Many marketers are hopeful that native content creation will seamlessly integrate their messaging with what consumers are already reading and watching on social channels. But there are growing pains. According to August research, more than a third of media professionals worldwide feel that quality of content is the biggest barrier to their native success.
Native content is content created by marketers and publishers specifically for social media, where it will appear—organically—perfectly aligned with other content on that social platform. Thanks to internet users’ increasing focus on social media, and social media platforms’ increasing focus on a seamless experience for users, many publishers believe they must create native content to better encourage engagement and distribution on these platforms.
The largest share of respondents (37%) to news story engagement tracking firm NewsWhip’s survey said creating quality content was the top obstacle to their success with native content.
But respondents were split—though quality of content was the most often cited issue, it was not an overwhelming winner. Not far behind, 27% of respondents pointed to not having enough resources, and 23% noted the inadequate return on investment (ROI) of native content.
These frustrations are just one aspect of what native content is a symptom of: media professionals losing control of their content distribution. Newspapers and magazines may hope that tools like Facebook’s Instant Articles can provide them with readers and engagement—and perhaps even a new revenue stream—but it’s the social platforms that are in control. Just this month, Facebook made headlines when it took down a post by a Norwegian newspaper that included the iconic photo of Vietnamese napalm victim Kim Phuc, claiming it violated community standards. It took an international outcry on the part of dozens of media outlets—and at least one prime minister—for the decision to be reversed.