Why are companies turning to branded content?

Branded content is currently having a real impact on the marketing world. In fact, you've probably watched or read some branded content in the last day or so, whether you're aware of it or not. The concept is taking off to such a degree that many big firms are looking to incorporate it into their marketing strategy; so expect to see, read and hear more of it in the near future.

What is branded content and why is it so important?

Forbe's Jason DeMers states that: “Content marketing is really about providing valuable information or content to current and potential customers for the purpose of building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment.”

Branded content can be a video, article, blog or infographic that has been made by a brand. The aim is to either push a product, or to associate the brand with a sport, lifestyle or a specific industry. The content will be informative, authoritative, relevant and above all should make the reader want to come back for more.

By creating quality branded content, the company establishes themselves as an expert in the eyes of their audience, and in return, the content lets audiences receive brand messages within their own interest area. This will then increase both exposure for the brand and interaction with their target audience.

Will it continue to catch on?

In an interview with The Drum, Buzzfeed founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti says that he believes more companies will use branded content. By using it, businesses can reach their target audiences without interrupting their consumption of content.

Peretti believes that your content and advertising has to fit in with the way people currently consume media: “You can't make an ad that is a 30-second television spot, you need to think about how people are engaging with media and then make your advertising and marketing match those behaviors.”

Buzzfeed themselves are embracing branded content wholeheartedly: “We're not doing any native advertising on Buzzfeed. We're creating branded content for the social web, so it's native advertising on all the different platforms where people share our content, not just for the Buzzfeed site,” says Peretti.

What types of branded content are popular?

Buzzfeed have done their homework on what drives content and this can be roughly divided into the following areas:

  • Nostalgia: The popularity of decade-themed Twitter accounts and Facebook pages ('I love the 80's' etc.) show that people enjoy content that reflects their own past and memories.
  • The Human Factor: Content that is cute or tugs on the heartstrings is always popular.
  • Lists and quizzes: These are shared in large numbers and Buzzfeed report a 96 percent completion rate.
  • Your interests: Things that reflect the person you are and who you aspire to be.

Why do you need branded content?

Branded content can help you stake out your position in the marketplace, giving you increased profile and authority in your chosen area. If you want to find out more or you want help with planning a branded content campaign, get in touch with us at STIRLING Digital Media.