The Branded Content Team spent time with Armando Turco, Vox Media’s SVP of content and commerce, to learn more about how Vox structures its branded content initiatives and what has worked for the organization from street-level sales through the production and distribution process. After sharing his wealth of knowledge of branded content creation and sales, three main points stood out to our team.

1. Signature formats

Every publication has tried-and-true formats and franchises that can be replicated for brands. Using signature formats is an easy way to build a product brand and build efficiency through production scale. One example that has proven to be successful at Vox is explainer content. Explainers break down what a business does in a visual and simple way for the audience. Vox has created The Explainer Studio and its site reveals that “the world doesn’t just need news. It needs explanation. That’s why curious audiences have flocked to Vox Media Explainers — over 1.5 billion times in 2017 alone. Blending research, reporting, insight, personality, and humanity, Explainers help people understand the most complicated topics swirling around us every day.”

But why do explainers work so well? In the video below, Armando explains that it comes down to the sales team.

Although video is often the most widely used explainer method, you can use many other forms to implement successful explainer content for your clients. Vox uses a variety of content distribution paths to help explain a client concept to the audience. Armando explains how to turn one explainer element into six.

2. Refined scaling strategy

Determining when to present branded content to an advertiser can be difficult. Vox has created a unique and effective way for sales teams to decide when and if to pitch branded content. Armando explains how to listen for key words and phrases from advertisers.

3. Improved scaling process

Branded content implementation can be difficult. How can we improve the client experience on the post-sales side? And how should we structure client management teams for success? Armando shares some solutions from his team at Vox.

We’ll have more solutions, ideas and strategies to better position your initiatives for long term revenue success. Keep following the Branded Content Project at