The State of Content
Gustaf Stenlund | Updated on June 8, 2018
As digital marketing is constantly evolving, branded content is gaining popularity. Branded content has 69% unaided awareness and 51% persuasion according to Marketing Land. Business Wire found that Consumers who trust premium publishers is relatively high, while only 36% said they trust news content on Facebook and Twitter.
In this post we take a look at the evolving landscape of branded content by sharing trends and analysis from the past year mixed with regular updates throughout the year, to make sure it stays relevant and up to date. Use this article as supporting data and to keep up with the latest trends.
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Data Supporting Growth of Content
- Content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy. – Twitter (June 6, 2018)
- AdYouLike served 33m native video ads in the first four months of 2018. – MediaPost (June 5, 2018)
- 79% of influencers plan to create more branded content in the next year than they currently do. – Adweek (June 3, 2018)
- MediaCom’s recent ‘Effectiveness of Partnerships’ study highlighted the benefits of striking strategic partnerships between advertiser, agency, and media owner. The report concluded that partnerships “can be up to twice as effective pound for pound at driving brand health metrics than standard advertising”. – ExchangeWire (May 30, 2018)
- People are spending 18 minutes more a day online than they were last year. Growing from 5.6 hours to 5.9 hours. – Recode (May 30, 2018)
- 10 things you need to know about sponsored video. – Tubular (May 22, 2018)
- User sentiment with Snap among its key 18- to 34-year-old demographic plunged 73% following the redesign. – The Motley Fools (May 21, 2018)
- Facebook stories has 150m daily active users. – TechCrunch (May 17, 2018)
- 26% of consumers associate the word ‘fake’ with social. – MarTech Series (May 15, 2018)
- Three-quarters of respondents also said the rise in fake news has made them more likely to seek out quality, trustworthy news sites.
- Branded content contributed more than 50% of advertising revenue to BBC Global News. An increase from 38% last year. – The Drum (May 10, 2018)
- Via Reuters Content Connect II Report, 77% of global consumers expect to see more personalized content in the future. – Reuters (May 9, 2018)
- Also, 63% of consumers agree that personally relevant content improves how they feel about the brand associated with it.
- And 58% see brands in a more positive light if they provide them with content that match their interests.
- Further global consumers consider sponsored content more appealing if it is thought provoking (64%), imaginative (58%), humorous (55%) and innovative (51%). – PRNewswire (May 9, 2018)
- US marketers will increase their investment in marketing technology by 27% over the next four years, spending more than $122 billion on marketing tech by 2022. – eMarketer (May 9, 2018)
- Waze claims that, on average, its advertisers see a 33 percent increase in navigations to their stores. – Digiday (May 8, 2018)
- PlayBuzz brand lift of 91% compared to Nielsens 8% norm. – MarTech Series (May 8, 2018)
- Contextual video increases dwell time by 1/3. – netimperative (May 3, 2018)
- SnapChat CPA is 5 times lower than Instagram and average CTR is 2.2%. – mish guru (May 3, 2018)
- SnapChat daily usage is 30 minutes/day. – eMarketer (May 2, 2018)
- Video ads now make up half of Twitter’s revenue. – MarketWatch (April 30, 2018)
- The average influencer campaign on RhythmOne was $71k in 2017. – Business Wire (April 30, 2018)
- [Instagram Influencer Agency] 1.67% of Instagram audience signed up to email newsletter. 2-5% swipe up rate on ads. – Digiday (April 19, 2018)
- Blog output by brands has increased over 800% in the past five years but organic social share of blogs has decreased by 89%. Hence, the rise of native. – Harvard Business Review (April 19, 2018)
- More than 200 publishers have sold vertical video advertising this year, nearly twice the 112 that sold vertical video in Q1, 2017. – Digiday (April 16, 2018)
- In a survey of PR professionals, 64% predict that in 5 years consumers will not be able to tell the difference between news stories & promotional content. 59% believe the average person will not care if they can tell the difference. – The Drum (April 14, 2018)
- Global branded entertainment content grew 8% in 2017 to $106.2b. – The Holmes Report (April 13, 2018)
- Facebook spend grows 62% in Q1, Instagram 136%, Snap 234%. – MediaPost (April 12, 2018)
- Native Ad Spend will make up nearly 60% of display spending in 2018. This spend remains the key focus for displacement. – eMarketer (April 11, 2018)
- 85% of native display will transact programmatically in 2018. – eMarketer (April 9, 2018)
- Stash saw more than 5% of sponsored content readers made a deposit (i.e. converted) in their recent program. – MediaPost (April 5, 2018)
- Half of 18-19 y/o’s and 57% of people 20-36 believe that ads have become more relevant over the past two years.
