5 Tips For Regional Publishers Looking To Win With Branded Content

By Gavin Merwood, Business Development Director - APAC | Polar

For many brand advertisers metro targeting has been the primary focus for marketing budgets. However, it brings about another big question regarding target audiences: what about regional populations?

Currently there are over 300 regional news websites in Australia. This is a substantial chunk of the population marketers are missing when they focus solely on metro areas.

The Australian industry has witnessed a shift with marketers in major verticals like automotive, banking, and FMCG beginning to adopt a regional strategy. Online publishers servicing non-metro geographies need to prepare to deal with big city buyers and simultaneously provide something to their local, smaller scale clients.

Branded content is an area of growth for all marketers and publishers. However for publishers, scaling efforts across multiple websites and buyers often means it can be difficult to execute a comprehensive plan. Here are some tips based on my experience working with and observing several premium publishers in the APAC market.

5 Tips For Regional Publishers Who Want To Win With Branded Content

  1. Run consistent native placements across your sites in the same format allowing marketers to scale across your entire portfolio. Branded content can be promoted in several ways and you’ll be surprised with the cross-over appeal of quality content.

  2. Offer guarantees on the number of times the branded content is viewed. As our research shows, cost-per-view (CPV) is quickly emerging as the currency for branded content pricing. It more accurately reflects the engagement of branded content regardless of how it's distributed by incorporating views on whichever platform the content lives while still providing clients with a more meaningful metric.

  3. Package your offering into a simple out-of-the-box product. Make it easy for your sales team to sell branded content and for marketers to buy it. While branded content is by no means a new offering, adapting it to the digital world takes a change in mindset if your team is more accustomed to selling display. Sales team enablement can help them keep this more premium product top of mind if they armed with materials which can show marketers the potential ROI.

  4. Provide multi-tiered offerings. Editorial sponsorships, brand features, custom content and partner content all allow different degrees of content production and involvement from the marketer. Different clients will require varying degrees of sophistication in their branded content, from simply having their name and logo on existing editorial content, or having a bespoke content experience created strictly around their brand’s ideals. Be prepared to offer anything on the content spectrum.

  5. Don’t forget video. Local marketers have an appetite for regional TV spend so always offer video options as part of your branded content toolkit. Encourage clients to create bespoke content for you to distribute, either by themselves or with help from your content teams if possible.

Gavin Merwood is Polar’s APAC Business Development Director based in Sydney, Australia. Connect with Gavin on LinkedIn.