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Branded Content Guidelines

Branded Content Guidelines

We apply Nature’s editorial standards to create high-quality content (print, online and multimedia) that meets Nature readers’ needs and expectations while aligning with your goals.

The aim of Branded Content is not to sell products or services, but to raise awareness of your organization, provide educational materials for our readers, and stimulate discussion. We want to associate your name with ideas and information that our readers find valuable.

Nature Research Custom Media (NRCM) provides a full content-creation service across all formats, including text, images, video and interactives. We also develop promotional campaigns that use a range of channels to ensure your content is seen by the right audiences.

We have several different types of Branded Content. This guide contains specific information about the type of content you have purchased as well as general tips for success.

On this page:

  • Important notes
  • Top content tips
  • Process overview
  • Responsibilities
  • Social promotion advice
  • Branded content types

Important notes

  • Branded Content cannot be used as a vehicle to report unpublished data
  • Branded Content will be clearly labelled as ‘Advertisement Feature’, as will any pointers to the content
  • Branded Content will clearly include the name or logo of the partner organization (up to 3 online; only 1 in print)
  • Branded Content does not contain author by-lines

NRCM has the right to remove Branded Content articles from our platform after publication if the content is deemed to be in breach of these guidelines.

Top content tips

These tips are based on our experience of what our readers respond to. Bear these in mind when filling in your Briefing Form for Branded Content or for an Inside View.

  1. Prioritize research – Our readers enjoy content that summarizes interesting and relevant science. We’ll focus on research in our Branded Content, and emphasize it in both the title and subtitle. Overt commercial messages can be a turn-off and should be avoided.
  2. Solutions matter – Our audience loves to solve problems. Content that presents solutions to challenges our readers are facing will be better received than a product launch or promotion of services.
  3. Advice is welcome – Our readers are interested in improving their performance. That could mean tips on running better gels, how to help health-care providers with adherence, or guidance to improve the patient experience. It never hurts to look knowledgeable!
  4. Expertise appeals – Content that shares the perspective of highly regarded scientific thought-leaders tends to perform well. As with any content, the interview should be framed in the context of research and/or advice.

Process Overview

The creation of Branded Content takes 8-12 weeks, depending on your chosen format. It is a collaborative process, where you review and approve your article/video at several stages.

  • (Optional) Kickoff call — If you need more editorial information or have complex requirements
    • (Optional) Article synopsis or outline for approval
  • First full draft of article or script for review
    • Revised draft for approval
  • Images or storyboard for review
    • Revised images or storyboard for approval
  • Layout (print and/or online) or full video for review
    • Revised layout or video for approval
  • Launch

You have two review rounds for each element of the Branded Content. The first review is the opportunity to make major changes, after that it should be minor changes only. Further revisions, or major changes at a late stage, could incur additional charges and delay the launch.

Responsibilities

While we expect to shoulder the burden, a few responsibilities lie with you.

Nature Research Custom MediaOur Partner
Develop ideaProvide subject and background material
Commission & edit contentProvide images and, if requested, figures
Arrange interviews, both sourced and partner affiliatedFacilitate introductions to affiliated interview subjects and locations (for video content)
Source images; redraw figures (if appropriate)Adhere to timelines
Assemble layouts/videoSuggest target audience
Promote article to target audiences
Report on reader engagement

Social Promotion Advice

Where appropriate, we will promote your Branded Content through our social media channels. We also want you to share the content with your audiences. We encourage you to share our posts. For everything else, here are some best practices — and common pitfalls to avoid.

Creating your own posts – It is important that NRCM content is not confused with Nature Portfolio content. DO NOT tag editorial channels for Springer Nature journals (e.g. @Nature). The correct channels to tag are:

  • Twitter: @NatureCustom
  • Facebook: @NatureResearchCustom
  • LinkedIn: Nature Research Custom Media

You can describe your Branded Content as “created in partnership with Nature Research Custom Media”. DO NOT describe your Branded Content as “an article in Nature” — we will have to ask you to delete those posts.

We can supply you with a separate utm tag for you to track performance.

How to increase engagement – Readers respond to busy threads. If you monitor your posts and respond to comments, that is likely to stimulate others to add their own comments and share the post.

Content Types

Whether in print or online, most Branded Content articles are counted in pages. Each article can carry images (including multimedia), and will be supported by quotes from interviewees as well as references from published literature.

  • 1 page: Recommended for brief news, high-level introduction, or a digest of a paper.
  • 2 pages: An easy-to-read length, suitable for in-depth news or an event report.
  • 3 pages: Feature pieces, including history and context, to give a broader picture.
PagesSingleDoubleTriple
Words50010001500
Images345
References357
Interviewees234

The exception is an Inside View, which is always a single page Q&A of 750 words with one interviewee.

For more information on specific formats, please visit the relevant page:

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