Quartz, which charges a premium rate for full-size ads, has been an innovator in native advertising. Its clean, mobile-friendly design and its focus on a single topic have helped it beat the competition.
Lauf has never run traditional IAB banner ads, believing they lead to perverse incentives for publishers that wreck user experience. He has a few other tricks up his sleeve.
What is branded content’s purpose
Branded content is a type of marketing that involves a company paying for the right to promote its products or services to a target audience. This type of marketing can be used in a variety of ways, including through social media, blogs, and even print publications. When done correctly, branded content can increase brand awareness and drive sales, making it an effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes.
Quartz has been able to keep up with its elite readership by focusing on interesting angles on many popular stories that few other outlets think of. Its journalists can dig deep into ‘obsessions’ that are more fluid than traditional ‘beats’, and the publication is able to shift gears when its 20 million monthly unique visitors move on to new topics.
Among its recent offerings, Quartz created a vertical called Machines with Brains, which is an “obsession” on the progression of artificial intelligence. The package featured articles that focused on the human element of the subject, and also included a vertical video piece and a chatbot built around the topic.
The branded-content effort was not intended to be a commercial product for Quartz, Keefe said, but rather a tool for its journalists to use in the future. However, it’s possible that the Quartz AI Studio team may eventually work with brands to create content, he said. But that’s not part of the plan for this year, when the Knight Foundation grant will end.
How does branded content benefit businesses
Branded content can benefit businesses by increasing their reach, building rapport with consumers, and establishing their expertise. Branded content can also help to increase customer loyalty and drive sales.
For example, Red Bull sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump from the stratosphere, and the company received more than three times the return on investment. This is because the branded content was so memorable and exciting that it made people talk about it for days. Similarly, Coca-Cola created a campaign that featured a man climbing Everest, and the company saw its sales rise by 38%.
Quartz is looking to incorporate computers more into the reporting of its articles, and has formed the Quartz AI Studio to do so. This team will produce stories that use generative artificial intelligence to identify patterns and anomalies in terabytes of data, and it can separate the signal from the noise in a fraction of the time it would take humans to do so.
In addition, the AI Studio will also produce materials to help other publications use these techniques in their own journalism, Lauf said. This includes how-to guides and code examples that can be used by small and midsized news organizations to start experimenting with AI. As a result, this new technology will help to expand the audience for news media and create more opportunities for advertisers to reach a wider group of potential customers.
What are some examples of branded content
Branded content can take a variety of forms. Some examples include films and podcasts that feature a product or service. These are known as sponsored content and must be clearly labelled as such. Other examples include social media posts that feature a product or company. These posts must be tagged with the business name and labeled as a paid partnership.
Quartz is a digital news site that focuses on business. It launched in 2012 and has quickly gained a following among readers. Its readership now exceeds 12 million, surpassing that of The Economist and Business Insider in the United States. Its success is based on a unique approach to story selection. The site’s journalists are free to dive deep into “obsessions” that are more fluid than traditional beats, allowing them to shift gears when their audience is ready for new topics.
The publisher has recently branched out into artificial intelligence, with the goal of integrating computers more into its reporting. Its new Quartz AI Studio will focus on creating articles that use machine learning, which teaches computers to identify patterns and anomalies, to assist with the work. For example, the studio could separate the signal from the noise in terabytes of data that would take humans much longer to comb through. Quartz AI Studio won a Knight Foundation grant to help fund its work for the next year.
How to create effective branded content
Branded content can be a powerful way to reach your target audience. It can be used to drive engagement, increase customer trust, and boost your brand’s reputation. However, it’s important to remember that branded content must be authentic and relevant to your target audience. Otherwise, it can be perceived as insincere and may cause consumers to distrust your brand.
Quartz focuses on business news and uses technology to create innovative editorial products. It has a niche readership and charges a premium for its ads, with rates of up to $60 per thousand views. In addition, it has a robust membership offering and a strong social media presence.
The publication has also been pushing the boundaries of what it considers to be AI journalism. In a vertical called Machines with Brains, it explores human stories about the progression of artificial intelligence. It also uses a new format for vertical video that is optimized for mobile devices and reflects the ephemerality of messaging apps like Snapchat.
The publisher plans to expand its use of AI in its own journalism, but will also seek partnerships with other publications. It will publish how-to guides and code examples that other sites can use to incorporate the technology into their own reporting. This will help small and mid-sized news organizations that are not able to invest in dedicated AI teams. In the long term, it could be a game-changer for the industry.
How does branded content influence consumers
While many digital journalism experiments have gone awry, Quartz has managed to thrive. It turned a profit in its fourth year of operation, and recently announced it would expand its editorial team by 50. It also plans to boost its coverage of artificial intelligence and expand its interactive products, including a new mobile app.
Unlike other news outlets, Quartz avoids the paywall and subscription models that have plagued its traditional media peers, such as the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal. Instead, the publication relies on social media to drive traffic and boost ad revenue. Its articles are geared toward business professionals and feature interesting angles on popular stories. In addition, it offers readers prominent’share’ buttons and clearly separates sponsored content from its editorial content.
The company’s success may be attributed to its focus on a niche audience and its willingness to experiment with different business models. Its founder, publisher Jay Lauf, has emphasized that the secret sauce boils down to good user experience. He has also encouraged journalists to dive into ‘obsessions’ that are more fluid than traditional beats, giving them the freedom to shift gears when their 20 million monthly unique visitors are ready.
In one example, a story about an amputee who spent years training with the world’s most advanced robotic arm was published in a mobile-optimized format that featured swiping capability and panning and parallax effects that activated depending on a reader’s device position. This branded content was a huge success and helped the company attract more consumers.
Why is branded content important in marketing
Branded content is important in marketing because it helps brands to promote their products and services in a creative way. It can also help to generate brand recognition and increase customer loyalty. Additionally, branded content can be used across multiple platforms, which can reach a larger audience. Branded content can also be used to promote a specific campaign or event.
Unlike conventional digital advertising, which tends to be seen as invasive and distracting, branded content is usually more subtle and natural. Its purpose is to attract customers by presenting them with a story that they find interesting. As a result, it is often more effective at engaging customers than traditional marketing tactics.
Quartz’s branded content initiative, called the AI Studio, is expected to produce six articles this year. The Knight Foundation grant will partially subsidize the project, but Quartz hopes to eventually make money from it. The initiative is part of the publication’s commitment to experiment with new ways of reporting.
The content produced by the AI Studio combines text, illustrations, photos and videos. It covers a range of topics, from how an amputee trains with the world’s most advanced robotic arm to a robot that looks just like Scarlett Johansson. The stories are designed to be mobile-optimized and easily shared on social media. Quartz believes that generative AI has the potential to be a powerful tool for journalists. It can help to automate repetitive tasks and improve the quality of news articles.