The way we see it, branded content seems to be the apex of branding and advertising since it targets human emotions in a very slick and often very artsy manner. It challenges the principles of content creation as we know it. It also tends to go the extra mile and tap into storytelling.
If we were to look for a definition of branded content, we would find out that it’s just content that is openly produced by a particular advertiser. However, due to this, transparent funding advertisers need to create impressive content that will leave a lasting impression. If you want to improve your business’s marketing strategy, branded content is the way to go. So, let’s unveil what hides behind this phenomenon.
What is branded content exactly?
Unlike traditional advertisement where the product always plays the lead role, branded content takes a different approach.
Rather than creating content that directly aims to sell, this type of marketing is focused on releasing content which provides some sort of value to the audience.
Building a relationship with the audience without putting the emphasis on the sale is what marketers aim at.
Branded content is not made just to entertain people but also to teach them.
Even though this type of content hasn’t been so popular in the past, it has been roaming in the world of marketing for quite some time. According to Brian Clark, the CEO of Copyblogger, branded content is like some of the content created in the 1940s or earlier. Back then, the TV shows would sometimes create their own content or have a specific sponsor.
However, nowadays, branded content is in the spotlight. Why? Well, according to a quantitative study by IPG Media Lab, when a consumer watches branded content, their brand recall is up to 59% higher than it is with display ads. Viewers are also 14% more likely to seek out extra content from the same brand. As far as ROI goes, these are strong numbers.
So what makes branded content so effective?
Supporting real values
One of the main elements of branded content is that it supports good values.
Usually, it has a positive note, whether it is supporting self-love, family relationships, friendship, happiness, love, etc.
Take one of the most effective branded content releases as an example – Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches.
Dove discovered in their customer research that only 4% describe themselves as “beautiful”. After this, the team at Dove decided to do something that will change this statistic.
The first step was to create a value that their brand will support and will go together with their research. This resulted in spreading the idea that says,“beauty is for everyone.”
Now, we come to the fascinating part, and that is their branded content, which stood behind this value.
Dove created and released a series of videos in which an FBI sketch artist drew women as they described themselves. The same artist also did another sketch of the same women but in this second case, a stranger was the one who was giving the description. The difference between the two sketches was often mind-blowing. The campaign showed how the way we see ourselves can be distorted. Within 12 days of release, 50 million women viewed the videos.
They also shared the following message: “We want the film to continue to inspire every single one of the 80% of women who feel anxious about how they look to reconsider their view of their own beauty and remember: you’re more beautiful than you think.”
Now, that is how you support self-love and promote your brand at once.
Creating an emotional bond
What mostly comes hand in hand with the previously mentioned values is that branded content also needs to appeal to the emotions.
In order to spread some value or to have an effect on the audience, you need to make them feel something.
In any type of advertisement, content that carries an emotional value performs best, and branded content always delivers this.
As you could see from the Dove example, no one could be indifferent to the way these women saw themselves. Their reactions were so emotional that the audience could feel what the women felt.
They also made an emotional connection through this campaign because they knew that most women have the same self-image problem; hence, they could really relate. Creating content that is easily relatable is the key to striking an emotional cord.
It is not always easy to create such concepts; therefore, brands tend to work with professional writers and writing services such as TrustMyPaper. They also tend to hire talented individuals from platforms such as LinkedIn and Upwork who can contribute to their idea.
Branded content quickly goes viral
We all know that social media is essential in marketing. If you really want to spread a message, sharing your content on the Internet is an inevitable part of the process.
A branded content knows how to make people who will carry on the message their brand
People probably won’t share a video in which a brand presents its product, but they will most definitely share a video that evokes emotions and supports the same values as they do.
Not to mention that good branded content makes a real impact on the audience so, it increases the engagement as well as the conversion rate.
How can branded content help you?
Branded content isn’t going anywhere any time soon. While it may seem that only world-famous brands use branded content, that is not the case. Everyone can jump on the wagon and use this marketing strategy for the development of their business.
Even if you don’t have the money to finance some big projects, you can easily create content that offers value and provokes emotion, and use social media to spread the message. Surprise your customers with something original and thought-provoking. You will be surprised at how it will affect your business.
Written by Diana Nadim
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields.