Introduction to Working with Branded Content in German-Speaking Countries

- in ARTICLES, The Drum


Branded content is very important to convey a brand’s story to its audience. But content is available in many variations and can be distributed on many media platforms. So how should businesses approach branded content and what should marketers bear in mind?

If content is king (and distribution queen), context might be god, because it’s necessary to consider the project environment as a whole. Content always has to serve a purpose.

A narrative brand

Every brand has its targets and slogans to substantiate its brand positioning. Let’s look briefly at the Red Bull brand and its marketing slogan ‘Gives you wings’.

Former Red Bull Manager Wolfgang Puetz stated:

“The brand message has to be distributed via all manner of storytelling and multiplied. Storytelling is the most valid way to emotionalise company and brand messages, and content distribution to spread them. Ideally not the product itself will be advertised, but a story around the product will be told, which is emotionalised. (…) It’s becoming increasingly essential to talk with your customers and, best case, to make them want to tell your story to others.”

It’s basically all about content creation, engagement and distribution.

Brands should also look at which teams and agencies they partner with to achieve the best results, as branded content falls within many areas of expertise. The necessary change or collaboration can be challenging if, for example, the media agency is used to being in charge of commercials and allocating the advertising budget.


In practice

To develop a branded content project for a brand, you have to plot several points along the customer journey. The questions WHAT, WITH WHOM and WHERE TO DELIVER have to be answered, in order to finally MEASURE your relevant KPIs.

Content has to be different if it’s made for TV – which is of great importance and prestige in German-speaking countries – and if it’s made for the web, which is definitely essential to all campaigns. You also have to comply with LEGALITIES at all times – an aspect that’s not exclusive to the DACH region, however it’s crucial here.

No matter what your project, different content should be used for different platforms. To keep your customers happy, they have to be able to discover interesting pieces of content regularly. How you set your branded content project priorities is a tough choice, but many roads lead to Rome. You can read about working with every kind of option in the following feature articles by DACH branded content experts.

This article was originally published in the BOBCM DACH Region Edition (2015) co-edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl and Greta MacFarlane.


About the author

Sandra Freisinger-Heinl is the joint editor and co-author of BOBCM 2015 DACH book, Managing Director, MA Media and contributor to Branded Entertainment Online (BEO)