Ads are so pervasive that many people ignore or block them with ad blockers.
Brands need to create more innovative advertising strategies if they want to compete. One of the best content marketing tips to boost your brand awareness without invasive advertisements is to create branded content.
Find out what branded content really is, why it's useful, and look at some excellent examples to get inspired and use it in your own favor.
- Understanding the concept of branded content
- Benefits of branded content
- Elements of effective branded content
- Case studies: Successful examples of branded content
Understanding the concept of branded content
Capturing your company's beliefs, goals, and purpose is the essence of branding.
Branded content conveys the values, goals, and purpose of your brand in a manner that resonates with your target audience on an emotional level and helps them recognize what you stand for.
The branding content may take the shape of any type of content, be it:
- Blog posts that brief trends in the industry
- Videos uploaded to YouTube outlining key concepts in your sector
- Documentaries addressing significant issues relevant to the sector
- Case studies involving customers who have successfully utilized what you offer to address a particular challenge
- Podcasts that explore topics pertinent to the company's products or services and are distributed digitally
So, how is branded content marketing any different from content marketing?
Creating branded content means showcasing your company's mission, values, and backstory to any and all interested parties. It is not intended for a particular subset of your audience as opposed to content marketing, which aims at drawing in a certain demographic while promoting your business's offerings.
Branded content marketing strives to increase awareness, inspiration, and information, whereas traditional content marketing tries to increase leads and sales. So, for example, if you have an Etsy print-on-demand store, branded Content is a great way to get people to learn about your brand as a whole beyond just the custom products that you sell.
Great narratives, especially those that make us feel more like humans, have a powerful effect on us. Therefore, it’s no surprise that branded content has a better recall rate at 86% than pre-roll commercials at 65%.
Professionals in the field of marketing understand the power of a compelling story and use it to maximum effect. Therefore, there will be an increase in spending on branded challenges by 44% of B2C enterprises in 2022.
Let’s understand what are the unique benefits of branded content that make them appealing over traditional ad rolls before we understand what elements make up effective branded content.
Benefits of branded content
We’re all tired of pop-up ads and banners when we’re on a mission to find something specific on the internet. For this reason, ad blockers are becoming increasingly common in the browsers of most internet surfers, leading to the decline of the efficacy of traditional online ads.
Branded content is a unique strategy that does not appear as an ad to people naturally. It doesn’t block users from its primary task, nor does it follow a pop-up format. Effective branded content attracts your target audience naturally and gets them to engage with your brand.
- Emotionally resonant
Why do people like reading novels or watching movies?
It provides a compelling story that takes you on an emotional journey, often building a connection between you and the protagonist. This connection often makes you invested in the character, doesn’t it?
Well, branded content does the same. It builds a story around your brand and builds a connection between the brand and its audience. The emotion gets them to be invested in your brand and build a memorable image about it, leading them to remember who you are and what you’ve got to offer for a long time.
- Potential for virality
A good story will be passed around, and so will be effective branding. When you’re able to brand your business with good content, people are likely to share it with other people over social media and word of mouth.
Because content comes in a sharable format, its virality can go a long way and can give your brand a much-needed boost in terms of awareness and traffic.
- Strategic brand positioning
Branded content delivers a tale that exemplifies the qualities the company wants its audience to associate with it, rather than just reiterating a slogan. The features of a brand, as well as the favorable connotations associated with that brand, are imprinted in the brains of the audience.
- Builds engagement
The goal of creating branded content is to get people to react in some way. In this manner, the audience is encouraged to connect with the brand on a level that is far more profound and ultimately incorporates it as a component of its consumer identity.
This engagement also translates into brand loyalty, as your customers will keep coming back to your brand due to this experience.
- Traffic generation and lead acquisition
A successful branded content campaign may deliver an enormous amount of traffic to your online store, such as one on Etsy. This initiates the process of bringing people into the conversion funnel.
Despite the fact that branded content is more often connected with increasing brand recognition and awareness, it ultimately introduces customers to what you sell on Etsy.