– MediaPost (April 4, 2018)
- UK Email Marketers are returning £32.28 per pound spent. – MediaPost (April 4, 2018)
- While viewing branded influencer videos, 93% of the time consumers’ eyes were locked on the content; this is 30% higher than the experience viewing a brand pre-roll ad. – Media Play News (April 3, 2018)
- This high attention correlated to 2x higher levels of brand recall.
- Nativo’s 2017 Share of Native Ad Spend. – Venture Beat (April 2, 2018)
- Chrome’s mobile article recommendations up 2,100% in one year. Driving as many visits as Twitter. – Nieman Lab (March 29, 2018)
- More than half the briefs that come in to FT are for branded content. – Digiday (March 15, 2018)
- Taboola predicts in excess of $1b in revenue in 2018. – CTech by Calcalist (March 8, 2018)
- Adstage found Facebook CPMS increased 122% YOY in January, compared to 45% YOY. Driven by the newsfeed changes. – Twitter (March 8, 2018)
- 95% of Bustle’s revenue comes from direct display and branded content. – Digiday (March 8, 2018)
- 73% of respondents cited better insights and reporting deliverables from data sources and analytics as a challenge of programmatic ad management. – eMarketer (March 8, 2018)
- Nearly 280m people, or 85% of the US population go online each month. 16% exclusively access the internet via mobile. – eMarketer (March 8, 2018)
- Centralizing of marketing data remains a top priority in 2017, with 48.1% of marketers wanting to dissolve the silos. – eMarketer (March 7, 2018)
- Fox network has a goal to cut prime-time advertising time to two minutes an hour, from 13 at present. Commenter rightfully points out, rates would have to go up 600% to cover this lost revenue. – MediaPost (March 6, 2018)
- 42% of consumers who discover brands on Facebook are likely to go on and complete their purchases on Amazon. – eMarketer (March 3, 2018)
- The average publisher now lists six different revenue streams. – Reuters Institute Study (March 1, 2018)
- Nearly 40% of advertisers intend to invest more heavily in branded video in 2018, and 62% feel it’s the most effective content marketing medium. – RYOT UK Study (February 26, 2018)
- Native spend grew 568% through 2017. – theTradeDesk (February 22, 2018)
- 8% of Buzzfeed’s Tasty food channel views were sponsored content. – Variety (February 20, 2018)
- Viewers skip 90% of pre-roll video ads. – Conquesitor (February 19, 2018)
- 76% of marketing execs aim to increase branded content in 2018. – Digital Journal (February 13, 2018)
- 2/3 of consumers expect direct brand connectivity. Slide 22. – iab. (February 12, 2018)
- Percentage of total digital population reached monthly by: blogs 71%; social network 87%; search 90% Slide 135. – iab. (February 12, 2018)
- On Valentine’s, consumers spend 69% longer on quizzes. – Nudge (February 9, 2018)
- Ads seen in a premium context are viewed for 17% longer and with 29% higher levels of engagement than ads on social sites such as Facebook and YouTube. – Campaign (February 8, 2018)
- Representing 5.1% of downloads, Spotify is the #2 podcasting platform. Shows how much Apple dominates. – PODnews (February 8, 2018)
- Taboola’s self serve advertising has hit a $100m run rate. – The Drum (January 18, 2018)
- T Brand Studio did nearly $50m in its third year. – Traffic
- USAToday’s branded content sales has grown 40% YOY 2016/17. – Adweek (January 4, 2018)
- Nearly 50% of marketers don’t know where their ads are running online. – Marketing Dive (December 15, 2017)
- BuzzFeed generated $52m from Facebook, Amazon, Netflix & Google this year. Roughly a quarter of their revenue. – Crunchbase (December 13, 2017)
- CNN found that nearly 80% of consumers are familiar with branded content, and (lucky for us) across generations, they like it. – Inc. (December 7, 2017)
- How consumers consumption of content changes on Thanksgiving & Black Friday. – Nudge! (December 1, 2017)
- Average attention is 28-30% lower than norms across both days. i.e. attention is more fickle and you have to fight harder to get it.
- The highest quality distribution sources for were email, native & social.
