How to Create Branded Content that Sticks
In a fast-changing media age where 65% of consumers skip online video ads (1) and brand recall is over 20% greater for branded content than for regular advertising (2), it’s no wonder that 86% of business to consumer brands now employ content marketing (3).
So, now we know it’s more popular – and more effective – than ever, let’s take a look at what branded content is, and how to create engaging, effective, and entertaining digital assets for your business.
What does branded content marketing mean?
Branded content marketing aims to build awareness for a brand through the creation of content, such as videos, podcasts, articles, and live events, that reflects its values. Rather than involving traditional advertising, branded content is designed to grab the attention of the desired audience and resonate with them on an emotional level.
Don’t stray from your brand voice
Even if branded content is a different approach for your brand, you shouldn’t deviate from your brand’s tone and values. Your messaging should still convey your brand personality and the values that you hold. As with all your content, what you produce should still ‘sound’ like your brand and be so distinctive it could only be yours.
Focus on your brand values
Rather than focusing on your brand’s products and services, branded content should focus on the values you want people to associate with your brand. By focusing on your brand characteristics, people are more likely to feel that they know your brand and what you believe in. Think of it as sparking a conversation rather than landing a sale.
Tell a story
Nothing helps a consumer connect with your brand more than making them feel something. So consider what problem your brand solves and tell a story about someone overcoming that problem using a powerful emotion such as humour, nostalgia, sadness, or shock. People are more likely to engage with and be loyal to a brand whose story they buy into.
It’s great to collaborate
Creating branded content is the perfect excuse to join forces with other creatives. For example, Lego teamed up with Lord & Miller to create movies that broke box office records and introduced the brand to a new legion of potential customers, and Jerry Seinfeld and Acura took a more subtle – and effective – approach than traditional advertising with their Emmy-nominated series ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’.
Know your target audience
If you know your target audience inside out, branded content is a great way to connect with them by focusing on your mutual interests and shared values. A great example of this is creating a podcast series that tackles the issues your audience can relate to (and that your brand solves).
Make it viral and develop your brand awareness
As the name suggests, nothing spreads as successfully as a great viral campaign. So when you’re coming up with creative ideas always think, ‘Is is shareable?’ Consider if it will appeal to your target audience and if it contains something that will make them want to share it. Remember the ‘3 S Rule’: keep it Short, keep it Social and never forget SEO.
Use user-generated content
Nothing adds equity to your brand more than consumers singing your praises. That’s why sites like checkatrade.com and Amazon reviews are so popular. We trust people we feel are speaking honestly from the heart. A recent example of this was Dove’s #showus branded content campaign, which utilised user-generated content to turn their consumers into brand ambassadors.
Think cross-channel campaigns
As well as ensuring your branded content can be shared on multiple platforms, don’t forget to think long-term. Consider pulling together a bank of fresh ideas for a campaign of content that can be consumed and shared on the go. This helps keep your audience engaged and gives them a reason to come back for more.
Want to create branded content campaigns?
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