A Q&A blog series featuring publisher content studios presenting at the IAB Content Studio Showcase on October 16: CBSi Studio 61, CNN Courageous Studios, 23 Stories x Condé Nast, Disney Co/Op, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, NBC Content Studio, News Corp. Storyful, Pandora for Brands, Refinery29, RYOT, The New York Times T-Brand Studio, and Time Inc. The Foundry.
Publisher content studios have swelled in number in recent years because marketers have recognized publisher’s unique ability to craft marketing communications that allow for longer, deeper, and more narrative than traditional media advertising. Contemporary publisher content studios develop a range of branded content for marketers, designed for the publishers’ owned-and-operated sites, as well as for distribution across other digital and multimedia properties. Content can include a mix of traditional editorial, full-length video programming, short-form video, mobile apps, podcasts, and more. And the name of the game is storytelling vs. overt selling.
Executive Director of Strategy
We caught up with Mike Hess, Executive Director of Strategy from Storyful to provide some insights on their content studio offering before they present at the upcoming IAB Content Studio Showcase event titled “Brand New Ideas.”
Tell us about your content studio.
Storyful is a social content studio powered by direct social data, proprietary tech, and a world class creative team. We were purchased by News Corp in 2013, operate independently, and regularly work with brands, publishers and News Corp partners to create branded content experiences. We specialize in social insights and social video to create authentic content executions for our partners.
Why are publisher content studios so hot right now?
I think that’s a two-part answer. The first is that brands are hungry for quality content that’s contextually relevant for the audiences they are trying to reach. And that’s really what’s at the core of content studios: a deep understanding of their own audience. As advertisers battle ad blindness and publishers combat ad blockers, content studios offer advertisers a way to reach audiences with engaging content that can still carry a brand story. There’s a lot of power in that if you can pull it off the right way.
The second part of it is brands wanting to cultivate an experience for their customers that feels authentic and truthful both to what the brand is about and who the audience is. Leveraging content studios lets brands tap into that power to create content experiences for their audiences.
What are some of the key questions you consistently get from brands and agencies about your content studio offerings
Storyful is in a unique position in the Content Studio space. We’re a News Corp company but independently run. Our expertise is in social content and social insights, and we’ve been providing both to our publishing and advertising partners for nearly ten years.
As a part of News Corp, we often have to answer questions as an extension of content studios around the world – from NewsUK to NewsAU to US partners like the NYPost and WSJ. Much of the work we do is demonstrating to partners the power and potential pratfalls of working with social content to create compelling branded experience.
Independently, we often act both as creative partners and as guides to what’s happening on social for the audiences our partners really care about. Delivering creative insights about what will ring true to their target audiences and then turning around and incorporating real user-generated content in the actual creative is an individual capability to Storyful. Unpacking that for partners, helping them find the white space and helping them get out of their own heads and into the hearts and minds of their audiences, that’s the power we bring. So those are the sorts of questions we typically field from brands and agencies.
What makes for a great partnership for branded content success?
The key to great branded content is ensuring your content is delivering on the right messages and makes sense for the audiences you want to reach. Storyful has nearly 10-years of experience sifting through social conversations to find the content that’s really driving conversation in specific circles. We bring all that experience to the table when we’re creating content for our partners. When we use that experience, and engage as equals who shape a vision together, we see the most success.
Why is the IAB Content Studio Showcase event important? What’s in it for the brand attendees?
Brand attendees will have the ability to hear first-hand what makes branded content so successful and how to capitalize on the opportunity content studios offer with some of the most progressive minds in the business.
IAB’s Content Studio Showcase is a one-day event in New York City that is open to Brand and Retail marketers only. Limited space is available for this free to attend event that will feature the capabilities of one dozen of some of the most prominent content studios in digital and multimedia publishing including: CBSi Studio 61, CNN Courageous Studios, 23 Stories x Condé Nast, Disney Co/Op, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, NBC Content Studio, News Corp. Storyful, Pandora for Brands, Refinery29, RYOT, The New York Times T-Brand Studio, and Time Inc. The Foundry.
Attendees will walk away with actionable insights about publisher studio partnerships, answering questions such as:
- How does a brand get started with a publisher content studio partnership?
- What are the key questions a brand should ask upfront to ensure a content studio program provides maximum value and meets their objectives?
- What are some best practices to ensure success?
- How is ROI evaluated?
Only 100 seats are available exclusively for qualified brand and retail marketers. Reserve your seat today