What is branded content and why is it important? With the arrival of social media, there have been a lot of changes in how business work and promote themselves. Advertising has been in constant change throughout history. Lately, advertising companies have realized that social media are not a thread for their business rather a new tool to expand their objectives and audiences. One of the main changes that we can lately observe in advertising is the use of branded content.
What is branded content? It is advertising based on content (mainly articles, videos, infographics…) with the main objective of supporting, represent or promote a brand in order to connect it to the target. Those contents can be found on websites and social media. But how does branded content differ from straight advertising? The main difference is that its function is not serving as a vehicle of promotion but a vehicle of information or entertainment (that also works to promote the brand). But why are brands using this new tool when they have been promoting themselves for years? Why would they take their time and create information? Customers don’t like it when they are told what to do, or when they feel they are being tricked in order to buy something. They like to make decisions for themselves. Furthermore, who doesn’t like to be entertained?
3 characteristics of good branded content
We can find branded content in many forms, but for a great one, you will need three key characteristics:
- First, it needs to entertain, this meaning it needs to be engaging and evokes the viewer with emotions and storytelling.
- Second, it can’t sell the product, it has to sell the concept. It has to be completely focused on the story and the development of the story rather than the product.
- Third, it matches the tone with the audience by analyzing their target audience and trying to speak to them in a way that they will feel interested and comfortable.
Many companies are using branded content and succeeding. In this regard, one of the most famous company that takes advantage of this tools is Dove. Dove is a company that sells beauty products. Dove creates many branded content videos to empower woman beauty. A beautiful example is the Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ Film that is selling the concept of real beauty for all the women, empowering all women to feel beautiful with all their perks and imperfections.
Another example is the campaign of the Spanish brand Campofrío, for the promotion of turkey, that used in 2018 the concept “Fantasmas del más acá”, in order to talk about the “ghosts” that woman suffer from in relation to social conditioning.
Since social media are constantly changing and new trends emerge very fast, it is important to always be updated and to know what your audience might be interested in. Forbes magazine wrote an article “7 Tech Trends That Will Shake Up Content Marketing In 2018”, t hat can give you some tips on the trends of 2019. Branded content is becoming more popular and more attractive to viewers. Nevertheless, it does not mean that straight marketing should be forgotten and all companies should focus on branded content. It depends on the brands purpose, but branded content is for sure an appealing tool. In addition, it has more changes of becoming viral rather than straight advertising.