The panel discussion around the evolution of publisher-backed content and the nomadic journey it embarks on with audiences kicked the afternoon sessions off with a bang. We were joined by three experts in the field; Simon Low, Director of Brand Partnerships, Europe, BuzzFeed; James Wigley, Commercial Director at 65twenty & the LADbible and Steve Bartlett, Founder of Social Chain. Our very own Chris Lewis Jones chaired the discussion.
Our panel were unanimous on the power of content and its place for building brand love and affinity. Particularly for the LADbible and BuzzFeed, successful content creation relied on it being able to live across a variety of platforms as well as capturing the interest of an audience. Steve from Social Chain emphasised tailoring content to suit the platform and how it was to the detriment of both the publisher and brands when they chose not to do so. Understanding the nuances and purpose of each platform would go a long way to protecting both the publisher and aligned brand from missing the mark with their content. James from the LADbible reiterated that audiences had a strong expectation of what content they should see on each platform and that each platform’s mechanics could be harnessed to better tell a brand’s story.
When queried on shortening attention spans, Simon from BuzzFeed spoke about how people were willing to give up their time to engage with content if it captured their interests and was on the right platform. The transparency of digital metrics measuring engagement and time spent with content cemented this.
One of the key takeout’s from our panel was that the responsibility fell on both publishers and brands to ensure content was of the right tone and appropriate to the platform and that the rise of ad blockers was – in part – a reflection of poor content and misused advertising. All had their own examples of great branded campaigns that audiences loved, which spoke to the strength of the content and how little audiences were concerned with ‘advertising’ when done well. Examples included the LADbible and Doritos; BuzzFeed and Purina’s ‘Dear Kitten’ and Social Chain collaborating with Fox’s Paper Planes.
Overall, another fantastic talk from Innovation Week!