Driving Revenue Through Branded Content on Social

August 3, 2021

Branded content has been around for decades, because it’s so effective. But why is it growing now and how can you take advantage of the tremendous revenue opportunity? In our webinar, Driving Revenue Through Social, Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy at Conviva, and Julia Campbell, General Manager for The Branded Content Project, answered these questions and more.  

 What is branded content? 

Branded content is content produced or paid for by an advertiser but posted and distributed by a publisher or content producer. For the advertiser, branded content is a different, yet authentic way to connect to a desired target audience and likeminded communities. For the publisher, it’s a way to monetize a social media following and fund storytelling within the organization. 

How do branded content campaigns work? 

Publishers determine what their ad inventory on social looks like, most often using average reach and demographics. This information is used to make a rate sheet. Then sales teams use rate sheets to reach out to potential advertisers and pitch them on how the values of their audience align with the advertiser’s brand. The publisher and the advertiser work together to produce a joint piece of creative. The creative is posted on the publisher’s social account. A performance report is delivered to the advertiser upon completion of the campaign. 

Why should branded content be part of your media mix? 

Branded content has huge upside potential. According to research conducted from Borrell and The Branded Content Project, the content marketing opportunity last year was $63.3 billion, and 56% of small businesses said content marketing would be more of a priority in 2021. 

Nielsen also found that marketers get a 50% higher brand lift when advertisers distribute their content with a publisher than when they publish on their own.  

“Advertisers need publishers. So, it’s not enough for them to write a blog post and put it on their own website. They need you [publishers] for distribution; they need your audience. It’s a perfect opportunity to really help elevate what you can do for local businesses, and it really provides some good information for your audiences.” — Julie Campbell, The Branded Content Project 

 How can you do branded content right? 

The foundation of any branded content campaign is obviously the content; that’s always going to be the base of any package for an advertiser. But then what are the other assets? What arms of your social media audience are you going to add in for distribution? How are you going to utilize your digital channels? To be really successful, you need to be consistent and focus on frequency, amplification, and distribution. It’s also important to find the right strategic partner in an advertiser.  

Video is also a huge component of social media and should definitely be considered when executing a branded content campaign. 

“You have to fit the partnership and content with the brand. You’re going to have all these different ways that you can go, and you have all these different ways that you can create content for people, but it depends on the goals and the KPIs that they have. So, if that brand wants a lot more exposure, if they want to be featured more, they want to have much more of a presence maybe, you need to integrate them deeper into a video series so they can be on screen longer and get more screen time.” — Nick Cicero, Conviva 

Why is reporting essential for branded content campaigns? 

Cross-platform, accurate, and consistent data is essential in proving value in branded content campaigns. Data is super important for advertisers to understand the audience they can reach and the amount of content and engagement that they can expect. Data is also important for publishers to match the right advertisers to the right content and manage inventory. Being able to know how many views per video can be delivered or how many engagements are possible is foundational for knowing how much to charge for a campaign. 

“You need to be able to easily and quickly categorize and pull all of that data across all the different profiles that you might be distributing to. It’s one thing to sell a piece of content to somebody once, but it’s another thing to get them to renew with you and continue to do business with you. That’s really key. It’s all about value creation. You need to be able to prove to your advertisers that you’re creating value.” — Nick Cicero, Conviva 

Branded content isn’t going away. In fact, it’s growing and so are the revenue opportunities for publishers and the reach for advertisers. Now is the time to get started or if you’re already running campaigns, now is the time to use data to evolve and expand. 

To learn more, watch our webinar: Driving Revenue Through Social.