Huffington Post Launches General Mills’ Branded Content Site

A new website created by the Huffington Post, LiveBetterAmerica, features branded content from General Mills focusing on fitness, food, and healthy living.

The articles on the site are part company-produced content, mixed in with stories from HuffPo and Everyday Health.

The LiveBetterAmerica site, which launched Aug. 1, is HuffPo’s “first major step into the realm of branded content — an emerging category of online advertising in which publishers help advertisers create content around a theme relevant to their brand, in hopes that readers will find it authentic enough to pass around on social media,” The Wall Street Journal’s Keach Hagey writes.

The initiative was set forth by HuffPo’s new publisher, Janet Balis, who says that the content won’t be written at the command of General Mills. The stories on the site will be repurposed to fit with General Mills’ plan to integrate lifestyle content into its advertising strategies, writes Hagey.

Branded content works differently from traditional marketing because all its participants — brands,  publishers, and readers — can potentially gain from it. Brands are increasingly starting to create content in the hopes of enticing readers to learn more about the industry in which the company operates or issues it hopes to highlight.

General Mills earns exposure by associating its name with HuffPo — which this past December reported a monthly visitors average of 36.2 million. And by reposting reported articles rather than ad copy, the company hopes to show customers that it has a commitment to publishing valuable information, which is key at a time when inbound marketing is on the rise.

When The Huffington Post announced in May that it would begin publishing branded content, Balis said that companies could “acquire licenses to HuffPo’s content management system and access to AOL’s Devil ads, although neither are required,” says Charlie Minato of Business Insider.

The media group believes that its platform is ideal for brands because of the amount of content it creates, as well as the way it implements search engine optimization.

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