In Case You Missed It, Here’s A Look At Our Best Performing Content Marketing in 2017

December 21, 2017

2017 was a big year for the publishing industry. With so many changes, we had an abundance of opportunity to put together a lot of great content that presents our perspective on industry news, trends and insights.

Last year we released a total of 48 blog posts and 9 white papers, all packed with new industry research and data, actionable insights and best practices to help guide your branded content business.

We’re excited to share our top performing content marketing initiatives. Our top 5 blogs have been ranked by longest engagement time and the top 5 white papers with the most downloads.


Plan B: A World Without Facebook

  • Publish Date: October 24, 2017
  • Engagement Time: 5:02 minutes
  • Theme: Facebook

Earlier this year Facebook caused a firestorm across the publishing industry. As most of you probably read, Facebook admitted to running tests in six countries that removed organic publisher posts from the news feed. The potential of Facebook creating a “friends and family only” news feed should make publishers question their long term distribution strategies. Read about our take on the situation, and why we think publishers should be thinking about a Plan B.


5 Expert Tips That Every Australian Publisher Can Use To Grow Custom Content Revenue This Year

  • Publish Date: August 14, 2017
  • Engagement Time: 4:53 minutes
  • Theme: Australian Branded Content Market

The custom content market in Australia is thriving, and we’re forecasting it to reach $400M by 2021. All of the major publishers in Australia have prioritized custom content and are including content led programs on almost every brief. It is widely recognized as the growth driver for their digital business and here are 5 recommendations based on our global experience that every Australian publisher should consider.


5 Branded Content Distribution Strategies To Help Justify Higher Prices

  • November 21, 2017
  • Engagement Time: 4:12 minutes
  • Theme: Branded Content Distribution

The biggest threat to a publisher’s branded content business in 2018 will not be other publishers; rather the competition will come from platforms and agencies. Publishers should incorporate different branded content distribution strategies into their business model as a way to differentiate from these competitive threats.


Your Branded Content Headlines Should Be 12 To 16 Words Long

  • Publish Date: November 16, 2017
  • Engagement Time: 3:57 minutes
  • Theme: Headline Best Practices

We analyzed more than 10,000 branded content headlines from the world’s leading premium publishers to find out what drives strong CTR. In this blog post, we examined headline length to see how the number of characters and words impact performance. We found that CTR peaks when headlines are 90-99 characters long, and 16 words in length. Across the board, our findings suggest that longer headlines tend to promote more clicks.


Forget Native, I’m All In On Branded Content

  • Publish Date: May 8, 2017
  • Engagement Time: 3:50 minutes
  • Theme: Branded Content Industry

Selling native formats was a quick win a few years ago, but within the ever-changing publishing industry, advertiser tastes, metrics, appetites and knowledge have all evolved. As it stands, premium publishers provide premium content, coupled with legitimate, quality audiences – the building blocks of stellar content strategy. Content, and more specifically branded content, is a strategy used by brands to support their upper funnel marketing objectives. So are recommendation: stop calling it native!



A Guide to Branded Content

  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 28
  • Downloads:  1,686
  • Theme: Branded Content Industry

This guide aims to bring clarity to the publishing industry by defining three distinct shades of branded content: editorial sponsorships, custom content and advertiser content – as well as the various flavors of each. We explore how marketer objectives, content types, business models, metrics and KPIs are subtly different for each type of branded content.


A Guide To Brand Measurement

  • Publish Date: May 2017
  • Page Count: 16
  • Downloads: 1,559
  • Theme: Brand Lift Measurement

Does branded content really work? Ipsos Connect and Polar joined forces to explore the effectiveness of branded content and how executing content advertising with premium publishers pays off for brands. Did you know that Consumer awareness of a brand increased to 69 percent after engaging with branded content? A Guide to Brand Measurement, is a 16-page first-of-its-kind research paper explaining how premium publishers can make branded content more effective, through the analysis of user testing and data collection.


The Branded Content 100

  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 20
  • Downloads: 1,168
  • Theme: Branded Content Industry

Publishers are dedicating greater resources to growing their branded content business in 2017. Publishers listed in The Branded Content 100 will collectively generate $3 Billion in digital branded content revenue in 2017. The premium branded content industry is expected to grow faster than any other segment in the digital advertising ecosystem. But who are these top publishers defining success in the category?


How To Boil A Frog | Facebook’s Monetization Strategy

  • Publish Date: September 2017
  • Page Count: 22
  • Downloads: 972
  • Theme: Facebook

This whitepaper shares some perspectives and insights on how Facebook has slowly and surely eaten up publishers’ digital ad revenue. This is intended to help publishers better understand the bigger picture of how Facebook works, by understanding the News Feed, how they monetized brands, their attitude towards influencers and what may be in store for retailers. To date Facebook has 2.01 billion Monthly Active Users with $9.32 billion in Quarterly Revenue, equating to 45% YoY Revenue Growth (Q2 2017 vs. Q2 2016). The information in this whitepaper is based on our own research, experience, and opinions.


What Makes A Great Branded Content Headline?

  • Publish Date: October 2017
  • Page Count: 37
  • Downloads: 457
  • Theme: Headline Best Practices

Aside from content, headlines are the single most important part of an article – it’s the gateway to your content and it’s what makes the reader hungry to find out more. We found thatMedian CTR improves when headlines have more words and characters. Performance peaks at 90-99 characters and 15-16 words in length. In this whitepaper, we go through a variety of elements that contribute to a headlines success. We will deep dive into characters, words, and phrases, giving you a detailed look at global aggregate headline performance data from the world’s leading premium publishers.




Polar’s Snapshot of Global Branded Content Performance presents the complete picture for major markets and publishers this past year. This benchmarks report presents a detailed look at global aggregate performance data, as well as specific performance across Australia, United States, and United Kingdom.