Branded Content Marketing Evolution

According to the global newspaper website MailOnline, 66% of brands and 65% of agencies say that branded content marketing has become very important or most important to their marketing mix. When asked "Have you employed branded content marketing for advertising purposes in the last year," three fourths of both brands and agencies said "yes," indicating that this tactic is enjoying great popularity.

Sean O'Neal, Global Chief Marketing Officer for MailOnline, says “... given the on-set of social media, there (is an) evolution of this marketing approach... a new emphasis placed on it by both clients and their agencies... now a top tactic for driving brand lift and sales lift online... “

The most preferred method, by agencies, of measuring the effectiveness of marketing program content the top response for agencies is Brand Lift (30%), and the preferred method for brands is Sales Lift.  When rating tactics for their ability to achieve your branding objectives, brands cited branded content as among the most effective, virtually tied with video as a leading tactic.

Online Tactic Effectiveness in Achieving Branding Objectives (% of Respondents; “most important/critical”)

Online Tactic

% Rating Most Important/Critical



Branded content












Source: MailOnline, May 2013

Mr. O'Neal adds that "... content marketing is intended to take advantage of the one key difference between marketing and content... consumers are more guarded against marketing messages... “

71% of agencies said they partner with the publishers from whom they are buying the media, leading all others.

Agency Acquisition of Branded Content

Acquired From

% of Agencies

Publishers from whom buy Media


The client


Third party content producer


Own entertainment division


All of these


Source: MailOnline, May 2013

83% of the respondents have used their content marketing activities for their website or email , but over two-thirds have partnered with content providers to create and distribute branded content beyond their own websites.

Agency Uses of Branded Content  (% of Respondents)


% of Respondents

Created content for own website of email marketing


Distributed  content in digital media beyond own website or emails


Purchased placement for branded content as advertising


Partnered with content provider to create content for own company


Created branded content for other partners outside own company


Sold advertising on own branded content site as a publisher


All of these


Source: MailOnline, May 2013

The survey also reveals that brands are increasing their investments in content marketing with 72% saying their spending on branded content increased in the past year and 69% predicting a budget increase on top of that in the coming year. 71% of agencies say their clients spent more in the last 12 months on branded content marketing and 73% say their clients' spending on branded content marketing will increase over the coming 12 months.

Of the buyers who haven't yet tested branded content marketing, 57% of those brands said they plan to test in the next year and 84% of those agencies said they plan to test in the next year. 24% of brands and 17% of agencies are fully committed to investing more in branded content marketing.

The survey was in-field for three weeks in April and combined both qualitative and quantitative research. Of the 610 respondents, the majority were media buyers, 17% on the brand side and 47% on the agency side, and the remaining 36% were publishers, says the report.

For additional information from MailOnline, please visit here.




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