Mashable’s Simple Strategies For Creating Authentic Branded Content
It all comes down to making smart people smile.
As part of our Ask the Experts series, we’ve been learning from the world’s leaders in content marketing and sharing their advice. In this interview, Eric Korsh, Director of Mashable Studios, chats with us about the reasons brands partner with publishers and shares how Mashable makes that content extremely shareable.
This interview contains excerpts from The Epic Guide To Content Marketing – over 50 pages of advice from the experts at The New York Times, Forbes, Mashable, The Huffington Post and many more!
Pressboard: What’s your role, your background and what first attracted you to content?
Eric: My background began in TV with commercials and music videos, then documentaries and episodic TV. The combined experience of creating TV ads, along with integrating brands into episodic TV and producing content just for the sake of a good story in a variety of formats has allowed for a perfect transition into Mashable Studios.
Mashable Studios partnered with Ford to create the Tech Time Machine series
Pressboard: What’s the main reason brands come to Mashable to partner on branded content, instead of creating and distributing the content themselves?
Eric: With a dedicated audience of 45 million monthly visitors and a community of 28 million social followers, Mashable has proven to be experts at making content that people want to share at an extremely high rate. We are able to create that content specifically for a community who is incredibly influential and has a large audience across various social platforms. So our content spreads quickly and broadly, and we bring that expertise to a message that we create on behalf of a brand but within the context of the interests of our audience.
Mashable has built a reputation on having the ability to make content extremely shareable. Do you have any tips for creating creating content that readers are compelled to share?
I have two tips that are really easy to understand and really difficult to follow.
The first is for any evaluator to take their work hat off and put their consumer hat on, and simply evaluate the content or message as any consumer might – would I share this? That’s different from would I read or watch this? The difference is that this question forces you to dig into the mechanics of sharing, am I willing for people to know that I connected with this content, which helps govern the content itself.
The second tip is to recognize that virality is difficult to achieve. Content and ideas need to be supported through paid promotion. Without it, your investment is unlikely to succeed, regardless of the quality. Data for us is more about what types of emotional responses across different topics resonate most with the Mashable audience and their propensity to share content. This is different across those dimensions, but can be put to work for brands when they have the constitution to allow it.
Mashable Studio’s Cars 2025 campaign with Goldman Sachs
Which will have the most profound effect (either negative or positive) on native/branded content in the next 12 months?
The most profound effect will be dependent on brands’ ability to align their messaging across various media platforms. We’re still seeing significant differences between media-funded content creation and purpose-built ads/marketing from agencies. But some brands and agencies are willing and able to take on this hard work, and they are the ones that will have the most impact in the next twelve months.
In 140 characters or less, what is your favorite tip for creating great content?
Make smart people smile.
Pressboard would like to thank Eric Korsh and Mashable for speaking with us and contributing to our latest e-book. You can find him on Twitter at @EricKorsh.