- During Thanksgiving, peak desktop consumption was 12-1pm, Tablet 8pm-10pm, and mobile was fairly consistent from 9am through 11pm.
- On Black Friday, peak desktop usage was 9-12, tablet at 10 and mobile 8am-3pm.
- 71% of the C suite reckon most branded is boring, expected and repetitive. Brands who can get it right can win a valuable new audience. – Raconteur (November 22, 2017)
- NY Times programmatic direct revenue double in the last 12 months. – Digiday (November 22, 2017)
- Time Inc’s branded content studio The Foundry has produced over 1000 campaigns over the past two years. – Digiday (November 16, 2017)
- Longer headlines get higher CTRS. Headlines with 16 words garnered a CTR of 0.33%. By comparison, pithy headlines of just four words recorded an average CTR of less than half that, at just 0.14%. – Polar/eMarketer (November 3, 2017)
- While the proportion of UK consumers who trust premium publishers is relatively high, with 79% trusting the BBC, and 55% trusting The Times and The Guardian, only 36% said they trust news content on Facebook and Twitter. – Business wire via UK ShareThrough (October 31, 2017)
- Across 400 publishers, spend on buying traffic for branded content has roughly doubled year over year, according to Keywee. – Digiday(October 27, 2017)
- Brands using programmatic dropped 2% YOY. Whilst minimal, it isn’t growth. – MediaPost (October 23, 2017)
- Vidyard released their video benchmarks. – Vidyard
- CNN has grown native ad placements 300% since it enabled ShareThrough distribution platform. – Digiday (October 10, 2017)
- 47% adults 22 to 45 years old are watching absolutely no content on traditional TV platforms. Study by Omnicom’s Hearts & Science. – Adage (October 6, 2017)
- Facebook branded content in the UK is estimated to be worth over £100M per year. – Tubular Insights (September 22, 2017)
- When engaging with content accompanied by companion display ads, users demonstrated 17% more purchase intent. – Marketing Land (August 18, 2017)
- Branded content has 69% unaided awareness and 51% persuasion, in a recent IPSOS + Polar report. – Marketing Land (August 18, 2017)
- Digital Content Marketing revenues are projected to grow at a 22% compound annual rate from 2017 to 2021 reaching $24b in 2021. – MediaPost (August 18, 2017)
- Norwegian division of MediaCom recently reported that its revenues increased by 23% due partly to the production and distribution of commercial content such as native advertising. – Native Advertising Institute (August 11, 2017)
- [On a survey of agencies, what one thing should brands do this Christmas] 42.9% of respondents named branded content as the preferred technique, followed with 28.6% saying Influencer campaigns. – The Drum (August 11, 2017)
- Finance specialist Dianomi serves 3.5 billion ad units/monthly. – MediaPost (August 4, 2017)
- A Nativo & comScore study explored the pairing of native ads pair with on-site branded content. The results, the pairing drives an increase in unaided awareness 11%, online ad recall 18% and purchase intent 13%. – MediaPost (August 4, 2017)
- ^ This might seem obvious but in planning campaigns, factor this in. Consider more of publisher amplification than off-network.
- The number of advertisers buying native formats has leaped 74% between the start of 2016 and Q1 2017. – Business Insider (July 14, 2017)
- Time Inc study reveals 2/3 consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising. – MediaPost (June 30, 2017)
- ^The same study concluded that 92% believe brands have expertise on topics and add value to content.
- 89% believe custom content is a great way for brands to break through the clutter.
- 88% indicating that custom content feels like a good way for new brands it hasn’t heard of to reach them.
- 90% of those polled like the idea of custom content as a way for brands to engage them.
- 84% agreeing that custom content is a way for brands to engage them, and 72% wanting video and infographics to better explore a story or data.
- Gen Z-> 93% saying they want to see brands do something new, unique, or creative to get their attention.
- Branded Content on YouTube sees 85% increase in viewership. I.e. brands are getting better at creating content.
