It think branded content really has a good opportunity to become a more complex and nuanced form of marketing. As you say, it no longer has to be all-knowing, all-encompassing piece of material.
And that's why the content is effective for a reader.
People don't really care if they're reading a piece of content from a journalist or a brand, just so long as it's interesting.
In fact, I think it's pretty insulting when brands give off the impression that they are an authority of a particular subject. They assume that they have to communicate a subject as linear when we all know that nothing is really that straightforward.
Here's the challenge, IMO, for publishers -- Most brands don't want the nuance; they don't want a complicated or interesting conversation. They just want people to buy the thing they want (i.e. they want ROI). I think this especially true for brands that market to lawyers and accountants.
You can let me know if that's too cynical. But that's just been my experience in talking with buyers. Results (i.e. $$$) are the primary concern and content is secondary.
Okay, I want you to answer the same question though and here's why. I actually don't love interviews. It is very much and I-it relationship, and what I think is fascinating about a conversation is that you're watching a true human interaction, I-though.
Now why did we make a tool for interviews? Because interviews are just easier to explain, and a little easier to do. But I'll tell you this, our brands who pay us to create ReplyAll content are expecting to see more than just an interview. They either want to see a heated debate, or a conversation between experts who feed off of each other.
The more dynamic the conversation, the more real it feels. And what people like about ReplyAll is that these are real-life conversations.
Thought I'd juice it up with some more confessions about bill-raping the clients. If you're not one of those assholes who lives a block away from the firm, one of the few perks of working in biglaw is the car home, not to mention the free meal on the client if you're "working late." Obviously, it's not that big a perk monetarily, but there's something plainly aristocratic about being able to order a dinner for forty to fifty dollars depending on your firm's max allowance and not having to ride public transportation with the rest of the pleebs.
Fair to say "working late" has led to some royal abuses by this associate. First of all, if I've worked over five billing hours -- guess what, I'm taking a car home that day, I don't give a fuck if it was from 8-1 pm in the afternoon. And if I'm in the office a minute past six, there's going to be dinner waiting for me on my way out the door.
Btw -- is it wrong that I've never once eaten dinner in the office? Honestly, I can't think of anything worse than dinner in the office, which is why I like to take the dinner home with me.
I am not going to make my hours this year. I have collected a bonus only never. And that is my proudest achievement as an attorney.
I like to ask my peers (even the gunners) the following question -- if moving up in your career did not involve an hours requirement, would you care about getting your bonus? More often than not, I hear no.
Someone will pay you $220K to work for them, but you can give back $20K if you don't want to work too many weekends or late nights.
Who doesn't take that deal?
No one really cares about the money anymore, because for the extra 400 hours I didn't bill, I was actually able to live my life. The only reason people bill ridiculous hours is so they can advance in their career. And THAT is why the partners you work for are not the most pleasant people in the world.