Editor's note: This is an excerpt from The Art of Native Advertising, a three-part series by Chuck Lapointe, CEO of MTL Blog, Inc., a Canadian-based Millennial publisher that runs MTL Blog and Narcity.
Traditional advertising doesn't work anymore.
Rarely does it manage to capture attention as today's average consumer efficiently filters through the relentless bombardment of advertising today.
Traditional advertising is primarily based on sales teams and marketing departments that consist of graduated "textbook marketers." Where are the composers, the craftsmen/craftswomen, the true artists?
We Are Millennials: Team Spirit
The reason MTL Blog Inc. has found success lies in our ability to remain deeply rooted and in-touch with local Millennial demographics.
Currently covering French Montreal and English Montreal/Toronto with our MTL Blog and NARCITY brands, much of the cohesiveness we’ve achieved was conceived by fostering a strong team spirit in everything we do.
We encourage creative input from all of our members through various team bonding activities and not to mention, numerous brainstorming sessions than often spill over well past office hours. Successfully creating content that truly resonates with millennials comes down to speaking directly to and with them — on their level.
How do you best speak directly with them? So far, our winning formula has been to promote creativity from inside by engaging our own team of dynamic Millennials who are as active as the city they live in.
Ground To Stand On
The first signs of the significance of native advertising became clear after MTL Blog published a sponsored article about A/Maze, a Montreal escape game company.
This sponsored article provided MTL Blog with concrete results that everyone involved could get behind. We can proudly claim that we pushed an impressive 6,942 clicks back to A/Maze’s home website and more than 13,000 shares, helping this local company find its way into the popular culture of Montreal.
Within days of publishing this sponsored post, A/Maze reported an influx of interest followed by consistent reservations, selling out for weeks to follow.
The Audience Is Smarter Than You Think
While the immediate appeal of a publisher taking up native advertising may be difficult to resist, much like a siren song, native advertising should not be taken for granted as easy.; modern, "digital native" Millennials are smarter than ever before.
Millennials represent the first significant wave of digital-first consumers in history, and are thus not easily fooled by the same technological parlor tricks that may have worked on their parents. As fundamental as the principle may seem, it's worth stating: without appropriate appreciation, knowledge and respect for your audience’s intellect and ever-evolving lifestyle habits, sponsored content treads on very thin ice.