Did you know that 82% of consumers like to read branded content when it is relevant to them, or that 60% of customers feel more confident about a company after reading custom branded content?
Branded content is a growing medium in the marketing world… It is the process of creating content that viewers want to be a part of. But to discover what branded content actually is, you need to look past its name.
At its core a brand is a promise to consumers. It is a product, service, company or individual that is instantly recognisable by what it offers.
Content is something expressed through a medium; this can be writing, images, video, audio and anything in between.
So, then, branded content is simply an expression of your promise?
No, although the above does sound very official.
Branded content blurs the line between an advertisement and entertainment. Your content can be made up of anything including games, podcasts, case studies, infographics, polls, quizzes, competitions, reviews, testimonials and articles. The difference between non-branded content and branded content is simple; non-branded content is not swayed by a brands vision or philosophy, and by its very nature, will not be directly targeted at one demographic. Branded content on the other hand will be directly targeted at a specific demographic and the content will be produced in such a way that it follows brand guidelines.
Branded content is almost always written, produced and directed by the brand it serves. It has become an extremely lucrative form of marketing for brands around the world. Here are some example of branded content:
You will have probably seen at least one Red Bull television advert which showcases extreme sports. This is branded content. Red Bull followed up their stunning snowboarding film, The Art of Flight, with four more films towards the end of 2012 and they have released 2 more in 2013.
Red Bull uses extreme sports and the stories individuals carry to fuel their brand.
Red Bull’s videos are the perfect combination of advertisement and entertainment.
Oreo Daily Twist
Oreo biscuits are pretty delicious, and the marketing team behind Oreo are equally as tasty. In 2012 Oreo set alight their ‘Daily Twist’ branded content campaign which celebrated 100 years of the Oreo brand. In it, the team had 100 different images of an Oreo (with its top biscuit off) each with cream honoring news stories, history, games and holidays. Web users quickly found themselves visiting the Oreo site every day to see what the Oreo biscuit would be up to next.
Oreo’s branded content campaign was less extravagant than Red Bull’s, but equally effective at capturing the imagination of its targeted demographic.
So what is good branded content?
Branded content always has the aim to entertain, educate and inspire its viewers. For branded content to be successful it needs to accurately merge advertorial and entertainment elements.
Good branded content is content that creates a direct connection with its viewers and resonates with an audience. It sparks thought, debate, and in a idealistic world makes headlines.
Oreo and Red Bull have this cracked, although in the future, we expect that branded content will become so good that it is hard to tell what is branded content and what isn’t.
We’ve embedded an interesting branded content infographic below for further reading. Enjoy!