In what situations do you recommend using branded content?
Almost always if we are talking about branded content as a replacement for more traditional advertising (what is traditional advertising these days anyway?). There is almost never a scenario when it isn’t better than the push model of advertising. You can’t make people watch your ads online. Banners are slowly dying as a result of ad blockers and we as marketers need to find better ways to get our clients’ messages out there. One of the simple and easy answers is branded content – something that provokes a reaction, something people seek out rather than avoid, something as simple as a Facebook post all the way through to a 10-part TV series and beyond.
The quality of the content and the strategy of its distribution are more entwined than ever before. Getting good content in front of the correct audience should be easier than ever before, but we still have a huge amount to learn about how to do this.
What about emerging trends and insights into the immediate future of branded content?
Monitoring where that content goes is a growing area of focus for us. The myriad of nooks and crannies a video or photo can find on the web is endless. How people react to it in walled communities like Facebook or forums will provide the perfect closed loop to deliver insights back to us on where our highest performing advocates live and what makes them tick.
There is a tension emerging in Australia in the content marketing world, especially when it comes to creatively driven video content. I can’t think of any mid to large agency that is making money out of this service and yet all brands want it. Something has to give. Either brands are going to accept that quality costs money, or agencies will stop doing it well, or stop doing it altogether.
Some (not all) traditional agencies are bound by the shackles of TV experience. It’s incredibly hard for them to conceive of doing video content for AU$5k a video or even less. A new breed of content creators has emerged, but as demand has increased, so has the cost. No agency wants to lose this service as a creative outlet. But there is only so long they’ll be willing to do it at a loss.
Content tailored to advocates is where I see the future. Landrover (and specifically Landrover Defender) have become very good at tailoring content to people who already have Defenders. The knock-on effect is that their Net Promoter Score is through the roof and they spend less money acquiring new customers and more money making their current ones feels special about their purchase. It’s incredibly powerful.