- Lower cost
A business's advertising department could fork out cash to have a pop-up ad shown on a social media platform, but they might instead post branded content using their personal account promoting the company's products and services for free. The funds saved in this manner may be used for other marketing initiatives, such as holding events or hiring additional people in the marketing department.
To reap all these amazing benefits of branded content, you must ensure that it is created in a way that impacts the audience. To help you create effective branded content, we’ve listed some major elements of successful branding.
Elements of effective branded content
So, how can you offer engaging brand stories that won't make you seem like a pushy salesperson?
Here are four essential elements of branding content you should master well:
You want the content associated with your brand to convey a narrative that authentically reflects your brand's values. The content you produce should create a brand image that will wow your audience.
You may want to convey that you're eco-friendly and sustainable, but how exactly do you intend to uphold that commitment? Produce content, like a video tour of your production facilities, that demonstrates your dedication to eco-friendly practices in manufacturing products.
This way, your audience will remember your brand more favorably and be more receptive to future marketing efforts if you tell them an engaging tale.
Branded content stories should evoke strong emotions in the audience. That's why it's important to tailor your content to evoke a certain feeling in your audience, like joy, excitement, or urgency.
Your audience should feel moved to action after reading your blog or watching your YouTube video, and they should remain interested enough till the end in what you have to say for them to want to keep engaged with you in business.
People are inclined to form an emotional connection with your business and ultimately make a purchase if they can identify with your stories and relate to them.
A great way to narrate a relatable story is to introduce relatable characters. Branded content creators can tell tales about actual individuals in their target demographic to boost the relativeness of your brand. Case studies can be a great way to do this.
Consumers are loyal to companies they respect and feel a connection to. It is crucial to be genuine since audiences can detect and call out insincere efforts to connect, resulting in the exact opposite impact.
Even while the primary goal of your branded content won't be to promote your goods in the same way that ordinary marketing content does, it is essential to showcase the advantages of what you offer in a fresh light. This will help you demonstrate to your audience who you are and what you stand for.
An effective piece of branded content infers some sort of knowledge to your target audience. For example, a blog about trends in the industry can enlighten the audience about what’s in demand and what’s in shortage. Your business can rise as a savior, bridging that gap in demand and shortage.
When you’ve mastered all these four elements in your branded content, it is most likely to show a positive impact on your audience and help you meet those KPIs. Let's take a look at some instances of businesses that have done a fantastic job developing branded content, which you can use as a source of inspiration.
Case studies: Successful examples of branded content
- Dove: Real Beauty
Dove, a skincare company, conducted research and discovered that just 4% of women think of themselves as beautiful. As a result of this discovery, the company set out to develop a branded video campaign in 2004 that might influence how women regarded themselves while simultaneously building strong emotional links between actual beauty and the brand Dove.
- Coco-Cola: Share a Coke
Coca-Cola is one of the most well-known brands in the sector of soft drinks, and the company makes deliberate attempts on a consistent basis to create powerful emotional ties between its customers and the brand.
One of their most successful marketing efforts was called the Names Campaign, and it included selling bottles of Coca-Cola with various names written on them. This resulted in a spike in sales and encouraged customers to spend time looking for their own names or those of loved ones.
Video: Share a Coke
- Patagonia: Hasta La Raiz
Patagonia is an outdoor apparel brand that supports environmental action in all of its manifestations. They crafted their campaign, Hasta La Raiz, which translates to "Down to the Root," based on the study that found 97% of farm laborers are Hispanic, but just 4% own farms. It follows the tale of a farmer named Javier Zamora, who fought his way up to establishing his own organic farming property through hard work and determination.
Although the purpose of this branded content is not to stimulate sales and advertise the company's goods, the individuals seen in the film are dressed in Patagonia apparel while they are working. It conveys their values and humanity.
For companies that have mastered the art of effectively branding their content, branded content may generate substantial emotional connections, confidence in the brand, and a definite return on investment (ROI).
When you have mastered the art of producing amazing branded content that is effective, you will be able to expand the scope of your campaigns and generate a greater number of positive outcomes for your marketing efforts.