Post Thumb

Branded content is no longer about pushing products but rather starting a conversation and providing a consumer benefit in an authentic environment, as per experts. 

A panel discussion, at the Indian Magazine Congress 2023, on “Global Perspectives on Magazines’ Unique Positioning for Branded Content” shed light on the importance of branded content and its role in the media industry.

Sharing their views on the topic, industry experts described branded content as consumer-centric, informative and educational, with a focus on building conversations. 

The discussion also touched on the importance of understanding the target audience and the potential of vernacular content in the Indian market.

Giving a simple definition of branded content, Tarun Rai, Executive Director APAC, Wunderman Thompson, said that it is content that carries a consumer benefit, serves the brand and is presented in an environment where consumers find it authentic.  

“Branded content starts a conversation rather than just selling a product,” he added.

Rai also spoke about in-bound marketing versus outbound marketing. He explained that inbound marketing is content which sucks the consumers in, whereas outbound marketing is pushing advertising out.

Adding on to Rai’s point, Sukhleen Aneja, CEO, The Good Glamm Group, said that branded content is the kind of content which is informative and educational and something which is not pushed like advertising which is why it is not called advertising. 

Furthermore, Aneja delved deeper into the kinds of teams The Good Glamm Group has.

“The people that we have with us in the company are all editorial content writers and not classic brand content writers,” Aneja said.

“Within media, we have three communities that we are fundamentally looking at, lifestyle readers who are interested in beauty and lifestyle content, then another one is men and then there is mom and baby which is a very sharp niche,” she added. 

Furthermore, she went on to say that there are two sets of people, one who are subject matter experts and then for young population sites like POPxo and ScoopWhoop there are writers who can mirror the audience. 

Minette Ferreira, General Manager: Community News and Lifestyle Divisions, Media24 – a South African media company, said that people have been talking about branded content for many years. 

"According to me it is a different way of presenting a brand, starting a conversation with the consumers and presenting to your clients what you are trying to sell," Ferreira stated.

Furthermore she went on to say that, "We have a branded content studio and at this time the growth, in terms of advertising revenue, is about 80% of the revenue comes from branded content. We have experienced journalists in our studio who are extremely passionate about branded content.”

While concluding the discussion, Rai pointed out that in India, vernacular branded content has bigger opportunities than English branded content.