Today, reaching your target audience has become a challenging feat. Whether it’s due to an overly saturated market or overwhelmed consumers who resort to using blockers, companies both big and small face the same dilemma: how to capture their audience’s attention.
In this highly digital world, you need to find a way to overcome obstacles that prevent your marketing efforts from bearing fruit. But what can bridge the gap between your potential customers and your brand in the sea of saturated media?
This is where branded content comes in.
Some of the best branding agencies in Abu Dhabi use branded content not only to introduce a new brand, but also to showcase its identity and true value. It redirects consumers’ focus on the authority and credibility of a company rather than their products or services for a better brand-consumer relationship.
Want to learn more about branded content? This article tackles what it really is and how it can benefit you and your business.
What Is Branded Content?
Branded content is a technique used in marketing that entails the creation of content directly linked to a specific brand. This type of content helps consumers establish a connection with the brand.
A well-executed branded content doesn’t involve the use of traditional advertising tactics like social media ads, banner ads, and TV commercials. Instead, it comes in the form of carefully crafted articles, podcasts, videos, and even live elements that offer relevance and value to the audience.
While it may be new to you, branded content is a concept that has been improving brand reputation for quite some time now. In fact, you may already know about the basic concept it runs on as it is based on an old business model used in marketing and advertising during the 1940s.
During this era, people watched shows that were sponsored by a specific brand. Some brands even created their own unique content, much like what marketers are doing now with branded content.
What Is NOT Branded Content
Aside from defining what branded content is, you also need to learn what it is not. Essentially, branded content is neither conventional advertising nor content marketing.
The difference between conventional ads and branded content is their focus. While traditional adverts strongly promote a company’s offerings, branded content doesn’t.
Meanwhile, content marketing is considered a much broader concept than branded content. In fact, the latter can be categorized as a strategy included in a company’s content marketing plan.
Why Branded Content Works: Top 7 Advantages
The key to effective branded content is a powerful connection between the people, their culture, and the brand. It is a mindset and culture that helps people feel connected to the brand without interrupting the way they live their lives.
Essentially, branded content aims to amplify the values of a specific brand and helps a company become oriented on what is truly important to its target audience.
To understand how it works, you must first deepen your knowledge about branded content. Basically, a business should consider using branded content because:
- It evokes conversation
Branded content is all about creating conversation rather than conversion. It aims to create a sense of notoriety for the brand and attempts to impact the audience by sparking something of importance that they can talk about.
- It appeals to the emotion
Another thing that separates branded content from traditional media is its effect on human emotions. The use of feelings to convince people of something has been proven since the age of Aristotle, and it still is considered a useful resource today. Rather than using rationalization, branded content seeks to establish a more intimate connection with the audience.
- It offers added value for the audience
Many people look at advertising as a price to pay in exchange for interesting content. With branded content, this can be turned around. Instead of creating ads that serve as gates that need to be opened before people can reach the content they want, this technique transforms brand promotion into something that users would gladly consume.
- It tells a story
In essence, branded content aims to tell a story that represents the brand on a more intimate level. Complete with all the elements of a story – from the protagonists, conflict, a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion – an authentic brand narrative seeks to help consumers identify with the brand.
It establishes an emotional connection and showcases the humanity and integrity of the brand through the vulnerability of characters. When executed expertly, it provokes conversation while maintaining the truthfulness and authenticity of the story.
- It is non-invasive
Unlike banner ads and other traditional digital advertising methods, branded content is non-invasive. This means that it seeks to attract users with relatable and relevant stories rather than an imposing wall of advertisement. Compared to conventional means, this type of content won’t generate as much rejection from users since they are naturally drawn into it.
- It is relevant and memorable
Another thing that makes branded content excel over conventional brand promotion strategies is its relevance. It goes beyond capturing the audience’s attention and interest as it also benefits a company’s lower-funnel goals.
In fact, according to a study by Turner Ignite and Realeyes, consumers are more inclined to buy featured brands than those with traditional 30-second adverts when it’s time to make the purchase.
- It is sensory-driven and leverages flexible means of distribution
Because it leverages the multimedia formats, branded content can also enable emotionally resonant experiences and topical conversations more effectively compared to static images and texts alone. This sensory-driven content also makes it possible for a brand to tell a story not only in several spoken or written languages, but also via non-verbal means.
The best part is that audio, video, and other interactive content formats like video games and virtual events offer your company a chance to introduce your brand via different channels. This includes the different social media networks, the brand’s website, and other external pages.
Branded Content for Better Results
Whether you’re planning to seek branding consultancy services or build your brand on your own, you must consider implementing branded content for better results. Use this article as a guide and learn more about how you can use this type of content marketing strategy in a way that works for your company.
Hasan Fadlallah is a Serial Entrepreneur – Founder & CEO of Brand Lounge, the region’s leading and award-winning branding consultancy, whose role is to help organizations align their business behind an idea that will deliver success time and again. Equipped with over 20 years of professional consulting experience, today he advises businesses throughout the Gulf and Africa on brand development and in 2014 was recognized by the World Brand Congress who awarded him the prestigious Brand Leadership award in Brand Excellence.