October 2, 2017
Earlier this year, we partnered with the Ipsos Connect team to conduct one of the largest and most extensive branded content research studies. Our objectives were twofold. First, prove branded content works; and second, uncover strategies for publishers to make it even more effective.
We recently further refined the data and found even more insights and tips for publishers. Over the coming weeks, our team will publish a three-part series called: Proving Branded Content Works! The three themes will further examine how the level of brand integration, content formats, and environmental conditions impact purchase intent and brand awareness.
This first post examines how different levels of brand or product integration impacts brand lift. There’s a common perception among publisher sales teams that custom content is the most effective method for moving the needle on brand lift or awareness. While both editorial and custom content are effective of driving awareness, custom did not perform better than editorial in our research study.
We tested real examples of branded content on both ends of the integration spectrum; from editorial produced content with brand association (logo disclosure) to custom produced content with obvious brand or product integration. Here’s what we found.
“Through better integration and a more targeted approach, publishers provide marketers the freedom to offer relevant and engaging content, and respond more directly to user needs and interests, while offering brands a more effective way of delivering their message.”
– Peter Minnium, President, US, Ipsos Connect
When selling a large campaign, our advice is to keep it as simple as possible. An entire campaign does not need to be all custom produced assets. Rather, include a variety of content types and formats with varying levels of brand or product integration. Within the production package, include a few pieces of custom content with a larger variety of supporting editorial content. Association with editorial content is great because it’s content that yields a higher margin (the production costs are sunk costs and already paid for). For this type of campaign, offer a total views guarantee against the entire campaign (across all types of content).
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