Understanding Native Advertising and Content with Melanie Deziel

June 27, 2016

melanie deziel on brand

What sets apart good branded content? “Strategic tools, storytelling, and understanding your objectives.” Melanie Deziel helps brands and publishers better understand the shared goals and potential wins that are possible through native advertising. She’s worked with The New York Times, Time, Inc, Netflix, and more to do just that. We discussed all of this including her upcoming talk at Social Brand Forum 2016 on this week’s On Brand podcast. 

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Melanie Deziel

Melanie Deziel is an award-winning branded content strategist and consultant, and the founder of  The Overlap League, the native ad newsletter. She is a board member of the Native Advertising Institute, has served as an executive judge for the Digiday Content Marketing Awards, and travels the country educating marketing, sales and editorial teams on branded content strategy. Melanie is the former Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc., where she led ideation for sponsored content programs across 35+ publications, and was the first editor of branded content at The New York Times, where she conceived and wrote in-depth pieces sponsored by advertisers, including the “Women Inmates” piece created in partnership with Netflix and Orange Is The New Black and the “Grit & Grace” feature on The New York City Ballet presented by Cole Haan, which earned the OMMA for Best Native Advertising Execution in 2014 and 2015 respectively. You can find Melanie on Twitter and elsewhere as @mdeziel.

Episode Highlights

Which label is Melanie’s favorite? What she does is referred to as a lot of different things — branded content, sponsored content, advertiser supported content. Which one is Melanie’s preferred descriptor? “I like native advertising because it’s native to the context it’s in. A person or plant is native to it’s place.”

You can’t just create content for the sake of content. “No one’s coming to your blog because it’s Wednesday. They’re coming because your content is great. Start by asking yourself what value you’re adding” by creating your content.

Do you have a PRE-strategy? In taking your content from good to great, Melanie encourages marketers to create a PRE-strategy. Yes, it comes before the rest of your strategy but it’s also an acronym. “It stands for Product, Role, and the Emotions Evoked” by you brand. You need to consider all of this in determining what kind of content you create.

Is native advertising only for big brands and big publishers? Melanie was quick to dispel this myth. “I’ve seen local papers — college newspapers — partner with a local running shoe company to sponsor a map of the local running trails.”

What brand has made Melanie smile recently? “QLP — Quality Logo Products.” Melanie loves the branded products company for their “little moments of delight” they create on their product pages and notifications.

To learn more, go to mdeziel.com or follow Melanie on Twitter. You can also sign up for her useful newsletter we discussed during the show, The Overlap League.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
This past week Victoria Taylor gave us a shoutout for the our recent episode featuring Brian Fanzo. Thanks for listening, Victoria!

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

  • Subscribe to the podcast – You can subscribe to the show via iTunes, Stitcher, and RSS.
  • Rate and review the show – If you like what you’re hearing, head over to iTunes and click that 5-star button to rate the show. And if you have a few extra seconds, write a couple of sentences and submit a review. This helps others find the podcast.
  • OK. How do you rate and review a podcast? Need a quick tutorial on leaving a rating/review in iTunes? Check this out.
  • Remember – On Brand is brought to you by my new bookGet Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. Order now at Amazon and check out GetScrappyBook.com for special offers and extras.
  • And finally a reminder that On Brand is brought to you by the Social Brand Forum. This premier digital marketing experience takes place September 22-23 in beautiful Iowa City, Iowa. Learn from experts like Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi, and Gini Dietrtich in the heart of the heartland. Listeners of the show get the best rate when they register using promo code ONBRAND at socialbrandforum.com.

Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.