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 The Foundry @ Time Inc.
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.
VP, Product Marketing
Studio 61 – CBS Interactive
We caught up with Rick Corteville from Studio 61 – CBS Interactive to provide some insights about their content studio offering in advance of the IAB Content Studio Showcase event titled “Brand New Ideas.”
Tell us about your content studio.
CBS has a rich history in branded content dating all the way back to Campbell’s sponsoring Orson Welles’ radio program. CBS names their studios sequentially by number and so it was natural to name our branded content studio with the next available number: Studio 61. We develop premium content across a variety of verticals that include assets as videos, infographics, custom articles, white papers, and live events. Once the content has been created by our expert and fun-loving staff, we have a product called StorySpread that ensures it will be seen and drive engagement.
Why are publisher content studios so hot right now?
As people spend more time with the digital medium across multiple devices, they are getting more savvy and, in turn, more apt to tune out pure commercial messages. Custom content presents a great opportunity for brands to engage with a publisher’s audiences to tell emotional, interesting, thought-provoking stories. Premium content has not decreased in its importance; brands are looking towards trusted partners to seize this opportunity.
Since our launch in 2015, the success of Studio 61 has flourished under the relationships we built with clients, the quality of the content that we produce, and the strong performance of these collaborative pieces.
What are some of the key questions you consistently get from brands and agencies about your content studio offerings?The main questions that we get from clients surround timelines, costs, and distribution. Related to timelines, clients want to make sure that the content can run within the window of their overall campaign so it has the maximum impact.
On the cost front, we usually pitch several different concepts to clients that can vary in budget and production levels based on the number of assets produced, the talent that we use, and the locations for the video shoots.
And finally, on the distribution side, we work with clients to answer questions around the number of and length of the trailers/teasers that we produce around the content and where they will run.
What makes for a great partnership for branded content success?
There are several aspects that make for a great partnership with clients:
- Involvement: Being involved from the very beginning is important, even if the agency takes the lead from a kick-off call, just so we can hear your goals and objectives from the get-go. This early alignment can also build a sense of trust in our work as we embark on the production process.
- Goal alignment: Speaking of goals, knowing the purpose of the content and what it is intended to do is important as it may change how we develop/cast it.
- Content Calendar: While not always possible, having a content calendar so we not only know how a specific asset fits into long term goals but what the other needs of the client are is very helpful and drives towards a good partnership (even if we aren’t producing 100% of the content).
Why is the IAB Content Studio Showcase event important? What’s in it for the brand attendees?
It is rare to get all these great content producers in one place on a single day so that brands can get exposed to all our great work and get more knowledgeable on the best practices around branded content. It’s our hope that this event generates excitement around the space so that clients will be open to investing in and testing branded content. We’re excited to connect!
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