On brand: A case for investing in sponsored content

How The Bullet's content strategy is driving results for brand partners

The Bullet is Canada’s digital destination for a quick shot of news; a daily blast that delivers premium content reaching 50,000 in Canada

In an era when media consumption is at an all-time high and attention spans are historically low, it’s harder than ever for brands to reach and engage their target audience.

This increasingly fragmented landscape is what’s helping drive the market for sponsored content — a form of contextual or native advertising that raises consumer awareness through seamlessly integrated storytelling (when done right).

A 2017 Adweek article revealed that 70% of consumers would prefer learning about a product through content versus traditional advertising, while a 2016 Nielsen study showed consumers spend roughly the same amount of time with a branded story as an editorial one. On that note, readers’ attention spans are dwindling. Did you know that the average attention span of today’s adult is only 8.25 seconds? That’s almost 33% shorter than it was 15 years ago (around the same time we became addicted to our smartphones).

This has led to a new trend in media where non-traditional players are filtering and disseminating news in more condensed and casual ways. In the US, brands like The Skimm and The Hustle have honed in on readers’ desires for enlightenment without the heavy lifting.

And on this side of the border, some new brands are catching on. The Bullet is Canada’s resource for quick shots of news, with a dash of humour to make it go down easier. Launched by Joanna Track (founder of Sweetspot.ca) in 2016, their daily e-blast reaches more than 50,000, predominantly female devotees each weekday, while the weekend shots of lifestyle stories and longer-form analysis reach a nationwide audience of close to 40,000. The primary audience is 25-50 year old women, with middle to high income and concentrated in urban areas across Canada.

CONTENT IN CONTEXT

The Bullet is a smart and pithy read for the digitally-inclined; it’s also proven to be an effective vehicle for brands to reach their female consumer skewing audience through custom integrated content.

For example, the team developed a program with Cadillac Fairview which ran for four weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, featuring a series of guides that offered gifting ideas that would appeal to a broad range of recipients, from beauty lovers to homebodies to foodies. In addition, the campaign included tips that cleverly highlighted the unique advantages of holiday shopping at Cadillac Fairview retail properties, including coat and parcel checks to streamline the shopping experience and safe walk assistance for late-night peace of mind.

Each tip was seamlessly incorporated into the weekday newsletter and written in The Bullet’s conversational, signature style.

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The content strategy worked. The campaign achieved 1.2 million brand impressions and an average clickthrough rate (CTR) of 2.6% over the course of its limited-engagement run.

A key to successfully integrated brand content is a collaborative approach to partnership. The Bullet’s team focuses on strong relationships directly with brands, as well as through agency partners to develop sponsored content programs that will appeal to readers and achieve optimal brand impact.

Rachael Montgomery, an account manager at North Strategic who worked closely with The Bullet to develop the Cadillac Fairview campaign, explains that the collaboration “allowed us to create authentic, timely, branded content that helped to amplify Cadillac Fairview’s holiday initiatives and services on a national level.”

The secret sauce of sponsored content is its precise blend of tailored subject matter and seamless delivery. Rather than clunky and irrelevant ads plunked obtrusively into your newsfeed, quality sponsored content blends cohesively with its surroundings in both substance and style.

It’s an authentic way for brands to engage their audience while delivering a seamless experience that is relevant to consumer needs.

Montgomery says that by “leveraging The Bullet’s existing network,” we were able to successfully reach our target audience with content that was relevant to them, effectively driving increased awareness and foot traffic to Cadillac

Fairview properties across Canada, leading into the busy holiday season.”

The Bullet is Canada’s digital destination for a quick shot of news; a daily blast that delivers premium content directly via email, cutting down the time it takes to get caught up on current events, with a dose of humour to make it go down easy. Want to give it a shot? info@thebullet.ca