Defining and determining when and if to pitch branded content are two of the biggest challenges that publishers face when creating and selling branded content. Combatting confusion over wording has been one of our focuses for the first year of the Branded Content Project.
What’s the biggest question we get asked about branded content?
The question is always, “What the heck is it?”
Let’s start with our definition.
Branded content is defined as “… any sales initiative that uses content to engage the user and is paid for by a client who participates as part of the content, helps supply the content or sponsors the content that is distributed across any platform. Native advertising articles, social videos with a sponsor tag or element, product placement, sponsored live events, sponsored collections of stories or paid video segments are examples and included inside our definition of branded content.”
Armed with your new definition and you now know what branded content includes, we need to determine if there is a growing opportunity in the space.
That answer is a big “YES!” And we have numbers to prove it.
Now we have defined branded content, and we have determined there is a revenue opportunity for local media organizations and a solution for advertisers.
The next question we get asked: “How do we sell this?”
We have five strategies to help your sales teams succeed when prospecting, pitching, and presenting branded content as a solution for their clients.
When is branded content the right solution for an advertiser?
When you have a client who has a business with a high amount of information to explain or a good story to tell about their business, branded content is an excellent solution. If your client’s product involves a complex decision-making process, package up a branded content piece to their plan. Think of large purchases like homes, cars, or medical procedures.
Branded content also works well to introduce a new product or brand. And don’t forget about outside-the-box clients. Foster care companies, religious organizations, non-profit groups, and many others all have stories to tell that may not fit into a :30 spot or a display ad. Offer them an avenue to tell their story, educate the audience, provide solutions to problems.