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How Branded Content Is Changing the World of Advertising & Building Brand Loyalists

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Online content is changing the world of advertising. As content marketing evolves, it has become a pivotal branding practice. While creating, publishing, and sharing interesting content is an effective way to establish your brand and convey the values of your business, resulting in connecting with customers and encouraging them to act.

Companies are now also investing in branded content and utilising the different formats of content marketing to create content that encapsulates the emotions of its customers and bonds with them on a higher level by sharing branded content across social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. When in the past, people would get their information from TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines.

Nowadays, social media is the primary (if not sole) source of getting information, implying that companies who can effectively put their content marketing to use on social platforms are sure to gain success in their efforts. 

At Marketing In Asia, we talk a lot about advanced concepts of Marketing & latest trends in Marketing space, effective ways to attract, engage, and delight customers.

This Article talks about branded content essentials and growing significance for the Marketers. Keep reading to see how Branded Content can help you achieve your brand goals.

What is branded content & content marketing

Branded Content Strategies

Report Best Brand Building Practices

What is branded content & content marketing

Branded content is a form of advertising created to connect with the audience first, either through a story, through knowledge sharing or various other ways, before pitching any product or service to them, which is quite different from general advertising, wherein direct product pitching happens at times. The idea behind branded content is that it provides a more authentic experience for consumers.

Branded content is directly related to your brand and shares your values in a way that evokes an emotional response. It is for everyone and not a specific segment of your audience.

The process involves building an initial connection and trust with the audience or target customers by sharing regular stories, knowledge material, resources, solutions to real-life challenges, etc. These topics are generally such that a user can easily connect with the content creator. After setting up that trust, the brand is usually embedded subtly into the content to display the power of the offering being advertised. The real art lies in the content creator’s ability to subtly introduce the brand endorsement between the content so that the target audience does not feel that they are being sold something. 

 

Also read: Strengthening Your Brand Image: Why Consistency is the Key To Cultivating A Brand  

 

Influencers across all social platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., earn a majority of their earnings from branded content. Companies also get excellent ROI at times if they can collaborate with a suitable influencer base with followers that lie in the targeted customer segment. 

 Some of the Branded Content Strategy:

  1. Create stories that hit the emotions of your audience – create your content to tap into a specific emotion, like happiness, to elicit a customer response.
  2. Showcase  &  share your brand’s beliefs in the content you create. – For example, while you can say, “We are committed to Diversity & Inclusion,” how are you committed to this cause? You could create content that shows audiences how you’re committed to consistently practising this cause –  like a video having diversified employees sharing their great experiences while being in your organization – having employees of different Gender, LGBTQ community & others in the video, might  change perspective, or inspire your audience, ultimately hit their emotional nerve,

 

Image source: USA today 

I am sure you have heard of the LEGO movie. LEGO is the perfect example of how videos and storytelling can be used to strike a chord with the audience to provide the most indulging experience in the branded content category. Along with making LEGO a household name, the movie earned over $469 million worldwide, promoting Lego to the new generation of kids [2]. 

Coke studio- Example of audio-video branded content. 

 Image source: Amazon 

Coke studio is one of the best examples of branded content in the entertainment category, wherein it bypasses the traditional advertising methods and connects with its consumers through pop culture by creating an addictive mix of music, caffeine, and content! 

  

IKEA-Producing branded content through blogs. 

Image source: The Oister 

One of the most well-known examples of a brands messaging aligning with its product offerings is IKEA Ideas, where their “Outdoor Furniture Maintenance Guide” offers support to homeowners in solving everyday challenges without constantly bugging them with product suggestions in their posts and makes sure that they only give practical advice with vivid visuals. Result – It leaves readers free to enjoy the content instead of feeling pressured to buy something [1]. 

Marketing In Asia (MIA) data revealed that blogging is the most sought-after content format, with 79% of participants using blogs to get through to their audience. Imagine the impact if only a tiny portion of this content could be created as branded content! 

Gaurav Taneja- fondly known as Flying beast- is also a great example of a vlogger who endorses assorted brands by subtly introducing them in his video blogs. 

Image source: MIA Research Best Brand Building Practices

MIA data shows that only 30% of the respondents use videos to create content. Frequent use of videos to create branded content is still a long way to go!  

Hackable – the McAfee podcast 

Image source: Shortyawards 

Launched in 2017, this McAfee podcast did wonders for its company. Ever since the podcast’s launch, McAfee NPS has been trending on an upward curve. According to a case study, 65% of the listeners developed a higher opinion of the brand, 77% said they loved the content, and 88% said they gained knowledge after listening to it [3].

All the examples mentioned above provide a classic examples in their respective category of branded content, but one should not jump and start branded content creation right away. Instead, weigh what your goals are and then take a call. A company looking at gaining rapid appreciation from its customers should invest in branded content but if you are targeting long term customer loyalty, stick to traditional content marketing until you create your brand advocates because branded content is here to stay! 

To know more about content marketing as a branding practice – Download the report Best Brand Building Practices

  1. https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/the-10-best-large-company-blogs-in-the-world/ 
  2. https://www.creativebloq.com/branding/7-great-examples-branded-content-61620674 
  3. https://mkt.marketinginasia.com/mia-research-report-best-brand-building-practices-what-experience-teach-businesses
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