What is Branded Content Marketing?
Branded content is a new type of marketing that looks beyond traditional methods to more creative ways of connecting with a target audience. For many marketers, branded content is an effective way to address the fact that most people are desensitized to and somewhat overwhelmed by traditional marketing. What's more, branded content is focused on the values of a brand rather than what they might sell and appeals to the emotions of a target audience to establish a connection. But what else should you know about branded content marketing?
In this article, we take a closer look at this marketing strategy and how it works.
What is Branded Content Marketing Exactly?
While traditional marketing strategies continue to succeed, branded content marketing is an excellent way for brands to stand out from the crowd in a busy market. Branded marketing tries to build a connection with the audience by focusing on the brand, storytelling, and values instead of the features and benefits of a particular product or service. As a result, this type of marketing is increasingly popular the first port-of-call when it comes to strategy for a top Chicago content marketing agency.
Nielsen's recent studies demonstrate the power of branded marketing and how this new strategy is not just a buzzword or fashionable trend. Some brands like to indulge in marketing strategies from time to time because they appear trendy or fancy in some way, but branded content marketing works!
Modern-day people don't like to feel like they are consuming advertising and prefer to feel like they are making their own decisions about what they purchase. Branded content considers this by creating compelling social statements and exciting stories while building trust and deepening the connection between the brand and a target audience.
Make sense? Let’s consider some characteristics of branded content marketing.
Some Characteristics of Branded Content Marketing
- Branded content marketing is more concerned with the number of mentions online or notoriety instead of inquiries and direct sales.
- Traditional advertising is most often viewed as a sacrifice that comes with consuming the content we want. But branded content tries to create engaging content that provides value and entertainment to the viewer.
- Branded content triggers emotions and focuses on building a connection. Branded content is quite different from traditional advertising, which often illustrates how a brand, product, or service is superior to the competition.
- Branded content is often flexible and can be re-used across different formats. Ultimately, branded content is often re-purposed using video, podcasts, blogs, events, and other channels.
- Sometimes branded content is created in collaboration with celebrities, professionals, and even film directors. This approach can expose a much greater audience to the brand with the right strategy.
- Branded content marketing uses storytelling to convey a brand's values to its' audience. This story will usually include protagonists and a start, middle, and end to the story itself.
If you might be asking yourself, let’s run through a few quick examples of branded content marketing in recent times.
3 Examples of Branded Content Marketing in Recent Times
How Netflix Matched an Upcoming Series to Real Life Issues
When Netflix was getting ready to launch a new prison series called “Orange Is the New Black,” it commissioned articles in the New York Times called Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work. While this article was not about the upcoming series, it was able to match engaging content with the right marketing message.
How Star Wars Maintained Connection Between Movies
Comics and novels fleshed out the movies' stories, characters, and locations during the long periods between movie installments for the Star Wars series. Although the sale of these comics, etc., was able to generate sales, the consistent flow of content built a deeper connection with the audience and anticipation for the next installment of Star Wars.
Dove Gets the World Talking about Beauty
Dove created a beautiful story that highlighted the gap between reality and perception in fashion. Based on research, the objective of this story showed only 4% of women see themselves as being beautiful. In the video, a sketch artist makes two drawings of several ladies, one based on a description of how they look and the other based on an illustration by a stranger. As a result, the discrepancy between these sketches showed how inaccurate were these views of self. This particular video went viral, and while it does not mention a product, it got everyone talking about Dove and inevitably led to increased traffic and sales for the brand.
5 Advantages of Branded Content Marketing
1. Branded Content Marketing is Not Invasive
Branded content marketing is not invasive, which is one of the most apparent reasons traditional methods might be less effective. Most people don’t even trust traditional advertising! Instead, create branded content that engages viewers who want to consume the content!
2. It Builds Deep and Long-Lasting Connections with the Audience
This type of marketing focuses on emotions and tells stories that connect with the target audience. Over time, consumers associate these emotions with the brand, deepening and strengthening the connection.
3. Branded Content Marketing is Proven to Generate Leads/Sales
Although branded content focuses on providing value and telling stories, when done right, this type of marketing can generate leads and sales at an exponential rate.
4. Branded Content Can Nurture Loyalty with Consumers
Consumers tend to engage with branded content much more than traditional content. Therefore, design branded content to provoke a response and connect with the audience deeper, generating loyalty.
5. High-Quality Stories have More Chance of Going Viral
Branded content is often one of the most shareable types of content and can go viral on occasion. At the same time, the content must be powerful for this to happen. For example, a high-quality story that focuses on emotions is much more likely to go viral (or shared) than a traditional piece of content about a particular brand of product.
Branded content marketing is not just a trend but rather a proven strategy to build a lasting connection between consumers and a particular brand. This type of marketing is often more effective than traditional methods depending on the situation. There's a reason why more and more brands are turning to branded content marketing. Expertise is everything when it comes to online marketing, and it's best to seek advice from a Chicago digital marketing agency to get the job done right!