In what situations do you recommend using branded content?
If we’re talking about ‘branded content’ being any time a brand commits to creating content, with a view to driving positive outcomes with new or existing customers, then every situation! Brands must explore alternatives to traditional marketing approaches in order to be seen and heard.
It’s a welcome shift for most of us, as it means brands can no longer rely on interrupting our lives to talk about themselves. Creating branded content means we must focus on the audiences, who they are as individuals and how we can help them through information and entertainment. It’s a long game, but a lot more fun.”
What about emerging trends and insights into the immediate future of branded content?
Of course video is blowing up, and has been for a while. We’ll see video continue to become more and more ubiquitous across every device, audience and need state.
The opportunity is to create around longer-term ideas that deliver real value to audiences and move away from campaign-based bursts of content creation. High-quality video is still expensive versus other types of content – we need to ensure it delivers value both in the short term and incrementally over time.
We’ve seen so much change already in the way we buy, communicate and spend our time: social platforms moving from free to ‘pay to play’, once-public data now becoming commercialised and ad blocking changing the advertising game. There’s no seeing around corners in this space, so working on your own platforms offers a level of futureproofing against unknown change.
We believe many brands can benefit from a content marketing approach that focuses on creating and developing owned platforms and assets, in addition to earned and paid opportunities. When you start with your own front yard – your customers, employees and all the data you own – you can truly own your relationship with your audience and grow its value over time. Plus, all that data improves your paid media efforts, so you get ‘instant’ value there too.
The endgame? The most evolved brands are finding ways to overcome internal silos to align marketing, HR, investor relations, employees and the conversation/content across the entire business. So that’s an interesting space to keep your eye on.”