In what situations do you recommend using branded content?
Like most trends that occur in marketing, branded content is at risk of turning into something that brands and agencies set out to make – like it’s a box to tick. The same way we used to start the process by asking ‘What’s the TV ad?’, we’re now hearing requests like ‘Can we use Snapchat?’ or ‘Let’s try to be the first to really crack using Periscope’.
Content should be the result of landing on an amazing insight or the best possible solution to a problem and then finding that the answer comes with an opportunity to tell a great story by sharing that content through the most effective channel for the audience.
So, in short – when it is the right fit for the brand problem.”
What about emerging trends and insights into the immediate future of branded content?
At the moment, brands are increasingly trying to find causes to give purpose to their activity and meaning to their content, which has proven successful for a number of them. I think it will reach saturation point and brands that are making great stuff will stand out and rise to the top. What will remain true is that the content and their mechanics will have to display the brand’s willingness to give more than they’re asking for.
With the fragmentation of media and volume of advertising messages that people are exposed to, creativity will once again become king and brands will have to find ever more original and insightful ways to reach their audience. The pressure will be even greater to stay true to the heart of great ideas and not water them down with a checklist of supporting material. It’s going to be a hard transition for many organisations, and the ones who will succeed are the ones who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and try things. It will once again be a time for brave marketers.