Why branded content is highly effective

Content Marketing, Branded Content, Content Integration… there are many ways to describe it, but one thing that remains clear are that brands are looking for content integration opportunities more than ever before. Branded content offers advertisers the opportunity to truly engage with consumers in an entirely new way. Creating engaging content that attracts and builds a relationship with an audience who may make a purchase in the future has proven to be highly effective. There are many publishers that are well respected across many content areas, that can, and do, create highly bespoke and customizable content to accomplish a brand’s goals. Increasingly, brands are also acting as publishers themselves to accomplish this.

Here are 3 reasons why Branded Content is highly effective:

Reasons for using branded content

Source: Spending Study, Custom Content Council in partnership with ContentWise, Nov 2011 (via MarketingProfs)

1. Consumers actually WANT to read it

First and foremost, Branded Content is really about storytelling. Brands realize that creating valuable content that consumers will be interested in for their own use makes sense.

Think of an auto brand looking to highlight the amazing sound system that comes with the car being advertised. They sponsor “The Ultimate City Driving Playlist”. Although I may not currently have the car being advertised, this content is interesting to me and I’m inclined to check it out. After all, I do have a car and I’d love to download that list for some fun as I sit in rush hour traffic on my way to work tomorrow! The fact that ads for the car being featured accompany the content on the page might spark my curiosity to go for a test drive.

Similarly, moms who are desperate and will try anything to get their newborns to sleep will be interested in an article with information on tips and tricks from more experienced moms. Baby brands that produce products like diapers or clothes or blankets, that are crucial in keeping a newborn comfortable and happy, are positioning themselves as a knowledgeable brand that moms can trust. They are also sending the message that their #1 priority is not just to sell stuff to moms, but illustrates that they also care about their consumers.

Branded content stats

According to a study by AOL and Huffington Post (via totembrandstories.com)

2. Good branded content goes viral

In our social media driven world, the idea of sharing ideas and information via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram (and the list goes on) is very appealing to people. In my social network, there seems to be an “I read/saw/found out about this before you did” culture, which drives people to then share information with their network. This works in a brand’s favour because, of course, great content gets shared. When people share content that has been created for advertisers, they are in some way acting as a brand ambassador and influencer, telling their network that what they are sharing is of value. An article from a fashion brand on “How to get ahead in your career by dressing for success” will be the type of article that is shared among young professionals who will lean towards the brand at time of purchase to achieve that look.

3. It’s a perfect compliment to your display/brand campaign

While banner ads, native advertising and splashy page takeovers still remain effective from a branding perspective, the more journalistic nature of content integrated advertising is welcomed by most. When a large branding effort is blended with properly targeted branded content, it is a recipe for advertiser messaging success. Display is the messaging vehicle. Content marketing has a more organic feel that is accepted by a large majority of the population. It’s not about fooling the consumer, or brands trying to sneak their message by, but rather, if they can reach their intended audience in a more natural way and appeal to their interests, it is a perfect scenario to drive to the ultimate goal… Product purchase!

Branded content has proven to be an effective tool for advertisers to appeal to an audience who then become more likely to be customers. If you haven’t already, embrace the benefits of branded content, as there are some great hints, tips and ideas that come from it when directed properly to the right audience.