In what situations do you recommend using branded content?
Branded content means different things to different people. Therefore, knowing what situations to recommend for using branded content can be complicated for both marketers and advertisers. Anything with a storyline these days seems to be considered branded content – but having a firm understanding of the intentions behind branded content will help marketers and advertisers determine the role it plays in the communication mix.
The one explanation of branded content that resonates most based on my opinion is that of Forrester: ‘Content that is developed or curated by a brand to provide added consumer value such as entertainment or education. It is designed to build brand consideration and affinity, not sell a product or service. It is not a paid ad, sponsorship, or product placement.’
In other words, branded content is not a place to go on and on about how great your brand is or how great your new product is. It should be used to connect with people about what they care about and in environments where they are most active/receptive.
Thus branded content has the potential to build a brand when you are looking to:
Establish what your brand stands for; the brand’s purpose (e.g. Chipotle’s Cultivate A Better World)
Capture the attention of people with what they find relevant (e.g. Toshiba/Intel’s The Beauty Inside)
Embed yourself into the fabric of people’s daily lives (e.g. Marriott’s Two Bellmen)
Amplify the emotional connection people have with your brand by bringing it to life (e.g. The Lego Movie)”
What about emerging trends and insights into the immediate future of branded content?
From my perspective, there will be three macro trends that will impact the future of branded content and how it is consumed (and for a large part we are already seeing much occurring):
- Humanisation of brands
- Omni-channel engagement and interaction
- Deep personalisation – led by programmatic-buying strategies.”