What Is Branded Content? [Full Guide for 2022]

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What is branded content? If you’re not sure what branded content is and how to use it effectively, you’re not alone.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of branded content, how it differs from content marketing and why it is important for your business. In addition, we will:

  • talk about the strategy in branded content
  • discuss the pros and cons of branded content campaigns
  • give some popular examples

What Is Branded Content?

Let’s give branded content a definition first. Simply put, branded content revolves around capturing the core values of your business.

Unlike traditional advertising, the goal of branded content is to inform and inspire the audience through engaging content and ultimately gain greater brand recognition. It can reach the audience through different marketing mediums and currently it is one of the biggest trends in the world of business.

DID YOU KNOW: According to the branding statistics, it takes only 10 seconds for a person to form an impression of a brand. 

Branded Content Is All About Brand Values and People’s Stories, Not Services and Products

Brand content management takes a totally different direction from traditional advertising practices; it speaks to peoples’ values, not needs.

Storytelling is one of the best ways to connect with the audience. Businesses find a story that is important to their target audience and find a way to associate it with their brand values. Your brand is likely to become more memorable if people are able to connect to your story.

Branded Content Attracts Attention to the Brand, Not Its Products or Services

Focusing on the brand itself rather than the service it provides can be a difficult task, but it’s important to remember that the goal of brand content creation is getting people to notice and start talking about your brand.

Branded Content Is All About Providing Value To the User

Quality branded content is important because it provides users with valuable, relevant, and interesting content. Creating quality branded content can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort.

Remember, it is not as important how the message gets across to the user, it is just crucial that it does.

Branded Content Connects With Users’ Emotions

Engaging the users’ emotions is a more powerful strategy than convincing the audience with rational arguments.

In branded content, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that it should connect with your audience on an emotional level. The best-branded content is the one that speaks to them on a more intimate level.

Branded Content Is Great Storytelling in Action

Branded content and storytelling go hand-in-hand. A great story can help you connect with your audience, build trust, and leave an impression. When you’re creating branded content, focus on creating a story that is relatable to make it easier for the audience to connect to your brand values.

Branded Content Is Versatile

The beauty of branded content lies in the fact that it can take many forms and become part of any platform. It can be displayed throughout podcasts, videos, print, broadcast on radio, or shared on social media and websites.

DID YOU KNOW: Does branding content have an impact on the digital market funnel? Reports show that compared to everyday digital ads branded content increases recall by almost 60%. 

Difference Between Branded Content Marketing and Content Marketing

Many people think that these two terms can be used interchangeably, but this is not the case. They do share some similarities – like using content creation to target an audience. But they use separate approaches and have different overall goals and none should be deemed more important than the other.

  • Branded marketing is focused on promoting a specific brand, while content marketing can be used to promote any type of product or service.
  • Additionally, branded content is usually created by the company itself, while content marketing generally relies on outsourcing.
  • Branded content marketing is typically more heavily branded and promotional in nature, while content marketing is focused on providing value to the reader.
  • Simply put, branded content is focused on emotionally connecting with the audience while content marketing addresses audience-specific needs and aims to gain their trust and loyalty.
DID YOU KNOW: Statistics on content marketing show that 72% of businesses reported higher number of leads when using a content marketing. 

Why is Branded Content Important?

People tend to skip traditional ads without remembering the brand. This caused businesses to reevaluate and redefine their approach and turn to branded content for help.

  • Branded content helps build bridges between companies and audiences.
  • It helps establish an emotional connection by appealing to the users’ values.
  • It is not strictly concerned with raising sales and revenue and is a more subtle marketing approach.

When it comes to branded publishing, the reason why this content enjoys such success is that these articles, videos, and other forms of content are not specifically designed to sell a product or a service and customers find them more personal and relatable.

Branded content helps businesses build trust with their audience and better the chances of their customers becoming long-term users.

Key Takeaways

The goal of branded content is to inform and inspire the audience and gain better brand recognition.
Branded content is focused on emotionally connecting with the audience.
Real-life stories help the audience connect with your brand and make it more memorable.
Campaigns are a unique and authentic way for your brand to stand out.

The Strategy of Branded Content

Now that we’ve covered what branded content is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at how you can create a brand content strategy.

When developing a branded strategy there are some aspects you should consider that will help you highlight your business values and tailor it in a way that speaks to a wider audience.

Create a Story (Show, Don’t Tell)

Simply telling a story will not be enough to really engage with the audience; the content you are creating should be based on your genuine brand values. Saying that your brand is committed to preserving the environment will not have much of an impact if you don’t show the audience how your brand is committed to protecting the environment.

A tour of your facilities or giving the audience a closer look into your practices can be a good idea. Aim to create compelling branding content that will leave a strong impression on your audience, one that will be a source of entertainment or education and spark their curiosity. This will result in greater interest in your brand.

