Branded Content: What Is It?
Branded content is a marketing technique that involves creating content that is directly linked to a brand, allowing consumers to make a stronger connection. Branded content seldom involves traditional advertising, such as TV commercials or banner ads. In most cases, branded content includes articles, videos, podcasts and films – all to engage an audience at a deeper, more personal level.
Humanize Your Brand
Evoke feelings not directed toward a specific product but to address one of the issues that exist in society, that an audience feels passionate about. Successful branded content will focus on the values of what you, and your brand, stand for. Focus on the intangible qualities of the brand, rather than the features and benefits of your product(s). Focus on what will drive an audience to love your brand, and want to align with it. Use branded content to make your brand personal.
Instead of looking for a direct sale, focus on creating content that impacts an audience and sparks conversation around the brand. We’re often talk conversions as a key metric with marketing strategies, but with branded content the focus should be to measure notoriety and the number of mentions your brand receives.
Bridge the Gap between Awareness and Affinity
To start, focus on increasing brand awareness, then driving engagement and improving brand loyalty. Brands need to look for new ways to connect with their audience, find creative ways to get the public’s attention, and convey the values they represent.
When considering branded content as a marketing strategy, audience engagement needs to be the foundation of the approach. Consider that the audience is unaware of your brand and business, they need to be informed on your existence and what your brand stands for.
Then form the relationship your brand’s values to the audience’s values. When done successfully, the audience grow to become passionate about your messaging, your brand and your existence.
Master the art of storytelling
Great branded content always involves storytelling and appealing to emotions. Emotional storytelling for the purpose of persuasion goes back to the times of Aristotle, but it’s still an effective technique today. Branded content does not seek to use rational arguments about why a brand is better than the competition, but instead to connect with the audience on a more intimate level.
All good stories have a beginning, middle, and end. With branded content, awareness is the beginning, alignment of beliefs and values are the middle, and affinity is the end.
The River Valley Media Group has been relied on to tell local stories for more than 100 years, and are experts in branded content and content distribution. Every day we develop effective programs for our clients and can do likewise for you. Complete the form below to drop us a note to learn more.