Marketing techniques tend to change and evolve continuously with time. Today, users are not interested in companies talking endlessly about their products and making sales pitches. Ads are now considered irritating and so the ad blockers are becoming popular.
When compared to traditional advertising and content marketing, branded content has shown significantly better results at driving engagement. Take an example of written branded content which garners an average of 36 seconds from a reader, while a banner ad is effective for merely 1.6 seconds.
A marketing technique that is designed to drive user engagement by showcasing the brand story and its values, rather than keeping its products or services in the limelight. Branded content emphasizes on abstract qualities of a brand and tells a story of the viewers to initiate a conversation. The purpose of branded content is to let the consumers interact with the brand which is unlike the traditional marketing strategies. This is done by creating content that a user wants to consume, and such content is capable of interacting with people by entertaining them, sharing information, etc. but certainly, by adding value.
Branded content creates a sense of connection between the consumers and the brand and invokes emotions. Studies show that users who feel connected to a brand are much more likely to purchase from them. Thus, when branded content is used appropriately in a brand’s marketing strategy, it adds to the revenue.
Content marketing is a marketing technique through videos, blogs, social media, and other online mediums and it revolves around a brand’s product and services. And this is exactly where the difference lies – branded content promotes interaction with the brand, but content marketing is more about its products.
At the same item, branded content is not always dissociated from content marketing. Branded content is usually a part of the entire content marketing strategy. Since branded content is focused on customers and builds trust, it is reasonably effective than other marketing techniques. The probability of getting a positive response from a branded video is 62% higher than that of a 30-second ad. Take a look at these advantages of branded content.
We realize that a whopping 98% of marketers stream ad-free content. Be it a pop-up, a banner, or a social media ad, these advertising methods are avoided by the advertisers themselves. That said, it does not come as a surprise that these ads are considered a disturbance by the users. Here comes the need for branded content that does not control the users and interests them naturally.
A marketing strategy based on branded content incites response from the viewers and results in engagement. To achieve that level of interaction from viewers through a sponsored content is a pain in the neck. Branded content campaigns are not only liked by your existing customers, but also by new audiences who love getting an experience.
Yes, that’s right – even though you do not discuss your products through a branded content, it can generate and bring huge traffic to your website. The #menprovement campaign by Tinder is one of the best examples of such branded content. This campaign is all about discussing technical advancements to improve men, done through Instagram posts with a touch of humor to ensure nothing was taken otherwise. Some posts with this hashtag received as much as 355K views back in 2017, adding to the overall traffic to the app itself.
Branded content is presented in a form of a story, through audio and video which create a more emotional experience. It captures the interest of the audience by providing them an entertaining as well as valuable experience which they are not likely to forget. This storytelling does not stray from the core values of the brand and keeps it as the essence.
Marketing strategies that focused on branded content have proven to be extremely successful for many brands. When we think of brands who nailed it at branded content marketing, we think about these brands.
Redbull’s YouTube channel has 9.5M subscribers and it features adventure videos and this branded content looks quite non-promotional. They have been able to build and sustain brand association through this marketing strategy. Redbull presents itself as the most loved drink by adventure lovers. The branded content of Redbull keeps this image intact. Have a look at this video with 164K views.
Can a sponsored article in The New York Times be a branded article? Yes, if done so by Netflix! There was a post on nytimes.com about women in prison which was sponsored by Netflix. This well-crafted content is fascinating and relevant with strong journalism. And, it did have the same theme as its then-upcoming web series – Orange is the new Black. Those who were naturally interested in the subject got to know about the new web series on Netflix as well.
Despite being a software and hardware manufacturing giant, Cisco has excelled at establishing itself as a brand that cares. To do so, the employees of Cisco were told to post stories on social media sharing how the company cares about the employees. These stories were about the work environment, culture, and benefits of working at Cisco and consisted of an element of emotion as well. Check out #wearecisco to view the posts.
Research that proposed only 4% of women saw themselves as beautiful became the origin of the Real Beauty Sketches by Dove. An artist would create two sketches of the same woman – one, as described by the woman herself and the other, as described by a stranger. The sketch created based on the stranger’s description unquestionably proved how the woman underrated her beauty.
It must be noted here that the campaign did not speak about any of Dove’s products, but it did stir the social media with talks. If people talk about a brand, they get attracted to its products too.
These brands have helped us with some extraordinary branded content marketing examples. Do you wish to create a marketing strategy for your brand too?
Creating a better content marketing strategy
Content marketing is supposed to be a long-lasting and consistent approach that reinforces solid relationships with your customers by providing them with relevant and first-class content. An ideal content marketing strategy must consider these points.
Figure out your brand’s position in the market by understanding its value, existing and likely customers, customer expectations, how is your product useful, your product’s USP, among others. This will enable you to maintain consistency in the experience that you create and display the intended image of your brand through all marketing techniques.
You must set yourself up as a reliable content publisher and develop your media. To do this, you need to research everything from online magazines to video channels by influencers who work in the same domain as you do. This is one part of it.
The other part is to find out what your typical audience is looking for. The answer to this question should be a part of your content, which will in turn make your followers stick around and get you more followers too. Now, resort to a variety of mediums to deliver your content.
A business case is needed to address all questions related to a decision or an action as it provides an explanation to give a green signal to a specific project. A business case document works as the means to influence decision-makers by displaying the impact of the action.
Make sure the business case puts enough stress on the objectives, it is well-organized, forecasts cash flow, and measures financial metrics. A carefully considered business case will allow the decision-makers to evaluate your content marketing strategy and its effectiveness at bringing your brand close to its goals.
A well-defined strategic plan needs to be created based on the below questions.
Whom do you wish to target with the content?
What mediums would you resort to deliver the content to the target audience?
How will you achieve the expected results?
How would you measure the effectiveness of content marketing?
The vital part of creating a strategy is to brainstorm these questions step-by-step and to come up with apt answers.
Above all, resorting to a content marketing agency for producing or distributing your content would be a lovely thought if you are new to this.
It must be obvious by now that branded content will gain more acceptance and would be loved with time. It must be a part of your marketing strategy as well and assist the sales process. All you need to remember is that the content needs to add value to your audience by creating an experience, valuing the consumers is the key to everything.