Dubai: Gulf News has launched its new sponsored content offering called Reach by Gulf News, Dr Mario Garcia of Garcia Media said at the WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference, which took place at the InterContinental Hotel on Tuesday.
The global guru of newspaper design said the new platform, created by GN Media, will give advertising clients the possibility to have their brand behind storytelling.
Watch: Gulf News launches global concept in sponsored content at world press meet in Dubai. Going live with Dr. Mario Garcia #MEC17
“Sponsored thinking has been around for a while but is now a reality for media companies to make money — and it’s something we see in the larger media companies … But I am happy to say that now in the UAE, there is sponsored content, and this is the official announcement and opening of Reach by Gulf News,” said Garcia.
This innovative move by Gulf News is in line with the worldwide trend in all media to encourage sponsored content, and Gulf News will be taking the lead in the region by offering brands extensive reach and engagement with their audiences through sound and original storytelling, outlined on the new website — reachbygn.com.
Garcia explained that while sponsored content is the reality for media today, it must be “good storytelling” that would otherwise be published by the media company on a regular day in any of its various sections.
“Sponsored content needs to be pure journalistic stories that would be of interest to people … the only difference is that it would have the sponsor’s name on the top of the page,” he added.
Watch: Dr. Mario Garcia answers questions on getting news out quickly, but accurately, in a changing digital journalism landscape. #MEC17
He pointed out that, in this region, the time is right for media companies to incorporate sponsored content into their reach.
The sponsored content generated by Gulf News will include a multimedia mix of stories, pictures and videos, which will be published in print, digital formats, and on social media channels. The key to sponsored content is that the new stories are created in collaboration with clients and are a useful addition to Gulf News’ current offering. Frequently, the sponsored content will cover social or lifestyle topics that are linked to the clients aspirations or brand identity, and include new stories generated in association with themes related to their brands.
Through Reach by Gulf News, brands will get the chance to talk about topics they are normally not associated with, and will be able to identify interests and behaviours of audiences that advertisers are sometimes unable to market.
Gulf News’ first sponsored-content project, which was published online last month, was a collaboration with Emirates NBD that included an interactive guide to the 42 museums of the UAE, offering readers valuable content and Emirates NBD the opportunity to associate itself with these invaluable treasure houses of national heritage.
This client-led move is a step towards creating a new revenue stream. Backed by audience segmentation, data and analytics, the new project will be able to measure the depth of engagement and reach with the audience, through the Digital Media Unit at Gulf News.
This analysis will be offered to clients, along with data on audience demographics and number of views.
All of which means a better return on investment for clients and quality content for readers.