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L ast month’s LMA/BIA Kelsey’s Native Ad Summit in Washington D.C. was “a big time
home run” according to one participant. A “solid nuts and bolts, get it done” pro-
gram said another. Native advertising is quickly evolving into major revenue streams for
many media companies and this program took attendees from concepts to strategic execu-
Attendees heard the latest on this hot trend that is quickly evolving into serious & pro-
ductive initiatives and all LMA members can now access many of the presentations on
LMA’s website, localmedia.org.
A few thoughts from some of the attendees:
Native Ad Summit Gets High
Marks – Delivers Key Intelligence
From Scott Stanford
General Manager, Media Division,
The World Company
I thought the native advertising
summit was very good. As we begin to
develop our strategy for native, it was
especially helpful to hear Todd Handy of
Deseret Media, Mike Orren of Speakeasy,
David Arkin of Gatehouse, Jay Small of
Informed Interactive and Katie Wilson
of Quad Cities discuss their experiences
selling native advertising. I came away
with a much clearer picture on how we should approach
developing content on behalf of SMBs and the right price tag
for those services.
Brandon Erlacher's discussion of the Elkhart Truth's
Flavor 574 program was impressive, an excellent example of
how a newspaper can leverage its strengths into a powerful
niche product that bundles great content, native advertising,
email marketing and traditional advertising into a powerful
program. (Editor’s note: see the Q&A about Flavor 574 begin-
ning on page 2)
Amie Stein's intro session on Tuesday was a great refresher
and the chance to discuss ideas with other media who have
lunched or are thinking about launching native ad programs.
From Joyce Beverly,
Publisher, Fayette Woman
Native advertising is a no-brainer
that is not exactly a no-brainer. Thanks
to LMA for bringing us together to dis-
cuss the details and strategies we need
to implement so that our customers
and readers can have something we
already know they want.
Key take-away for me: Do it now.
Do it right.
From Mark Poss,
CEO, Red Wing Publishing
Our company does not have a Native
Advertising strategy but this conference
gave me everything I need to lay out a
plan. It was really a high impact day in
that it provided a lot of detail around
developing good content, staffing, pric-
ing and packaging. The presenters, and
attendees as well, were very open in shar-
ing their early experiences - good and
bad - in this rapidly developing area. This
summit was a solid nuts and bolts get it done event.
From Kelly Lunsford
Director of Partnership Strategy,
Native advertising is quickly evolving
revenue stream in the local space that
everyone is trying to figure out. You
could tell by all the engagement and
collaborative discussion that occurred
during the Q&A sessions immediately
following each speaker.
I love the willingness to share in the
industry, and this LMA Conference offered specific informa-
tion utilizing amazing resources like Todd Handy at Deseret
Digital Media, David Arkin at GateHouse Media, Mike Orren
at Speakeasy, Sponsors HubShout & Search Influence. Each
speaker was awesome and transparent about their experienc-
es thus far with native advertising, sharing pricing strategies,
platforms and tracking tools.
From Mike Orren
I thought it was a great group to dis-
cuss this hot topic in our space. I've been
to several Native Advertising gatherings,
but this one provided the most action-
able information from companies really
engaging in the space.
My overall perspective is that native advertis-
ing is in its awkward teenage years. It is trying
to define who it will be when it grows up. Is it
sponsored content, content discovery and is
an Adwords ad really a native ad? I think LMA’s
Native Ad Summit showed some of the beauti-
ful examples of what it can be and some early
examples of native ad metrics.
My tip to local media is to continue work-
ing on the native ad metrics. Trackability is the
primary reason so many ad dollars have flooded
to mediums like search ads. Page views, time on
page, social engagement and organic rankings
are the starting point. While the industry works
to standardize these metrics we also need to
find ways to make the content more valuable
to the business each day. I would recommend
looking at ways to promote the content on the
client's site with social media content for the
SMB's profiles and introductory content that
can be used as a teaser in client newsletters and
even their website.
LMA hosted a
webinar on July 10.
If you missed it, all LMA members
can replay if for free by accessing the
webinar archive on LMA’s website.
I came back convinced that,
done right, native advertising offers
clear opportunities for our news-
paper. I got a lot of questions an-
swered, from how to price and pack-
age native to the right way — and
wrong way — to develop and dis-
play native advertising content.
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