– Mark Fidelman, Twitter (June 9, 2017)
- Since employing the Taboola Feed on its pages last month, the New York Daily News saw a revenue increase of 26% and engagement of 40% on mobile. – MediaPost (May 24, 2017)
- 1/3 of millennials have purchased from a brand after seeing a sponsored post. – Business Insider (May 22, 2017)
- Media companies social branded content posts, grew 77% in the last 6 months – Purecontent (May 18, 2017)
- Via the Polar + IPSOS Connect study. Consumer awareness of a brand increased to 69% after engaging with branded content, while purchase intent was 51%. – MediaPost (May 17, 2017)
- MindEdge’s recent study show that 61% of millennials recognize that terms like “promoted” and “sponsored” refer to native ads. – MindEdge, Twitter (May 11, 2017)
- Google DFP has had a 7x increase in native impressions since May 2016, with average CTRs are 4x higher than traditional banner ads. – Google (May 10, 2017)
- AdsNative polled its customer base of 7,500 web and mobile publishers on the state of native advertising in Q1. – MediaPost (April 26, 2017)
- More than 90% of publishers saw native ad revenue increase in Q1.
- Programmatic trends: 49% planning to grow programmatic guaranteed, 34% pushing their vendors to run first-price auctions, and 17% looking to implement server-side header bidding.
- Branded Content 100 publishers globally will collectively generate $3 billion in branded content digital revenue in 2017. – MediaPost (April 19, 2017)
- “Year over year, Food & Drink grew their share of native ad spend the most by 9%. Food & Drink is followed by Travel and Business, which both grew their share by 4%.
” – Yahoo (April 10, 2017)
- More than 80% of affluent millennial internet users in India want branded content, compared with 73% worldwide. – CMO (March 30, 2017)
- Facebook makes up 84.2% of all US Native Display. – eMarketer (March 21, 2017)
- AsiaPAC made up 43.4% of Yahoo’s monetized impressions – Yahoo (March 1, 2017)
- 60.7% of respondents awarded positive ratings to native content in a BurdaForward study. – Native Advertising Institute (February 14, 2017)
- Readiness to buy increases by 50% (breakdown by vertical) – Native Advertising Institute (February 10, 2017)
- Between October 2016 and December 2016, the use of native video grew 3.75x, according to Bidtellect’s video run-rate on its platform – MediaPost (February 8, 2017)
- From July 2016, the number of brands doing both native video and display grew nearly 3x by the end of 2016. The average split for marketers is 80% standard native and 20% native video – MediaPost (February 8, 2017)
- Polar unpacks the $50 billion content advertising ecosystem with their view that content advertising will grow from 6.6% in 2016 to 13.7% of the digital ad market by 2021. The write up is full of ammo and stats on native and the various layers. – Polar (January 31, 2017)
- Programmatic Native grows almost 90% in 2016, but overall adoption remains low – MediaPost (January 25, 2017)
- “Premium Branded Content will be a $20 Billion Market by 2021”
“Top 100 publishers globally make up 50% of the market, they will generate $3 billion in 2017 and $10 billion by 2021.”- Polar (January 19, 2017)
- Yahoo also has monetized 74.5b impressions in the second half. As a point of comparison TripleLift mentioned they had traded 23b impressions/month in 2016. Traded vs monetized is different. – WSJ (January 18, 2017)
- Facebook Audience Network serve ads to 1 billion people each month, 83 % native – AdWeek (January 12, 2017)
- The number of video ad impressions through Google’s Programmatic Direct has doubled from January to September 2016. – AdAge (December 16, 2016)
- The number of programmatic direct details executed by retail advertisers grew 2.8 times Q4 2014 to Q4 2016, Google anticipating a 150-200% jump again this Q4 (2016) – AdAge (December 16, 2016)
- BuzzFeed expects branded content and agency services to drive nearly all of its $250 million in revenue forecast for this year (2016). – WSJ (December 11, 2016)
- Social networks currently account for 39% of the respondents’ native ad budgets, but that is up 14% over 2015 – MediaPost (December 5, 2016)
- Nearly half (48%) of newspaper media are carrying some form of native advertising and another 39% are likely to turn to the channel as an advertising option (2016)
“Native advertising’s share of overall advertising revenue at many of the world’s leading newspapers are expected to grow to 25% by 2018” – WARC (October 31, 2016)
- Native ad spend in the UK grew 29.9% in first 6 months of 2016 to 451M pounds. – The Drum (October 25, 2016)
Further reading for predictions of branded content
- Native Ad Institute
An article by the Native Ad Institute from Jan 10, 2018 with predictions about the future growth in 2018.
- SAT Press Releases
An article by SAT Press Releases on future growth of the native market (From London Jan 30,2017) “Global investments in native advertising will reach $85.5b in 2020, a +213% growth from 2016.”
- Red Branch Media
“In 2016, 56% of total U.S. display ad revenue was spent on native advertising. Business Insider Intelligence predicts this will increase to 74% by 2021”.