Kinection, Bloomberg Media’s content division, only became official in May, even though last year the media company produced a dozen multimedia branded content campaigns, shaped by data from Bloomberg Intelligence.
“Everyone has come to realize that bringing video, print and online together in the digital space with dynamic content-management systems will breathe a lot of new life into branded content,” said Arif Durrani, commercial editor for Bloomberg Media Studios in Europe. “In the business space, one of the biggest challenges is how to make a talking head sexy. Brands have woken up to the fact that things need a little more context.”
Revenue from custom content doubled last year, according to the company, which declined to give exact figures but said instead that it’s a multimillion part of Bloomberg’s business.
This month, BMW Group launched #Beyond100, combining a mix of interviews with data and trends on the future of travel. Three months in the making, the BMW Group campaign tackles 100 questions on topics like the switch from petrol to electric, driverless cars and 3-D printing, using a mix of new interviews and repurposed content from the autobrand. It will run across Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Pursuits and Bloomberg.com, along with supporting social media activity across Bloomberg and BMW Group.
Bloomberg Kinection’s unique appeal, apart from its audience of business professionals, is the access to Bloomberg Intelligence, the 300-person network of data scientists and trend analysis. For BMW Group, it featured graphs on the rise of electric cars. In the next few months, it will add interviews with leaders from MINI and Rolls-Royce, as well as energy experts, and some more data projections from Bloomberg Intelligence, including the impact on oil prices that the rise in electric cars with have.
In May, UBS sponsored a six-part series, each at 30 minutes long, “Forward Thinking,” covering key global challenges that face the next generation, like artificial intelligence, gender inequality and sustainability. Content from this series then informed sponsored-content articles from UBS, like this on why there has only been one female Economics Nobel Prize winner.
Scott Holmes, executive creative director of branded content at DigitasLBi, was positive about Bloomberg’s potential offering to advertisers. “Bloomberg knows what’s going on. Being a news organization puts it in a good position.” However, he thinks the company needs to do more to show the benefits of incorporating Bloomberg Intelligence and data-led creative.
“The principle behind it, understanding what audiences are seeking and marrying brands with that, is great.” Holmes then added, “But whether that actually translates into something different from what the industry has produced before is another question.”
To be sure, the content-marketing space is competitive, and more traditional publishers are getting comfortable with audio visual content marketing. In the business space, the Financial Times, with its heritage in high-quality written journalism, announced a majority stake in Alpha Grid in June, the London video production house, to incorporate into content marketing studio FT2.
Kinection is a global team but has regional offices. In London, the 10-strong team regularly draws on its in-house producers and creative directors, plus a network of 10 freelance journalists. Bloomberg’s own journalists keep away from working on the commercial content. Kinection content doesn’t feature bylines to help emphasize that divide.
Holmes questioned whether there is a market for this in-depth, long-form content from a consumer point of view: “These are important time-poor people, most of them quite content-averse and opinionated. They don’t have time to kill; they want to be informed.”
Even so, advertisers will buy in if Bloomberg is able to put more science into creating and measuring branded content. “Rather than look for reach [because the pool of influential business people is limited] we’re looking for proof they have engaged; it’s been hard for custom content to get credibility because of this.” While others, like The Atlantic, will compare dwell times on branded content to editorial, Bloomberg is finding the right measurements, looking at dwell time, bounce rate, click-through, and soon neuromarketing analytics.
“If you get the content right, then it absolutely is comparable to engagement on editorial,” said Durrani. “I’ve never known us to not hit targets.”
WPP’s Rob Reilly on the power of creative excellence
Under Rob Reilly's creative lead, WPP won most creative company at the 2022 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. He talks about that and more in this Q&A.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What Axios’ sale says about the valuation of digital media companies
In this week’s Media Briefing, senior media reporter Sara Guaglione looks at what Axios's sale to Cox Enterprises signals about the current investment market for media companies.
Amid gloomy forecasts can ad tech weather the storm?
The recent Q2 results suggest there is more resilience and runway in the ad tech sector. But how long before push comes to shove?
SponsoredWhat gaming habits reveal about media consumption
Jordan Shlachter, head of research, Activision Blizzard Media Entertainment choices have never been more abundant, and gaming has emerged as one of the biggest winners in the battle for audiences’ attention. While gaming’s exponential growth has been well documented — there are currently nearly 3 billion gamers worldwide spanning a diverse set of demographics, interests […]
Member ExclusiveDigiday+ Research deep dive: Twitter’s strength holds among publishers
There is perhaps no social media platform that is more appropriate for publishers than Twitter. In this Digiday+ Research deep dive, we look at why this is.
La razón por la que Google y Samsung se asociaron con la personalidad de TikTok Addison Rae para una campaña nostálgica de los años 90
Este verano, Google y Samsung han lanzado su último esfuerzo de marketing conjunto, en el que los gigantes de la tecnología y el hardware aprovechan la nostalgia de principios de los años 90 y utilizan a la TikToker Addison Rae como musa de la generación Z. En su nueva campaña publicitaria con Rae, Google cuenta […]