When it comes to knowing what’s working in branded content, there are few that have a better pulse on what’s happening in the space more than the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
The group, which includes more than 650 top media companies, brands and more, is on tap to share all they’re learning about branded content at the upcoming November Innovation Mission in New York City that is hyperfocused on branded content strategies.
We caught up with Zoe Soon, vice president, mobile center of excellence, for IAB about what her organization is learning and where branded content is headed. Here’s a look at our interview with Zoe.
First, tell us a little about your organization.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) empowers the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy. Its membership is comprised of more than 650 leading media companies, brands, and the technology firms responsible for selling, delivering, and optimizing digital ad marketing campaigns.
The trade group fields critical research on interactive advertising, while also educating brands, agencies, and the wider business community on the importance of digital marketing. In affiliation with the IAB Tech Lab, IAB develops technical standards and solutions. IAB is committed to professional development and elevating the knowledge, skills, expertise, and diversity of the workforce across the industry. Through the work of its public policy office in Washington, D.C., the trade association advocates for its members and promotes the value of the interactive advertising industry to legislators and policymakers. Founded in 1996, IAB is headquartered in New York City.
What are the most important trends you’re seeing in branded content today that media companies should be aware of?
Branded content is being used to tell stories rather than share facts and statistics. It allows brands to draw out a story and highlight its authenticity and quality of its work. It is also being used to leverage customers’ personal stories to humanize their product – think community stories on D2C sites like Warby Parker and Untuckit.
Brands are leveraging branded stories to establish and cement a positive social position. With millennials increasingly turning to products that align with their own beliefs, branded content is the most effective channel to express a brand’s values.
Media companies now more than ever are paying more attention to branded content. Why do you think it could and should be a significant part of their future business model?
Consumers are increasingly demanding that advertising be personalized, relevant and authentic. Branded content supports meeting those objectives by delivering content to consumers that is beneficial to them and that they find value in. This leads to increases in brand affinity, trust and recall.
Branded content is also more effective than traditional display advertising. Branded content video, moreover, outperforms pre-roll in nearly every category.
Are there niches or areas of focus that you think media companies should be looking at when they’re considering their branded content strategies?
Branded content is a growing segment in audio advertising. According to the IAB/PwC FY 2018 Podcast Revenue Report, branded content campaigns in podcasting grew nearly 65 percent to 10.1 percent of all campaigns executed via podcasts.
Influencer marketing is another growing area in branded content. While traditionally considered two separate channels, they do share similar qualities. Paying a YouTube influencer to create a branded video isn’t much different than paying a publisher to create a branded video, for example. Instagram’s recently launched branded content tool, also, allows advertisers to promote organic influencer posts as ads.
What will attendees learn from IAB on this unique branded content-focused innovation mission?
IAB will share its view on best practices on activating branded content. Through our relationships with the major branded content studios, IAB has a unique perspective on what works, why and how to do it, and how to measure its effectiveness.