Picking the Right Sponsored Content Product for You, Part 2

Eric Suliga, Creative Director

Did you know that 68% of today’s marketing leaders are using native ads and sponsored content? Today, aligning your brand with engaging content is one of the fastest growing tactics used by B2B and B2C marketers alike, with 147% and 81% growth respectively since 2015.[1]

Of those who are not already investing in sponsored content, 1 in 5 say they plan to do so in the future.[1] Lucky for them, the options are boundless. From native search to high-touch brand journalism, it’s a good time to start exploring what sponsored content can do for your marketing strategy.

In the first part of this two-part blog series, we discussed the “rentable” sponsored content solutions we offer to brands--meaning the opportunities that tap into an organic, built-in audience. Now, we’re diving into our more “ownable” offerings. These give brands the unique opportunity to build a custom audience of their own based on their target demographic. Looking at the chart below, you can see how we organize our sponsored content solutions on a scale of rentable to ownable, turnkey to tailored.

Ready to get started? Let’s explore our most robust and customizable sponsored content products: Brand Stations, Festival/Artist Partnerships and Custom Executions.

Brand Stations

Similar to Genre Sponsorships, Brand Stations are one of the most turnkey ways for advertisers to own an audience on the Pandora platform. This solution includes the ability to create a custom station listening experience--from the music that plays, to the look and style of the tuner. This is a great option for those looking to build a community around their brand. The more the experience resonates with your target audience, the more time they will spend with the sponsored content--and by extension, the more you can connect with your brand’s “hand raisers.” Other benefits include:
  • Owned Environment: Brand has 100% share-of-voice across ad formats within the station environment to keep the conversation going with listeners.
  • Data-Driven Song Lists: Leverage Pandora’s Audience Explorer data and Music Curation team to create a musical representation of your brand.
  • Actionable Insights: Test and learn with your Brand Station audience. Our insights can help optimize your strategy on and off Pandora’s platform.

Festival / Artists Programs

Because Pandora sits at the intersection of listeners, artists and advertisers, we are uniquely positioned to help brands align with content around popular music festivals and musicians. Whether it’s bringing listeners an all-access pass to artist updates or creating a totally unique listening experience to tie in with your brand values, these opportunities are excellent drivers of authenticity and engagement. Other benefits include:
  • Artist Hosting: Tap into Pandora’s Rolodex of popular and emerging artists to curate and host listening experiences that deepen brand-listener connections.
  • Key Moments in Music: Align with important promotional cycles to inform listeners about tour announcement, ticket pre-sales and album releases for their favorite artists.
  • Co-Branded Promotion: Partner with Pandora and the selected artist(s) to jointly promote the program and expand the campaign’s total footprint.

Custom Executions

Our suite of sponsored content offerings allows us the flexibility to create custom programs to meet specific brand objectives. Custom Executions use bespoke content to amplify a brand’s message through engaging audio and video content. This option is best for brands that have a unique perspective on how they want to engage listeners, particularly if they want to push beyond catalog tracks into more custom-produced music content. Kingsford, America’s favorite grilling charcoal, did exactly this with their “BBQ Beats” station, created to celebrate everything about grilling season (read more about their success: here). Other benefits include:
  • Custom-Produced Exclusive Content: Partner with Pandora to create unique and engaging content that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • On-Demand Access: Because content is exclusively produced and licensed, it can be offered to either ad-supported or Pandora Premium listeners.
  • Owned Environment: From content to ad creative, everything is driven and owned by the sponsoring brand, creating an opportunity to shape the conversation with listeners.

Create a Content Experience for Your Brand

There are many cases in which Pandora’s “ownable” sponsored content solutions are the right choice. With over 87 million monthly active users spending 20+ hours with the service, we know that our audience is hungry for entertaining content. Brands have the opportunity to satisfy this need with Brand Stations, Festival/Artist Programs and Custom Executions--each of which offers an increased level of customization to fit your specific brand objectives.

As the most turnkey, but ownable, solution, Brand Station allow advertisers to harness the existing station platform to personalize an experience for their target audience. Slightly more customizable, Festival and Artist Programs let brands tap into Pandora’s leading industry relations to align with an artist or event that is most relevant to their customer demographic. And as our most customizable solution, Custom Executions, give brands the freedom to build an audience in whatever way they see fit. Our recent Ford Country Built program is a great example of this in action.

Each of these offerings gives marketers the option to not only tailor the experience to their target audience, but also to own and build that audience over time, providing more opportunities to continue the conversation with your biggest fans.

However, if tapping into an existing audience (rather than building your own) sounds more in-line with your current capabilities, please check out Part 1 of this blog series, where we discuss the “rentable” solutions in more depth. And if you’d like to learn more about how sponsored content can increase the impact of your marketing message on Pandora, get in touch with us here.

Sources: [1] Salesforce, “Fourth Annual State of Marketing: Insights and trends from 3,500 global marketing leaders,” June 15, 2017