August 15, 2018

4 Reasons why publishers should leverage branded content

publishers need branded content - a businessman writing "GET PUBLISHED"

Branded content can be fun, interesting, informative, and edgy. It is a great way for brands to tell compelling stories and for publishers to build audience loyalty.

For decades, advertising was the primary source of revenue for publishers. But owing to the slow growth of the traditional advertising market, branded content is now leading the way.

A recent survey amongst Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z by Time Inc revealed that close to 90% of the survey participants prefer personalised and engaging content from brands. Moreover, two out of three hold greater faith in tailored branded content as compared to traditional advertising.

So if you haven’t already made the switch, here are four reasons why publishers need branded content:

1. Publishers could reach a wider audience

The younger generation is restless and has a shorter attention span. They demand engaging information in newer formats. They also tend to ignore banner ads, avoid clicking on ads on social media, and skip pre-roll ads. So how can you reach them while showing value to your brands that hire your services?

The answer lies in branded content. Millennials, who make up 27% of the global population, like being entertained and informed with branded content, rather than just being exposed to traditional ads. What’s more, they then share branded articles and videos they like with their friends on social media! This, in turn, is likely to be beneficial to publishers as it raises their profile and increases customer base.

2. Become an influencer

You can evolve from being an informer to an influencer. We live in the age of influencers, and if you become a trusted source of authentic and valuable content, it’s a win-win-win for you, your clients, and your audience.

A study by Boston Consulting Group revealed that 60% of the survey participants did not believe traditional advertising is based on facts. The same survey showed that 96% of respondents trust a brand that gives them valuable information without trying to sell something. A publisher can hence leverage branded content instead of traditional ads to seek greater traction on their sites.

Publishers, brands, and readers all benefit from branded content done well. According to a Forbes study, 59% of people polled were likely to seek out future content from a brand after viewing their branded content. Tapping into this tendency can enhance the revenue model offered by publishers and simultaneously reinforce it as a source of authentic information for consumers.

3. Boost revenue

The most important reason to evolve with the times and embrace branded content is to rake in the moolah. According to research firm PQ Media, the global consumer content marketing industry in 2018 is worth US$16 billion. It is expected to grow by 15% over the course of 2018.

Content marketing will thus become the fastest-growing industry in the field of ‘branded entertainment’, and will have surpassed the advertising industry at twice its growth rate. To grab a piece of the pie, major media publishers have already set up their branded content capabilities. CNN, The New York Times, and Condé Nast are leading the way.

Publishers are at the crux of this phenomenon where they can meet the demands of the consumers who are open to branded content, and brands who want to deliver the same while raking in much-needed revenue.

4. Be contemporary

Lastly, joining the branded content bandwagon will help you revamp your persona. You need to be friendly and conversational while staying informative, as that’s what most audiences have begun to relate to. For them to identify with you, believe you, and accept you as one of their own, you will have to play a pivotal role in the branded content evolution.

Branded content is the future of advertising. The question is; will you be a part of it?