Branded content translates our partners’ research and messages into compelling articles that Nature Portfolio audiences will read and enjoy. Nature Research Custom Media (NRCM) is a content creation and marketing service that is distinct from Nature editorial. NRCM works directly with partners to create high-quality content (print and online) that adheres to Nature’s editorial standards; meets our readers’ needs and expectations; and supports our partners’ goals.
The aim of branded content is not to sell products or services, but to raise awareness of our partners’ research and capabilities, educate our readers on new advances in research, methods and instrumentation, and stimulate discussion. In essence, we work to associate our partners with ideas and information that our readers find valuable.
This Quick Guide to Branded Content contains specific information about how the process works, what the limitations are, and how to create content that Nature Portfolio readers will value and share. Customers will receive the more comprehensive Publisher’s Guidelines for Branded Content upon booking.
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Branded content is conversational in tone and written for science-literate audiences reading outside their area of expertise. It is modelled on Nature front-half content, not primary research, reviews or application notes. No matter the subject, the goal is to create content that is valuable and relevant to specific Springer Nature audiences.
All content is produced by the NRCM editorial team. The global team of science writers, editors, designers, project managers and social media experts represents decades of collective experience and has earned content marketing awards the world over.
Whether in print or online, most branded content articles run between 500 and 1500 words, depending on the needs of our partners. They accommodate images (including multimedia), and will be supported by quotes from interviewees as well as references from published literature. The word count, which corresponds to print page equivalents, defines the number of images, references and interview sources included in a given article, as outlined in the Publisher’s Guidelines for Branded Content.
The creation of branded content takes 8-12 weeks, depending on the format, length and adherence to timelines. It is a collaborative process, where the partner reviews and approves the article at several stages. At the start of a project, the publishing manager, who serves as the point-of-contact for a partner, will supply a detailed timeline to guide the process. We advise that senior partner stakeholders who will sign off the project are made aware of the stages and provide input at the appropriate stage.
While we expect to undertake the bulk of the work, a few responsibilities lie with our partners.
|Nature Research Custom Media||Our Partner|
|Develop content direction from the briefing form||Submit briefing form detailing key concept, messages and background material|
|Commission & edit content||Provide images and their rights and, if requested, figures|
|Arrange interviews, both sourced and partner affiliated||Facilitate introductions to affiliated interview subjects|
|Source images if needed; redraw figures if appropriate; assemble layouts||Adhere to timelines for approval|
|Promote article to target audiences||Suggest target audience|
|Report on reader engagement|
Nearly all online branded content articles have a companion promotional campaign. These campaigns are defined by specific marketing packages and frequently include native advertisements on nature.com, social media promotion over NRCM channels, and display advertising, all of which are targeted to relevant audiences.
Campaigns are concluded with a brief report that describes reader engagement for a specific article or set of articles.
NRCM offers valuable paid-for add-ons for branded content
NRCM will redraw a partner-supplied figure to give it the NRCM look and feel. Our editors and designers optimize redrawn figures for clarity and readability in both print and online presentations. NRCM will not produce original figures nor merge multiple supplied figures unless negotiated separately.
Scientific figures are most popular with our readers, whether pathways, mechanisms of action or diagrams. Certain types of images are unsuitable for Nature Portfolio options, and will not be accepted. These include organization charts, corporate strategy diagrams, cartoons, mascots, additional logos, and figures with low informational value.
The Publisher’s Guidelines for Branded Content contain more information and detailed specifications.
PDF layouts and reprints
For partners interested in reusing their articles on their platforms or in their collateral, NRCM offers PDF layouts, for online-only articles, and reprints for partners that would like them. Timelines range between three and four weeks. Shipping can extend delivery time.
For partners who want to extend their branded content to non-English speaking audiences, NRCM has a team of skilled scientific translators, who specialize in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Korean. We can translate the branded content, as a paid service, and deliver it in a PDF or in print.
For additional information on branded content, along with examples, please visit:
To learn more about other NRCM product and services, please visit:
If you have additional questions, please contact your account manager.