Publishers are now using traditional demographics less when targeting audiences with organic content, as younger audiences and other users across social and the web don’t want to be defined by “binary” characteristics. This was one major takeaway from Advertising Week’s “The Bad Guys and Girls of Publishing” roundtable earlier this week.
Native advertising has evolved considerably since it became a primary tool for brands to connect with consumers. Publishers are now well versed in delivering written articles that look like editorial content and producing different types of creative videos that really tap into already engaged audiences.
Leading figures within the industry have revealed how they expect native advertising to develop and grow during the coming years as reaching and interacting with consumer bases becomes more complex. On Tuesday, Advertising Week’s panel claimed that traditional demographic concepts are now an outdated method for marketing.
BuzzFeed’s Vice President of Research and Insights Edwin Wong said that demographic concepts such as age and gender do not define younger generations; rather, their interests and beliefs do. Wong revealed earlier this year that psychographics and the study of lifestyles, personality and attitudes will be more relevant for marketers in the future.
“People are more complicated and way cooler than just a ‘snowflake,’” he said. “Traditional marketing wants to see demographic groups, but there’s a way to understand the ethos of a generation.” BuzzFeed has recently started using psychographics in order to target its branded content to the right audience.
Slate’s Chief Revenue Officer Charlie Kammerer echoed these sentiments, adding that it is important to “create value” based on what an audience is already looking for. Slate is now using audience segmentation so that its native content, articles and ads are better suited for its readers. While the bulk of its content production has been centred on written articles and videos, Slate has also diversified its output with a regular podcast.
Finally, Bustle Digital Group’s Editor-in-Chief Kate Ward said that it is vital to tailor editorial and branded content for each online platform. She added: “Make it in the way a user actually uses the platform and package it authentically. Why would it look different than what their friends are posting? We think of our own media habits and what we view on a daily basis.”