WAN-IFRA Global Advisory

Helping News Media Prosper in a Digital World

Branded content

Native advertising, sponsored posts, advertorial, branded content. There are many different definitions, so it’s no surprise every publisher labels this differently. One thing is clear: in a time of ad blocking and stagnating display rates, branded content offers an attractive and secure revenue stream. But it’s also clear that developing a good branded content business can be difficult and expensive. 

How to be creative but create strong re-usable products? How to draw lines with the editorial team? How to structure the team? How much to spend on promotion and marketing of hero content?

We’ve met and discussed strategy with with Deseret, T Brand Studio, Sharethrough, Tribune Company (tronc), La Factoria, Schibsted, Tamedia and dozens more. We’ve run training sessions and presentations on practical branded content at Digital Media Europe events. 

We believe:

  • Publishers need to move up the value chain with ad clients - more in an agency role
  • Certain new roles are essential - e.g. the Content Strategist
  • Publishers need to think mobile development first - sophisticated campaigns need to work on all platforms
  • Branded video revenue will rapidly surpass pre-roll in most markets
  • It’s tough to deliver campaigns at a sensible cost - now is the time to share knowledge with fellow publishers