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Six principles vital for acceptance of branded content: Vanessa Clifford

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NEW DELHI: It’s the business of consumer connect, realistically. Noting that there was a dearth of good branded content and the British media invested 350,000 pounds sterling towards that every year, Newsworks deputy chief executive Vanessa Clifford said the aim should be to provide value to the consumer.

Talking about opportunities for branded content at the session “All News is Good News” at ZEE Melt here, she listed six guiding principles for branded content.

She said that the first was clearly the audience interest. One needed to attract the right kind of audience for a particular brand that one planned to sell through a specific advertisement, she said.

There was need to plan the communication idea keeping the target audience and the platform – online or print – in mind. Secondly, the print medium was important as its expertise and heritage were built on reputation, she said.

Trust and transparency was the third on Vanessa’s list of principles. She demonstrated examples of how a reader and viewer’s trust had been won in different advertisement campaigns.

It was necessary for the advertiser and the media, she said, to set the right goals so that the objective of the campaign was fulfilled.

Collaboration between the advertiser and the medium was of prime significance so that the message was conveyed perfectly well, Vanessa felt.

Finally, Vanessa said, there was need to ‘create stories’ that kept the interest of the audience alive.

Earlier, speaking in the same session on “The Role of Print”, Vanessa said that her experience in the United Kingdom had shown that the impact of the print medium was higher in the long-term and national newspapers drove news brands.

She quoted Arthur Miller to say that a good newspaper was like a nation talking to itself.

The print medium delivers results better than any other medium, and campaigners using the print news delivered stronger effects on businesses. News brands command a higher level of attention and 60% of that was focused on newspapers as against 57% on television.

Referring to branding content, she said that there was greater engagement, trust and personal identification. She observed that advertisements worked on ‘sight and sound’ but often forgot the ‘touch’ aspect which actually drove brands, and this was achieved through the print medium.

Furthermore, she said that physical interaction in researches had shown that 66% of the consumers considered buying or subscribing to a product if they saw it in print. The return on investments (ROI) by advertisers through the print medium was three times better than any other medium. The print also commanded a higher level of attention.

Answering a question, she said credibility was higher in the print medium despite the influx of newer online media. Age of the consumer was not a consideration as far as the print medium was concerned, she noted.

Speaking on “Brands and Marketers” in the age of democratized story-telling, News Corp Senior Vice President-Strategy Raju Narisetti said user-generated content (UGC) used by advertisers had greater effect than a commercial where it was clear that it was being enacted.

“Everyone is creating content these days, and around 400 hours of content is produced on YouTube every minute,” he said. Democratized story-telling showed that anyone could tell a story through the mobile.

Raju referred to studies that had shown that 92% consumers were more likely to trust their peers than an advertisement. But, he said, the challenges before UGC was volume, accuracy, acceptance and acquisition.

There was need to align, identify, verify and license, and deploy before using technology for UGC, Raju concluded.

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