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While 'content' can be defined in many ways, it generally refers to editorial-style audio, video, text and imagery, commissioned by a brand and designed to win attention. This might include short-form social video, long-form video, native advertising, brand-funded TV shows or content-based activations of sponsorship deals. Content is increasingly important in online strategy, particularly with the rise of social video. To be effective, content should be of value to its target audience audience - helpful, entertaining or informative.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This report offers guidance on creating an effective branded content strategy, including an in-depth example from Yahoo. It includes tips on developing original content, managing freelancers and measuring effectiveness.
A guide to planning, creating, distributing and optimising content to drive awareness, lead generation and value growth.
The importance of using creativity, community and integration for native advertising and sponsored content.
How to make your content stand out from the crowd, with examples from Starbucks, Google and Lego.
An example of a brand using content to increase value, with activities ranging from sports to music.

Case Study

This case study describes how the app Spott was launched in Belgium, offering retail inspiration for viewers and increasing the relevance and attractiveness of content.

Case Study

This case study describes how UK publisher Penguin Random House maximised a small budget to promote its crime author Tim Weaver, by creating a serial podcast called MISSING.

Case Study

This case study describes how retailer Spar boosted its image by creating Start It Up Slovenia, a unique, entrepreneurial project with a mission of helping young entrepreneurs through a custom-made primetime TV show.

Case Study

This case study describes how ING, a Dutch national bank, re-energised its sponsorship of art and culture in the Netherlands and strengthened its image as an innovative bank, using data and technology to create The Next Rembrandt.

Case Study

This case study describes how Millers, a fashion retailer, drove awareness and engagement to increase sales in the Australian market.

Case Study

This case study describes how US wireless service provider AT&T used Facebook Live to create a real-time event with Santa Claus to encourage customers to sign up to its loyalty programme AT&T THANKS.
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This case study describes how feminine hygiene brand Bodyform set out to own online share of voice with minimal marketing investment, by challenging taboos with a provocative film featuring sport, exercise and menstrual blood.


This article explores how the BBC used emotional reactions to content to refine its content marketing offering and offers advice for brands on telling effective stories.


This article covers the key content marketing trends in Asia - specifically popular content pillars, distribution choices and social channels as selling channels.


This article proposes a set of core principles that will help advertisers as they create brand-aligned, differentiated and valuable native advertising experiences delivered programmatically - a task that brings ever greater responsibility to apply best practice and ensure a good value exchange.


This article offers best-practice guidance for B2C and B2B advertisers looking to use programmatic native advertising, which must always blend into and enhance the content it accompanies, meaning that creative must be valued and targeted accurately.


This article takes a look at the current state of play in programmatic, and examines how it has given a new lease of life to native advertising - as well as the challenges faced in this - offering tips to advertisers who are looking to trial it.
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  1. Article

    This report looks at the trends and technologies that are set to become more important and relevant to marketers in 2017 including live video, VR and AR, web TV and chatbots.

  2. Article

    This exclusive report analyses the most effective social media campaigns, including an in-depth review of how social strategy drives effectiveness and practical suggestions for other brands to follow.

  3. Article

    This article argues that planning, creating, distributing and optimising valuable content can drive brand awareness, spark lead generation and deliver business value.

  4. Article

    This article provides advice from VICE Media, the digital and media publisher, on how brands can create content that engages millennials across digital, social media and television.

  5. Article

    This article provides best practices for developing a content strategy on the most visited online video platform in the world, allowing brands to engage a different culture from the mainstream and find a place in the 'everything channel'.

  6. Article

    This article outlines how to stand out from the crowd when it comes to the popular area of content marketing.

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