Branded content deserves a journalistic approach

Sponsored articles or videos – so-called branded content – are an increasingly important part of the media. And so, within Mediahuis, high demands are now rightly made in that area.

We have deliberately chosen to have our branded content produced by content directors who have years of experience in journalism and who have written for several Mediahuis titles. We treat our sponsored articles in the same way as we did in regular journalism. We immerse ourselves in the subject, stick to the facts and turn it into stories that are pleasant to read. Always with the target group in mind.

Contrary to what some people may still think, branded content is often not about selling a product at all. Telling a brand story, improving the image or spreading a message are much more relevant. If, in addition, products are sold, that is sometimes a pleasant side effect.

At Mediahuis, we are fortunate to have many fine and loyal clients who understand very well what branded content is for. The government is one such client. We have produced impressive series of stories to make subjects such as loneliness, depression or anxiety easier to discuss. Stories of experience combined with the opinions of experts formed the basis for this. A journalistic approach that is also popular in many editorial offices.

Another good example is Essent. Of course, we could have written articles for this company in which we shouted out loud that you should become a customer of this company. But would we be doing our readers a favour? Asking the question is answering it. And readers are at least as important to us as advertisers. Fortunately, they understand this very well at Essent. This spring, we collaborated on a series of articles in which Essent customers talked about their extreme urge to save. Some of them were able to cut their energy bills by up to 40 euros a month. Given the sky-high readership, online Telegraaf readers feasted on these stories, which were highly topical and would not have looked out of place editorially. And oh yes, hidden behind a hyperlink was the information that Essent gives you a discount on energy-saving products.

The dividing line between journalism and branded content is sometimes thin. For example, the ANWB warns for the umpteenth time in the media about traffic jams. A handy and clever way to reach the (potential) supporters and to get the organisation mentioned in the media. Is that bad? No. The point is to inform, inspire or entertain your readers. Whether an article is sponsored or not, the reader is central. And because our readers are increasingly confronted with branded content, we make sure it is very good. Just like our journalistic productions.

Would you like to know what Mediahuis could do for your brand with branded content? Then get in touch via the contact form.