Connect With the Emotions of Your Audience

The branded content that you create should aim to hit a nerve. Try to be as authentic as possible and elicit a powerful emotional reaction from the audience, preferably tapping into a specific emotion, like happiness or anger.

There are numerous branded content examples that achieved success by doing so, one of them is Always’s LikeAGirl Campaign which simply asked what it means to do something like a girl. This appealed to the audience’s emotions and sparked a movement that brought about brand recognition and popularity.

Include Characters Who Personify the Fundamental Values of Your Brand 

The audience appreciates what is genuine and true. Real-life stories which they can find similar to their own are one of the best ideas. It helps people identify with your brand and increases the possibility of your audience becoming customers.

However, your branded content ideas must incorporate your business values and beliefs; keep in mind that the audience can detect inauthenticity and phoneys from a mile away and will not hesitate to call you out. Be genuine as selling lies is not likely to deceive the audience and may only result in a bad reputation.

Create a Story That Will Highlight the Benefits of Your Product 

Although branded marketing is not focused on advertising like traditional marketing, it is still important to give the audience a taste of what your product or services are about. All brands have a story behind the product or service they offer and telling a story that emphasizes the good sides of your brand will attract attention.

And remember that when it comes to branded content strategy how you tell and present the story will determine the effect and the audience response.

DID YOU KNOW: Research shows that more than 64% of people will buy a product or a service after seeing a branded video on social media. 

Pros And Cons Of A Branded Content Campaign

A branded content campaign can have both a positive and a negative effect on your business. When done right, the advantages always outweigh the disadvantages. Read on to find out what the pros and cons of branding campaigns are:

Pros

There are 5 of them:

  • It Is More Subtle Than Traditional Advertising

People are put off by digital marketing ads as they feel like they are being analyzed, and many consider them somewhat of an invasion of privacy. 

  • Allows You to Connect With Your Audience on an Emotional Level

The best-branded content has the potential to appeal to the audience’s emotions, and once they associate this emotion with the brand they are more likely to remember it.

  • Branded Content Tells a Story

This story is based on your brand values and can bring better brand positioning once the audience has positive associations with your brand.

  • Branded Content Campaigns Are Unique

Aside from being unique they are also authentic and can help your brand stand out from competitors.

  • In the Best-Case Scenario, Your Campaign Could Go Viral.

Quality branding can go a long way. Your brand’s story is likely to inspire your audience and may even spark a movement.

Cons

These are fewer, of course:

  • Campaigns Take Time And Effort

Developing a branded content campaign strategy takes time, effort, and lots of creativity. Without creativity, your campaign is not likely to draw attention to your brand which is why it is important to hire the right team.

  • Skills And Experience Are Also Needed if You Want Good Results

Your campaign cannot rely solely on ideas, so you will need individuals with experience in the field.

Examples of Good Branded Content

Here are some great examples of a branded content:

  • Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign focuses on celebrating natural beauty; it is among the most successful brand content ideas. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is a great example of how to create branded content that connects with the emotions of your target audience.

The campaign focuses on issues such as discrimination and body image and raises awareness while also creating positive brand associations.

Additionally, the campaign marks high success in brand content media management; it is consistent across different social media platforms as it encouraged women to share their photographs under the hashtag #mydovemessages.

Ultimately, this inspiring campaign raised Dove’s revenue to $2.5 billion in its opening year. According to the research of Harvard psychologist Nancy Etcoff, it also helped women redefine how they see the beauty and increased their confidence.

  • Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” Campaign

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign is another great example of branded content. According to the Coca-Cola Australia site, the purpose of this campaign was to connect to consumers on a more personal level and inspire sharing and happiness. The campaign was first introduced in Australia and later went global due to the great response.

Similar to Dove, Coca-Cola’s brand content strategy included encouraging consumers to take pictures and share them on social media under the #ShareACoke hashtag. During the first year of the campaign, Coca-Cola gained around 25 million followers on Facebook, while after going global it also raised sales in the US by 2.5%.

Conclusion

Branded content can be a great way to connect with your audience and establish a more personalized relationship through storytelling and entertainment. However, it is important to note that brand content creation takes time and effort and an experienced team of creative minds to come up with quality content for your brand. So before you set a branded campaign into motion, do your research, prepare, and evaluate the benefits that other types of marketing, i.e. performance marketing or SEO services, might bring to your business.

FAQ

What is an example of branded content?

Branded content is very versatile. Newspaper articles, short films, feature films, videos, podcasts, and radio broadcasts all make good examples of branded content.

How do you define brand content?

Branded content can be defined as a marketing technique that, unlike conventional advertising, focuses on the brand itself rather than the actual product or service it offers. Its purpose is to inform and entertain the audience and generate audience interest.

What is branded content on Instagram?

Branded content on Instagram is any type of featured content for which there is an exchange of value between a creator and a business partner. Instagram has its own unique policies, and you can find out what branded content for published on Instagram on its website.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."

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