We’re tracking native content teasers on over 20 of the bigger Swedish websites. These are our key stats from March 2019.

March ’19: Plenty of focus on sustainability – and cars

The higher activity levels we saw in February continued through March, with again around 250 native articles ran by ca. 125 advertisers.

Also the share of advertisers (brands) that are running native on more than one site or even a network of sites continues to grow steadily. In March, 35% of advertisers were doing that, and they represented 40% of the article volume we tracked.

Business & Finance and Automotive were again the two most frequent topics in native articles, but this month followed by Personal Finance in third place. This is also reflected by the entrance of e.g. Skandia or Danske Bank in the top 10.

February leader Renault has been replaced by Volvo Cars, who among other topics also ran native content on their plans to limit all their cars to a maximum speed of 180 kph in the future. This announcement already brought them international news coverage, but they still decided to cover it in more detail using native.

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The list of newcomers this month includes two real estate related brands (Fastighetsbyrån, Humlegården), with a third (JM) also present in the top 10 above.

The continued discussion around real estate prices and the market situation in Sweden and especially Stockholm is likely a key driver behind some of these brands running native content around new production.

Other campaign highlights include: sustainability, and cars…!?

As already reported in February, we have seen an increased focus on social and environmental topics in true native advertising during the last months. This trend seems to have continued in March. And all of this fits very well with a quote we recently saw in a regional newspaper that “sustainability might well be the status indicator of the future“.

Sustainability-related articles we saw this month came from a variety of brands in different categories such as

Food & Drink (Pågen on Mama.nu)

Fashion (Brixtol Textiles on Metro)

Food and Business & Finance (Max on SvD)

Personal Finance and Business (Pareto on VA.se)

At the same time, as mentioned earlier, Automotive is still consistently one of the most active industry in true native in Sweden. And a big chunk of native “stories” center on new models and how great they are. At first glance, this might be a conflict with the otherwise increasing focus on sustainability.

Upon a second look, we however also see an increasing amount of storytelling from Automotive brands around topics like electric and hybrid technologies. Both explaining new technologies, but also pitching in their advantages and talking about different biases that exist on e.g. electric cars and their range or practicality.

We think these examples perfectly illustrate what makes native content and native advertising such a great format: it can help brands to not only talk about their products and services, but rather tell stories that relate to them and the brand. And take a position on or around topics that interest readers and are relevant in media and society in general, thereby ensuring that their brand communications become relevant and interesting for the readers – something that other digital advertising formats hardly can deliver.