Our CEO, Shaul Olmert, recently had the pleasure of joining Playbuzz clients Ford and IPG Mediabrands on an Ad Week 2016 panel to discuss all things sponsored content. Between the three panelists, Platforms (Playbuzz), Agencies (IPG) and Brands (Ford) were represented, ensuring the audience walked away with a 360° view of how many parties coexist in the ever-evolving sponsored content ecosystem.
Related: See Sponsored Content #PoweredByPlaybuzz
Here are 5 takeaways from the “The Key to Achieving Sponsored – Yet Entertaining – Content” panel:
- Ask Yourself “What’s Your Objective?” Determine this before moving forward with a sponsored content campaign. Is it to build a brand or to drive sales? For Ella Goldner, Strategy Director at IPG Mediabrands, it ranges from engaging in an emotional way with audiences to converting those who view content to buy a product. For Emmanuel Lubriani, Senior Manager of Consumer and Social Media of Ford Europe, it’s about identifying brand attributes and values pre-campaign and aligning the in-house PR and Marketing teams.
- Make Sponsored Content More Engaging: “Tell a story,” says Emmanuel Lubriani of Ford, while crediting companies like Playbuzz for making content more interesting and engaging via formats. A sponsored content campaign he emphasized was one in which Ford hired a psychologist to run a survey and match personalities with car colors in order to promote a new red and black edition of the Ford Focus. This resulted in a branded campaign #PoweredByPlaybuzz around the gathered insights, which the auto giant then used to generate conversation and engagement about a subtle take on an existing product. The results: a 5% organic social share rate – well above the average industry benchmark.
- Why Short Form (and Formats) Are Key: Users have limited attention, asserted Shaul. They have major FOMO, are jumping from device to device and are constantly trying to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Playbuzz offers experiences in the form of formats (slideshows, galleries, polls, video snaps and more) that help them do just that. The innate fear of missing the next big thing means average readers or viewers don’t want to consume a 10,000-word essay but would rather engage with content in a way that is quick, playful and relevant to them and their close circles.
- Data FTW!: When entering into a sponsored content campaign, both Ella and Shaul noted that data is key when defining objectives, target audience and storytelling goals. Shaul noted that at Playbuzz, we match a format to a partner’s objectives and then offer granular, analytic data that helps us improve a campaign. For example, we can view drop off rates – are 25% of users dropping off after a certain question? If so, we will suggest that our partner optimizes the content in real-time during the campaign to improve completion rates and shareability.
- Change Your Mindset While Maintaining Your Brand’s Identity: Sponsored content doesn’t need to be a stale advertising push. Nowadays, a sponsored content campaign can be one in which users want, or are compelled, to engage with thanks to interactive content formats – what a thought! At the same time, you can’t simply place your logo on anything, said Emmanuel. Perhaps you use “in collaboration with” when appropriate, or “sponsored by,” but every scenario is different and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis (whilst ensuring compliance with ASA/IAB standards). To put it simply – sell, but first and foremost give the audience value. Brands should not be shy about their association with content (and vice versa) provided that the content is good.
Related: Create Your Own #PoweredByPlaybuzz Content Now
To watch the full Ad Week panel on sponsored content, click here.