to ask your questions of our panelists.  Many of the questions from our audience revolved around topics such as the following: What kinds of content work best for native advertising? What kind of ROI can we expect with native advertising, and how do these partnerships work?

If that piqued your interest and you want to hear the replay of this webinar, please check out this link. Otherwise please join us for our next webinar on Socially Driven Collaboration: How Social Business is Changing The Role of Marketing and IT starting at noon eastern on November 19th: register here.