Branded video – essentially, sponsored content – was finally embraced by Facebook last year. The shift was a response to the regular request of publishers for more ways to make money from their Facebook content, not just the actions that content might drive elsewhere. Branded video offers media companies and publishers the opportunity to carve a path to monetization through partnerships with brands and marketers.
How it works
Any verified Page is afforded the opportunity to share branded content – like video – as long as they tag the associated sponsor, product, or brand. This tagging clarifies for audiences that they are viewing branded content, but it also works to empower the partnership.
Tagged sponsors are given access to high level insights about your post, as well as the ability to push additional dollars behind it and share it on their own Page. Keep in mind branded content isn’t strictly an 1-to-1 operation. Multiple third-parties can be tagged if there are several sponsors behind your content.
In the example below, Intel is collaborating with Lady Gaga on this branded content post. (Source: Facebook)
Are branded videos just ads?
One more step...
Branded videos are original pieces of content created and promoted in partnership with a sponsor. It’s not an ad for a product and it’s not a promotion for your own page, rather a piece of quality content tied in some fashion to the sponsor. Perhaps their product is featured or the content of the video is related in some way to their brand or promotion.
Whatever the case, the content is the result of an investment and partnership with a sponsor. Check out this example of a branded video from publisher NowThis, in promotion of the film Loving:
This piece is sharp, successful, and illustrates another important consideration. Branded content is still your content. It’s on-brand, on-message, and tailored to your audience. It simply has a sponsored interest behind it.
Where’s the money?
In short: in the hands of your sponsors and partners to be! Your audience and access to them is the crucial asset brands and marketers need to promote their own products, etc.
Branded videos allow sponsors to target specific groups and niche audiences through publishers that already have the following of those groups. It cuts down on overall marketing costs by allowing sponsors to get directly in front of your audience, but more of the money they are spending is now going directly to your outlet.
And because the nature of the content is not overly promotional (something Facebook bans), the voice and credibility of your outlet isn’t compromised. Instead, branded content utilizes the strengths of your content to draw your audience to the sponsor’s product, whatever form that takes.
You can get all the nitty gritty details about getting started with branded content from Facebook’s overview. Time to start making some money!