We can define branded content as a content strategy produced by the brand itself, with which we seek to provide added value to consumers.
This added value can be directed towards information and education, or towards leisure and entertainment (informational value or entertainment value).
The key is that these contents are intended to generate a long-term relationship between the brand and its customers, not to sell a product immediately or communicate a promotion.
What is Branded Content?
The content branded is a way to connect to content through experience, not to sell directly, and the best way we can explain what is the branded content is the storytelling.
Think about your business and the history that defines it. With this type of content, you must exploit all your creativity, so that your messages are more than words, they are experiences with which your contacts feel identified.
This means that you think about how to create content that tells stories, in which your brand is present, without feeling forced or as a direct sale attempt.
We give you the great secret of branded content: it is about not being noticed that you are doing branded content. Make the presence of your product so natural, that your readers feel identified and develop a connection.
“It is a content strategy in which the brand is one more part of this experience. Seeks to entertain the consumer and not sell a product. The message that you send prevails over the advantages you have, we blur what constitutes advertising and what constitutes entertainment. From that point, you gain engagement with your user (because you like it) and loyalty (because they follow you because they associate your brand with this content)”.
It is a fantastic content marketing activities that will help us differentiate ourselves from the competition. These stories are defined as a narrative created by the brand itself, in which a story is described.
To ensure that storytelling is effective, we must follow some of the following examples:
- Stories must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Write a moral that relates to the values of the brand.
- Existence of history and a context.
- Take care of the style, which is appropriate to our target audience, but not fall into vulgarisms.
- Create a collaborative narrative, in which our audience can be integrated.
Benefits of storytelling for brands
The creation of a good brand story will bring great benefits for organizations, among which we highlight:
- It generates a greater commitment to consumers since they somehow involve and hook them.
- Increase engagement.
- It emphasizes brand values, which will provide the trust and credibility of our consumers in it.
- Increase traffic to our website and social platforms.
- Branded content strategies generate a community around the brand.
Origin of Branded Content
We must be honest with you, branded content is not something new, it has only become more important.
The competition is tough, digital media have democratized the possibilities for companies of all sizes to offer their products.
It is no longer enough to say how beautiful and good our product is, but we must stand out and be relevant.
Let’s take the example of “Popeye, the sailor”, which is the case that many scholars of the subject take as the origin of branded content.
This comic, which later became a movie and television series, even a popular icon, arose from a need for the association of spinach producing companies in the United States.
These industries needed to position spinach as a beneficial food for children in the 1920s.
They did this by creating this character who became strong immediately after consuming a can of spinach.
The rest is history, whether it is true or not, we have the conception of how beneficial spinach is thanks to Popeye, without realizing that the cartoon was also a great marketing strategy.
Branded Content and Content Marketing
Up to here, it might seem that branded content is very similar to content marketing, however, it is about two very different things.
In short, content marketing is a strategy that can involve different content formats and communication channels. It focuses on the research, development, and distribution of useful content for the user.
For its part, branded content focuses on the generation of content to excite the user, appeals to the feelings of consumers, rather than the rational use they can give it.
Content marketing produces content focused on educating and informing about a problem and its solution.
Instead, branded content has a more playful purpose. Entertain and excite
In content marketing, your brand is not part of the message, at least not in the early stages of change. It’s all about what your buyer persona needs.
On the contrary, branded content must necessarily communicate your values, ideas, and everything that defines you as a brand. It may not be the central theme but it must always be present, otherwise, it would not be branded content
You can see that both strategies have in common that they focus on the generation of non-intrusive content, with the essential difference in the objectives they seek: entertain by creatively introducing your brand (branded content) versus educating and informing ( content marketing ).
Objectives of Branded Content
- Educate or inform with our content: with which we will be able to generate great confidence in our brand by our target audience.
- Create content that is easy to share: videos, images, audios, etc., in order to achieve greater popularity for our brand.
- Another good strategy is to be original so that we differentiate ourselves from the competition. For example, there are brands that are beginning to bet heavily on this type of action and are creating television programs or series in which they show the experience of the brand.
- Answering consumers’ questions, satisfying their needs, etc., so that we position ourselves as an essential and “more human” brand for them.
Branded content benefits
Have More Than Customers
This is perhaps the most important benefit of branded content because it represents a key value for any business in digital times: connecting. Remember that every day that traditional advertising dies a little more and this is because today’s consumers do not want to be sold, they want to connect.
With branded content, you can make users perceive you in a more human way, appealing to feelings.
That they are friends, more than clients. That they love you because they associate your product with the sensations that you are awakening in them through the content.
Sense of community
Creating a connection through branded content will allow us to interact with our users through more lasting relationships than a mere sale.
We must find a subtle way to include our brand values or products in our content, always being creative in order to impact the audience and not appear to be sellers. But an exciting brand that looks like them.
This translates into the creation of user communities around our brand. Goal number one in digital marketing.
Trust and Loyalty
Trust is earned, not only in life but also in business.
Another of the great benefits of branded content is to strengthen ties of trust and credibility with our users.
Remember that the connections we are creating go beyond the solution or utility offered by our product or service.
It talks about values, ways of thinking, ideas, and feelings that unite us. That goes beyond a tangible good.
As we know, trust also facilitates the loyalty of those customers who will stay with us, even after purchasing our product. Because they believe in us, they respect us and they know that we have more things in common.
Recommendations for Great Branded Content
Know your audience
If you know the tastes, interests, and needs of your target audience, not only will the creation of branded content be easier, but it will also be more effective.
Remember that you need to generate affinity with your brand, that’s why you need to know what things you and your user may have in common before developing your messages.
Each content must generate, not only interest but a true connection. You will achieve this by researching and collecting information about what you need, what you like, and what you dream about.
Do not stay with the formats and platforms that you know, look for other options that may be more effective to surprise your users.
That impact will also bring you to reach because your users will want to share that experience they lived through your brand.
Channel on Social Media
Branded content actions are generally associated with social networks because they are the most “relaxed” channel that we share with our users.
It is natural to use social media to disconnect from our routine and find content that entertains, amuses, or inspires us.
Use your profiles to further massify your branded content and make it easier for your followers to share it with their friends.
More Branded Content, please
We know that it is not easy to design branded content that really reaches the hearts of our clients. There are many hours of knowing our users, studying them, thinking of creative and relevant ideas that make us stand out from the rest of the options in the market.
But we also promise you that it will be worth it. Creating connections with our readers will always pay off, remember that today’s marketing is about creating relationships between brands and customers.
Branded content is a strategy that aims to generate a long-term relationship between the brand and its customers, through the creation and dissemination of content where the product is not the protagonist, it goes to the background. That is, it is creating content based on the product, but without talking about the brand.
Value content is crucial for your branded content strategy to be successful. I suggest that you create content that makes the benefits of your product or service clear and encourages the loyalty of your consumers.
If you have already launched your own branded content strategies or campaigns, let us know in the comments. Otherwise, we invite you to do it and tell us how it goes.