What is Branded Content and How it Can Help Your Marketing Efforts
While the phrase “content is king” is well known, there are several types of content that excel at accomplishing different goals. Some is created specifically to sell products and raise revenues, while other pieces are designed to entertain or educate.
Branded content is a means to build a connection with your audience, conveying your company a sense of emotion and humanity. When producing branded content, the marketing message is so subtle it’s almost invisible.
Taking into consideration the current state of marketing, branded content is a unique form of marketing that utilizes storytelling to share a brand’s vision. The message sent by companies is designed to have an emotional touch that is often difficult to achieve with traditional advertising.
Branded Content and Content Marketing
If you think that branded content sounds a lot like content marketing, then you are right. The two concepts are often connected.
Like content marketing, branded content can include everything from blog posts, to podcasts, video, and even live events. The difference is that it’s not advertising as most would think of content marketing. Branded content doesn’t include talking about product or drawing attention to a specific service.
Branded content is a subset of content marketing, which is focused on the customer rather than the product. The content has a strong value proposition to the customer and is centred on creating an emotional connection, not promoting something. As such, branded content will paint a picture of the company’s values and principles, which will create an affinity with the target audience.
Content marketing has clear defined metrics that can be pursued to estimate the ROI of a campaign, like generated leads, sales, clicks etc. On the other hand, branded content focuses on creating a brand identity, which boosts and cements a company’s reputation in the long run.
With the pervasiveness of social media platforms, companies have started to use branded content, as it has become relatively cheap to leverage social media channels for direct communication with customers. Data shows that branded content is starting to outperform traditional marketing strategies:
- Brand recall is 60% better for branded content than display ads.
- Brand favourability is 7% higher than for display ads.
- Purchase consideration is 9% higher than with display ads.
With its customer-centric approach, branded content creates brand recognition. As customers become savvier about their own needs and the number of promotional ads keeps increasing, branded content takes the place as the preferred means of informing oneself.
Eventually, branded content builds an identity that customers can relate to, which creates a much stronger connection in the long run.