When we’re talking about video and television, brand-funded content in the industry refers to content that is funded by a brand or advertiser, rather than a TV network. On Tourism Tweetup the Podcast we chat with travel presenter and producer Adam Ford and we’ll be talking about Branded TV. Yes I know it is probably sounds like a slight move away from our typical tourism social media discussion but I don’t know much about Branded TV so its a great chance to learn and its important to look at a range of content options and see which are right for your marketing mix.
We hear about the rise and rise of video so I think this discussion is relevant and important. Lets see what we can learn
When we’re talking about video and television, brand-funded content in the industry refers to content that is funded by a brand or advertiser, rather than a TV network.
On a more grassroots level though, it’s really about taking a brand’s key marketing messages and USP’s and integrating those messages into the production of editorial content – be that for television, online or social media.
Brand funded content can be an incredibly marketing tool because you are taking your key message and creating relevant editorial content that users can engage with and potentially value. It’s a very potent marketing tool but it does come at a cost.
It’s estimated that the brand-funded content market on Australian TV is around $200 million.
It goes further than product placement. In branded content the brand’s message is integral to the content, rather than just playing an arbitrary role within the content.
A high profile example of brand-funded content that’s often cited is Better Homes and Gardens, where parts of the program are funded by products. But there are lots of others.
Weekend travel programming often falls under the brand-funded content umbrella. We produced three series of Tour the World on this basis (can explain more about the show here). In our instance, the programme was charged a fee by the network to broadcast the show and that fee and the production costs to make the show were recouped from the brands featured in the show.
But there are no hard and fast rules about the structure.
It’s often quite difficult for brands to understand how brand-funded content works. The idea of paying the networks to screen content seems totally at odds with the way most of us perceive TV production – i.e.: that the network would pay to make or buy content and make income through advertising. But networks are increasingly looking at this model.
Is it relevant to travel and tourism brands as travel totally lends itself to great brand-funded content, although the costs can be prohibitive depending on the scale of productions. OK, so the reality is that the cost of producing and broadcasting brand-funded travel content in peak viewing periods on our main channels is going to be well out of the reach of the majority of tourism and travel brands, although there are some that are doing it.
But what is interesting for this discussion though is to get smaller brands thinking about creative, cost-effective ways that they can embed their key messages in editorial content in a relevant way and get it front of potential customers.
So the process might be along the lines of the following.
1. Look at your USPs and key marketing pillars. What’s unique about your product? What lends itself to video content marketing (a visual medium)? What are your customers actually interested in seeing? How can you engage them?
2. Consider TV but look at the secondary Freeview channels, Pay TV or perhaps the data-casting channels. There are lots of opportunities there. Explore ideas for shows. Look at ways that you can take what you do and make it relevant as content to the audience you want to target.
3. Produce branded content for your YouTube channel, and share it across social media channels to drive viewership. Brand-funded content and social go hand in hand. There are lots of travel brands doing this already. This could also potentially lead to broadcast. We are working with a client at the moment that is amassing quality video content with the goal of transferring if across the television in the future.
4. Perhaps partnering with influencers to create branded content that is distributed via their channels and yours.
Really this discussion at its most basic is about making video content that takes your sales message and reframes it as relevant and beneficial to the viewer and potential customer. Then see where it leads. Anything is possible in this brave new media world!
We talk about Destination NSW TV series called PLONK – see https://www.youtube.com/user/roadtoplonk
And check out http://thebigbus.com.au
Adam hosted and co-produced three series of Tour the World on Network Ten, 4ME and Foxtel.