Media companies are going big on branded content on social platforms, according to a new study by analytics enterprise ListenFirst Media. It found that the total number of posts from TV networks soared by 77 per cent during the six months to March 2017 and resulted in significantly higher engagement.
Branded content campaigns have become a central battleground on social as media companies attempt to pitch to Madison Avenue buyers. The latest TV season in the US in particular has seen a notable uptick in the number of creative clips and other content types published across official pages on social sites.
While sponsored video posts are becoming more prevalent, the study shows that branded content still accounts for less than one per cent of all content published on TV show pages on Facebook, which suggests that networks have further room to increase their output in the coming months.
Doubling down on branded content is likely to pay off, as the study found that it increased the number of likes, shares and comments from consumers, resulting in an impressive 105 per cent spike in engagement overall compared to non-branded posts. ListenFirst tracked thousands of shows a month from the top 150 programmers in the US to get its results.
“For media companies, branded content represents new inventory and a new revenue stream that can drive significant, measured return for brand partners,” ListenFirst co-CEO Jason Klein said.
He added: “The strong, early signs [for TV networks producing branded content, along with Facebook’s new tools for brands and publishers,] signal that branded content will be the next big marketplace in the advertising ecosystem. And we expect Instagram and Twitter are not far behind.”
Discovery Communications was the most prolific in terms of branded content during the first quarter with 225 posts, but NBC resonated with viewers the most, as its campaign resulted in an average engagement per branded post figure of 35,057, which was almost double that of CW (19,735) in second place and Food Network (18,048) in third. Meanwhile, musical drama Empire was the top programme with 60,230.