Do you want to make money with branded content or would you rather your DJs create authentic content that fits the station?
According to Dieuwertje Valentijn (Programme Manager, Qmusic, the Netherlands), the media landscape has changed. Social media is growing and so the role of a DJ has evolved – it’s not about the technical skills any more but a presenter’s DNA. But you can’t change a presenter’s DNA to fit the station and similarly you shouldn’t force a campaign on to your DJ or station if it’s not a natural fit.
So what can radio learn from Instagrammers and YouTubers about how to create branded content? Most successful Instagrammers and YouTubers tend to go for paid-for promotions when it fits with their feed. Influencers know what they want and aren’t afraid to say no, whereas radio perhaps doesn’t say no enough. After all, it’s hard to turn down cash. But Dieuwertje highlighted that the “unfollow button is brutal”. If you lose people on social media, it’s hard to get them back – and it’s the same on radio. If you do something inauthentic on air then listeners will switch to another station.
Dieuwertje demonstrated Qmusic’s unique workflow when approaching branded content, where the station takes a concept and sees which DJ it best fits with and how they encourage advertisers to trust their creativity.
In summary, Dieuwertje’s three rules for creating authentic branded content were to make sure there is a common ground, to involve DJ’s and producers from the start (as branded content is about content) and to prevent agencies and advertisers from interfering with the execution.