Going native: The push for customized marketing content

The brewer of Miller and Coors wants customers to tune in to their newsroom, and they’re paying big bucks to see that it gets done.

A new alliance between the brewer and online giant AOL is the latest example of how far content marketing strategists are willing to go to ensure their brand message reaches the ideal consumer audience.

mobileadsThe creation of customized brand content continues to flourish on the Web, embraced by marketing pros thinking outside the box to get the attention of consumers in an ad-laden market. The trend for this type of brand marketing — custom content, native advertising, brand content, sponsored content — continues to move upward.

Native advertising on social media channels is projected to jump from $3.1 billion this year to $5 billion in 2017. Increased mobile access to social media, content portals, news  properties, video-sharing sites and streaming services has fueled much of the growth, according to emarketer.com.

The potential to get the brand message out to a lucrative market, while maintaining ownership of the “editorial” content, has companies moving to create entire divisions to develop the marketing editorial content and even distribute it through media channels.

The Wall Street Journal recently introduced sponsored content to its website produced by its in-house custom content division. The Washington Post began selling native ads last year for its site, and Gannett-owned USA Today is exploring the use of native advertising content.

The deal between brewer MillerCoors and AOL is worth an estimated $5 million, according to MediaPost.com, citing sources. As part of an integrated strategy, AOL will produce about 350 pieces of original content that will plug Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon ale, or Redd’s Apple Ale. The content will focus on males in the millennial demographic, among the most mobile-device and social-media savvy of consumers.

That content, to be called the “Brew Pub Newsroom,” will appear on AOL properties including the Huffington Post, HuffPost Live and Mandatory.com. Miller Lite will also sponsor a video content segment on HuffPost Live targeted at male millennials.