Premium content and brand safe media are key for brand advertising ROI, Kevin Rehberg, VP, Client Development, Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) and Rafael Lama, Deputy Director at El Nuevo Día Puerto Rico, tell Portada.


This Thought Leadership article is presented by Digo Hispanic Media.

In all too recent U.S. history we have seen the harmful role social media can play by spreading entirely fabricated content.  The brand marketing community can play a crucial role by advertising in media properties practicing professional journalism and thereby supporting a repluralization of media and a commitment to facts as a public good. While investing in premium content and truth based media is very important for corporate social responsibility  reasons, it is also crucial in order for brands to avoid ad fraud, achieve ROI and brand safety.

In fact, the costs of not investing in professional media properties are huge.  Digital ad fraud, according to different industry estimates, costs marketers anywhere between U $6 billion and US $42 US billion annually. So on average there are US $24 billion a year stolen from marketers.  Yet, there only have been a handful of global  arrests because of digital ad fraud; so ad fraud is a very low risk high reward way to steal money and unfortunately that money is coming from brand marketers and quality publishers.

  On average there are US $24 billion a year stolen from marketers. That money is coming from brand marketers and quality publishers.

What is Premium Content?

Kevin Rehberg
Kevin Rehberg, VP, Client Development,Alliance for Audited Media (AAM).

“From a verification standpoint, premium content comes from publishers who invest the most resources into their content – and who go above and beyond regarding transparency and verification of their audience. This allows the marketing partners of premium publishers to invest in their advertising inventory with confidence,” says Kevin Rehberg, Vice President, Client Development at the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM). AAM is a media industry non-for profit organization. Our mission is to connect marketers with quality publishers. That is more important now than it has ever been. 

As a way to work with quality publishers, Rehberg recommends brands to check out the list of AMM clients “which gives buyers an excellent indication of who the quality publishers are.” Another useful resource for buyers are Digital Publisher Audits, “  where marketers can find publishers that can be added to their inclusion lists with confidence,” Rehberg adds.

  Premium content comes from publishers who invest the most resources into their content – and who go above and beyond regarding transparency and verification of their audience..

All platforms and all quality publishers should subject themselves to transparency for the benefit of the marketer. It’s up to the marketer to demand what gets audited.  Ultimately the pressure to be audited should come from brand marketers.  There are 4 cornerstones to use an audit to get ROI, Rehberg notes:

  • Support best practices for digital advertising from (TAG Trustworthy Accountability Group)
  • Build your inclusion list with AAM audited publishers
  • Buy from authorized resellers via ad.txt
  • Use MRC (Media Rating Council) accredited technology.”

To Rafael Lama, Deputy Director at El Nuevo Día Puerto Rico, premium content means “content that you cannot get anywhere else. Whether it comes from in-depth reporting, investigative pieces, analysis or fact checking, we at El Nuevo Día consider premium all content that requires going further to tell a story, to uncover facts, to give multiple perspectives on a single subject.”

  We consider premium all content that requires going further to tell a story, to uncover facts, to give multiple perspectives on a single subject.

“Production quality, duration and relevance of the story are certainly part of the equation,”  Lama notes. But he adds that premium content can also be based on quick response: “We also produce quick response premium content.  As an example, Lama notes that during last year’s local election for the governor of Puerto Rico and the last debate, “we did a live fact checking for all six candidates. That was produced on the spot and quite quickly, but it was premium content, as we dedicated seven journalists to the project during the two-hour debate, and we planned and prepared about three weeks ahead.”

Joseph Kiwanuka, VP, Partner, Cultural Connections & Strategy, UM Worldwide, an agency that buys media for clients including Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Fitbit, GoPro and Spotify, notes that from “an advertiser perspective, premium content has a significant role in catalyzing a brand’s marketing success. Today, brands need customized and bespoke messaging and placements that deliver value and quality to engaged audiences across many of the mass and niche online destinations. Brand safety is vital as brands must deliver trusted placements to the right authenticated audiences and be able to report on accurate engagement activity on trusted platforms.”

How El Nuevo Dia Puerto Rico Works with Advertisers

Rafael Lama
Rafael Lama, Deputy Director at El Nuevo Día Puerto Rico

How can brands and publishers best work together to allow brands to reach their target audience and objectives without crossing the editorial line and/or impacting the user’s experience?  According to AAM’s Rehberg, when it comes to multicultural and Hispanic specific marketing “what you want to do as an advertiser is to buy as directly as possible to the quality publishers who deliver high percentages of Hispanic audiences. The more you go into quantity and further away from quality, you run a much higher risk of not serving impressions to the audience you want to deliver those impressions to and not reach your business outcomes,” notes Rehberg.

El Nuevo Dia Puerto Rico’s Lama says that a lot of planning and a lot of communication between editorial and commercial teams is needed. “As an example with the pandemic we have worked on projects that have proven to be great journalistically speaking but also have proven to be a great venue for advertisers. For instance, in September and October we worked on a documentary about COVID deaths and about families not being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Surprisingly, we got great feedback also from our sales team. We got a lot of health insurance companies and hospitals who wanted to be part of the content and who ended up designing copy and creatives that were very proactive in terms of telling the audience to take care of themselves and be healthy. In the end, the project had both great journalistic and commercial results.”

With the pandemic we have worked on projects that have proven to be great journalistically speaking but also have proven to be a great venue for advertisers.

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