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3 tips to roll in the fast lane of branded content.

As Marketing Magazine’s social media partners, we collaborated in the creation & distribution of content for their Marketing Live event, on October 20th 2016 in Toronto.

Do you have 5 minutes? To keep you up to speed, our editorial team has put together the key takeaways covering a full day's worth of insights for the present and future of content marketing.

Creating audience focused content

We’re all out there trying to create content that matters. But are you really asking yourself the right questions?

« Does the content you create matter to you, or to your audience?

In comes the audience-centric content shift you should all jump on board with.

Global Publishers such as Mashable have developed trendwatching tools to understand what audiences are interested in before it goes viral. In doing so, they are able to jump start the content creation process and focus on stories its audience is really going to be interested in.

As a brand, it means understanding your audience’s interests well enough to produce relevant content on a constant basis.

« You can have the best stories, but if you don’t have relevant stories, it doesn’t work.

We all agree that content relevancy is one of the most important attributes to generate engagement. On an editorial standpoint, relevancy is mostly a matter of facts, storytelling angle and tonality, while on the publishing side, it is a matter of titles, thumbnails, timing and captions. We use tools to

A good way to evaluate a content strategy's relevancy is to constantly monitor its key metrics, and mix this data with a qualitative interpretation. You can also evaluate if you fit in Collegehumor’s Shane Rahmani, Shareable GOOD criteria.

Shane Rahmani Shareable Good Marketing Magazine

In today’s digital world, the audience is the judge. Are you creating stories worth sharing?

Distributing platform aware content

One of the most common mistakes marketers make when it comes to content marketing, is distributing the same content on all platforms. YES, it will save you time but NO, it will not drive results.

Here’s one of the most powerful quotes I’ve heard in a long time, from Eric Korsh, President of Mashable Studios.

Eric Korsh Marketing Live

Think of it this way. As outlined in the previous point, each platform has a different audience that comes to it for very different reasons. Therefore, you are not, as a brand, reaching the same person on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat and therefore, you should not communicate the same things, nor in the same way.

« We are now in the platform age, where content is consumed ON the platform. Each platform requires its own language.

Does that mean you need to produce completely different content assets for each platforms? Well sometimes yes, but most of the time, there are ways around it. It’s all a matter of packaging. (Subscribe to our newsletter for more on this subject.)

Your content needs to be produced and packaged in different formats for each platform.

  • Facebook allows link sharing while Instagram doesn’t.
  • Youtube features horizontal videos while Snapchat is all about vertical.
  • Hashtags are huge on Twitter and Instagram but quasi inexistent on Facebook and Linkedin.
  • And the list goes on…

If you don’t think about your content as being specific to one platform, you’re going to have a really tough time generating results in this open-content-sharing world.

Trusting the editor with your content

With a constantly growing afflux of content being poured on the internet everyday (211 million pieces of content are created on the internet every minute), and the same 24 hours available in a day to consult it, every piece of content out there cannot be consumed. We’ve all heard “Time is Money” before, well it’s now true more than ever.

« In a content marketing world, time is the new currency.

For any publisher's audience to recurringly engage with its content, trust must be established on its quality, usefulness and recurrence.

As brands try to reach new audiences through branded content, they’ll most often times try too hard.

« For branded content to be effective, it must be 100% aligned with the editorial line of the media it is published on.

Jordan Hyman Cocainenomics Story Wall Street Journal Marketing Live

As you can read in a previous blog post, a brand that would not be willing to walk The Onion’s satiric line just simply cannot hope to publish successful branded content.

At #MLive16, Fara Warner, Global Editorial Director of The Wall Street Journal said it best when speaking about their Cocainenomics project with Netflix’s Narcos.

« We know our readers love long form storytelling so we played to our strengths.

And for’s Shane Rahmani to follow with a powerful message of trust when presenting Vitamin Water’s #MakeBoringBrilliant content campaign, where the product is in no way present in the piece. As I rephrase him:

« Successful branded content focuses on connecting an idea - not a brand - to its audience.


Audiences are now in the driver’s seat. Will you be willing to let them drive your brand?

Here’s where our editorial team can help you show them the way while still being an active co-pilot. Let’s talk.


As the Head of strategy, Jean-Philippe has been interested in the systemic changes required for a transition to a more conscious capitalism system for over 10 years.