IAB in the News

Chat with Rochelle Shaw, General Manager, BloggersClub, on the topic of Native Advertising in NZ

Tue, 27 Oct 2015

Over the next couple of months, the IAB NZ’s Standards & Guidelines Council is out in the marketplace conducting a series of short interviews with key industry folk. The concept is to ask the same four questions to a range of industry professionals working across agency, publisher, creative, and client facing roles.

We’re hoping to further the discussion and education around this topic. It may identify a gap in thinking, perception and perhaps even process - and potentially help identify areas where the industry needs to work better together to help this category evolve here in NZ.

We caught up with Rochelle Shaw, General Manager, BloggersClub. Here is what Rochelle had to say.

1. Is native different to what you have done in the past?

We’ve been working with what is now termed Native Advertising for a number of years, it just now has a name! It’s more refined now – there is far more strategy behind it, and there are bigger distribution opportunities.

2. How is it changing process?

There is a need for very clear process on a number of levels. Over the last 12 months we’ve really streamlined our processes and mapped out to effectively work to get a great result for everyone involved.

Process for clients and their agencies - there is a strict briefing process which involves setting very clear expectations at the start. Especially if it is a first for a brand, there requires education around clients letting go, and trusting the team of bloggers. This often requires education around the value of a natively integrated campaign – clients may still have a mind-set of campaign on, campaign off, whereas if brands can consider the longer view, a blogger can potentially even become part of their key ambassadors . ROI can be difficult to measure in the short term, so it’s about establishing targets that everyone can agree to. It’s also understanding the value of activation vs. the long term value – a blog post can live forever and continue to drive influence and value for a brand.

Process for Bloggers - Bloggers are extremely creative people, and that doesn’t always go hand in hand with “process”. But at the same time there is a need for accountability around timelines, deadlines, targets / KPIs. Our process helps bloggers easily align to that.  It’s a good time to take many of them from being “hobbyists” to professionals.

3. How is this changing the overall landscape?

For us, we feel we’ve come a full circle – we’re doing now what we’ve been doing with as far back as 16 years ago! Now we have a terminology for it.

Financially, we’re seeing brands taking money out of other channels. Clients are realising that they can no longer hit and hope.

The reality is that people make purchase decisions based on recommendations, these come from trusted sources and bloggers now make up a big part of this.  Their social feeds are full of content and ideas from these people – it’s a natural and obvious fit.

4. What is the feedback from clients?

Really positive. The results have been fantastic.

We have clients in many different stages – from clients who are now working with an “always on” strategy with our bloggers, where it’s helping on many levels to drive conversations and create content across their social channels and calendars. To new clients carving out a little budget to dabble, they may not be quite ready to fully commit – but are willing to give it a try (you have to start somewhere!).

With a good process in place, clients feel they have a sense of control. It’s also exciting, as clients have an overarching idea of what they are getting at the start, but only see the end version once the campaigns are produced in the tonality of our bloggers & influencers.

It offers clients access to conversations and communities they wouldn’t necessarily have thought of, or have been able to access through other channels. This opens up new insights, discussions, and alignments. The influence is huge.

I like the quote, “Social influence is the ability to influence a person to make a real world action”.  Simply think about your own behaviour and how you discover things and it makes it easier to see how this all makes perfect sense.