Story Partnerships on Vocal
With the introduction of new, simplified content disclosures, identifying branded stories is easier than ever. Here’s what you should know about how brands get involved on Vocal (and how you can, too).
As a user generated platform, Vocal is home to the stories of over 700,000 creators who are creative, authentic, and authorities in their spaces. Whether they are fitness instructors sharing their expertise or beauty gurus giving product recommendations, our creators have a ton of advice and experience to share with their audiences.
Vocal’s network also includes brands—brands we support, believe in, and are proud to partner with. These brands see the authenticity and value in the stories that our creators publish on the network. That’s why Vocal’s agency, Vocal for Brands, gives brands access to the engaged audiences that our creators bring to the network, as well as to support those content creators who are doing something unique and authentic in their area of interests.
How it works
A brand wants to partner with Vocal and our creators to have them create native, authentic content on Vocal about the brand or their products; if the brand is a good fit to partner with us, we’ll pair them up with a few talented, thought-leading creators on Vocal who create beautiful stories showcasing the brand, their products, or what the creators love about it. It’s a great way for creators to earn more and get the opportunity to work with brands they love, and for brands to have native stories created for them while also being able to directly support content creators.
It’s a partnership where everyone wins, because the real stories you have to tell have so much more interest, educational value, and longevity than a social post or an ad campaign.
How we disclose partner content
The vast majority of stories on Vocal are not sponsored by a brand. However, when you’re looking through Vocal, you might come across stories that look like this:
These stories have always had sponsorship disclaimers included in the content, but we’ve now built in these content disclosures into content cards so you can more easily see the content that a brand has played a part in, and you can understand how each brand we partner with is involved.
There are two disclosure tags you might come across on a Vocal story or challenge:
If you see a story was "Created with" a brand on Vocal, that means the story has been produced in collaboration with a brand, the Vocal creator, and the Vocal for Brands agency. These stories are created by real creators, and the brands may be involved in ideating topics of the stories, providing their products to the creator, placing their products into the content, providing discount codes for the creators to offer their audiences, and more.
“Supported by” disclosures indicate that the brand did not play a part in the creation of the content, but the brand or other third party might decide that they want to independently show support for a creator, a specific community, or certain subject matter.
You may see this disclosure on a story; or, you might see it on a specific tag, collection, or community on Vocal. It indicates that the brand wants to be associated with whatever content it appears on, and they have opted to show that through supporting the story or community.
You should know that we’ll never give a brand approval to “Support” your story without your permission. You’ll always be consulted before a brand puts their name and logo on your content, and you’ll be compensated as a part of that support. Currently, this option is only available for stories published by Vocal+ members.
Why not “sponsored”?
You’ll notice that neither of these disclosure options read “Sponsored by,” and there’s a reason for that. Sponsored content isn’t exactly what we do. Sponsored content brings up images of a brand tossing money at a large media company for a staff writer to throw together a product review, or maybe product placement in a long listicle, or create a post you quickly scroll past in your feed.
A Vocal for Brands campaign is different than that, in a lot of ways: Brands are more involved in the process by choosing to support real content creators instead of a staffed writing team; the content is genuine and created by real creators like yourself; and Vocal partners with both the brand and the creators throughout the process and entire campaign period, meaning our stake in the brands and the creators having success is higher than a simple sponsored post or ad. It’s not sponsored content; it’s storytelling by creators who believe in their own content, in partnership with brands who want to educate audiences and support a creative community.
How you can get involved
Vocal for Brands is always looking for influential, authentic creators who are using Vocal to share what they’re passionate about. Creators who have worked with Vocal for Brands in the past historically have been those who catch our team’s eye with high quality stories, and more importantly, show genuine interest in topics that some of our brand partners may be looking for. Consistently building up your profile with stories that get the attention of our curation team, sharing those stories with your friends and audiences, and putting your expertise out there for the community to benefit from is the best way to prove that you’re a thought leader who any brand would be lucky to partner with.
To learn more about storytelling campaigns and brand partners, or to get in touch with the Vocal for Brands team, visit the Vocal for Brands site: