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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Pathway to driving incremental branded content revenue

May 15, 2023 | By Jason Kalin, Chief Business Officer – Nativo @Nativo

In a previous post, we predicted that there would be a rapid expansion of brand content with the adoption of generative AI and discussed how publishers can utilize this adoption to fuel growth. I wanted to expand on some strategies publishers can implement to start the conversations with brands and agencies about using the content they have already invested in to drive brand consideration.

Publishers can leverage a brand’s non-promotional content and powerful storytelling to drive new and incremental revenue. Consumers across different mediums are actively engaged with long-form content, increasing brand recognition. Here’s a pathway for publishers that want to help brands use content in order to optimize the revenue potential for their businesses.

Content: A vehicle for influence

Before we jump into the strategies, why should you care about prospecting with content? Here are some numbers to help convince you that consumers rely on content to make purchase decisions:

  • According to Content Science, 70% of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through content rather than traditional advertising.
  • According to Nielsen, the average time spent on sponsored content is two minutes and thirty seconds. That’s roughly the same as purely editorial content.

In today’s digital age, consumers are inundated with display and video advertisements. But when it comes to product and service information, branded and sponsored content takes a backseat to these traditional digital formats. The data suggests that consumers are looking for authentic and informative content they can engage with rather than being sold to. 

Long-form branded content allows brands to tell their story, provide helpful product and category information, and ultimately guide consumers to make an informed purchase decision on their terms. As a result, companies are changing their marketing strategies to focus on creating content that informs consumers throughout the purchase journey. And publishers are the ideal partner to repurpose, optimize, and scale a brand’s content to connect with a brand’s audience.

Content sells itself

Content marketing has proven to be a game-changer; according to HubSpot, 70% of marketers are actively investing in it. Still, only a few industry partners offer solutions to scale this content outside the brand’s owned channels. The increase in investment in content marketing reflects the fact that marketers not only build trust by providing valuable and informative content but that it also positions them – and the brands they represent – as industry leaders. 

Tested tactics to drive revenue 

Repurposing content opens up a unique opportunity to create impactful prospecting strategies. One tested method is to pull content from brand marketing channels and create proactive mocks that showcase their content on a publisher’s site. 

The best outreaches we have seen involve a multi-touch approach to showcase brands’ content within a publisher’s environment, utilizing content sourced from Facebook, Instagram, blogs, ebooks, whitepapers, transcribed videos, and podcasts. These mocks can be used for prospecting new business or encouraging existing clients to invest in incremental budgets. This outreach allows brands to see how their content can be repurposed for maximum engagement.

Pro tip: streamline the process

The most impactful way to showcase the power of a brand’s content presented in the context of your site is to show marketers what that would look like. Most methods require publishers to do that directly from their CMS requiring development and design resources to create a mockup without actually pushing it live. Alternatively, publishers can use native ad servers to do this work. This way, publishers can upload the creative and content, and generate a preview link. Some platforms include content ingestion tools, which will help streamline this process further. The link can then be shared directly with the client or included as a screenshot in slides.

An alternative method would be to build a mock template in PowerPoint or another design software and copy content into the template. The problem with this method is it requires the manual and time consuming process of finding the content, pasting it into your template, and making design adjustments.

In conclusion

Content is emerging as a critical driver of influence in today’s digital world. Writing content and promoting it on different platforms builds trust and creates an authentic relationship with consumers. But creating quality content is a major investment. Taking the time to repurpose that content and automate the process correctly can help publishers partner with brands so that they can more readily scale their content and drive brand consideration. 

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