Branded content is essentially a fusion of entertainment and advertising that has been around for decades, just think of soap manufactures and the soap opera. With social media and the increasing prevalence of mobile apps in our daily lives, branded content seeks to have an increasingly large role in marketing and advertising of brands in the future.
Branded content can be anything from a short film, music, game, blog, mobile app, newsletter, blogzine, microsite or real-life event. The content merely exists to entertain and educate the consumer, while conveying subtle brand messages in the mean time. But more than this, branded content creates a persona for your brand and helps engage target audiences in a reciprocal relationship.
The idea for a brand is to listen to online conversations and establish what interests your target audiences. Is there a need or desire for certain information? Can you provide that information in an engaging way?
The most successful branded content programs are able to blend messaging in a seamless and transparent fashion, while still getting the information across to the consumer. Branded content creation serves several purposes: customer entertainment, stealth advertising and social engagement.
- YouTube Channel by Intel
- YouTube Channel by The U.S. Navy
- Snow and Ski Report by REI
- iFood Assistant by Kraft
- Email or print coupons for Kraft products or even add them right to your store savings card.
- Find recipes and post the ones you love to Facebook
- Scan and enter a barcode to add to a shopping list or find recipes
- Print shopping lists, coupons, and recipes
- Get detailed recipe directions and even video tutorials
- Set alerts about planned recipes, recopies of the day or special offers
- Find a retailer to buy your products
Now, tell me that wont build more consumer loyalty?
Branded content is about creating an experiential story; It’s about crafting stories though every communication tool – signage, display advertising, print, radio and television ads, that are then translated to the web, social networks and now mobile apps. In the end it really comes down to knowing your customer extraordinarily well. By consistently engaging your audience via editorial content that is expertly mixed into the e-commerce landscape, you can tie sales. The best social media and branded content executions out there are driven by narrative, not commerce.
Branded content is quickly becoming a cost effective, long-term online marketing strategy that industries will continue to utilize as brands and retailers look for new, innovative ways to connect with customers online.
What impact do you think branded content can have on consumer behavior and where do you think this technique is headed in the future? We’d love to hear, so post a comment on The Side Note Blog, send us a tweet @Weise_Ideas, or find us on Facebook: Weise Communications.