Branded content is not a discipline. It’s a new mindset and culture.
And Branded Content Means?
Don’t be taken by the terminology, it is quite simple. Branded content is content that drives a strategic brand message but does not involve traditional advertising methods.
Branded content is about the powerful intersection between brands, culture and people. Regular forms it takes include articles, videos, podcasts, and even live elements that deliver relevant value to the consumer. The essence is to engage consumers by driving conversations around their pain points, values or interests.
Five Keys To Successful Branded Content
- Excellent Central Personality
- Unique and Original Concept
- Personal Connection with Audience
- Emotionally Engaging Experience
- Brand and Content Fit Together
Has it Worked for Any Brand?
Let’s take a look at a very successful branded content by global personal care brand, Dove. Dove conducted customer research and discovered that only 4% of women described themselves as “beautiful.” Shocking right? You would be amazed when you find out how people really perceive themselves.
This was a concern for a brand whose primary target is women. Their solution? They created an idea and value around their brand that “beauty is for everyone.”
In the deployment of this message to their community, they created a series of videos that featured an FBI sketch artist. First, he illustrated women as they described themselves, next, he illustrated the same women as described by a stranger.
The result? An astonishing disparity between the two illustrations. The campaign was a hit and went viral with over 50 million views during the first 12 days of release. To date, Dove has had almost 180 million views — views that are intentional and targeted. In 2013, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign was the most watched branded content. It was also the third most shared video.
In Nigeria, we have brands that have used branded contents to successfully build awareness and loyalty. Globacom’s Professor Johnbull television series is a good example that comes to mind. Globacom has been able to use the series to address issues Nigerians face daily, thus establishing a connection with the audience through shared conversations.
Another brand to look at will be GT Bank. Through Ndani TV, the bank has been able to serve its branded contents to its desired audience—primarily the youths. With high profile contents like The Juice, Skin Girl in Transit, Fashion Weekend (Stylized as Fshn Wknd), they are constantly engaging with their audience without necessarily selling through commercial ads.
Why Does it Work Better than Regular Ads?
Advertising is everywhere, and sometimes, it can feel a lot like puffery and too much selling. No one likes to be sold too. Consumers are more empowered and knowledgeable than ever before; they have information at their fingertips at the speed of light, therefore, it is so easy for them to see through the exaggerations portrayed in ads.
Consumers are more interested in brands that share their values and interests and as shown in examples above, branded content is the best way for a brand to meet the consumer’s needs. A consumer is most likely to search for a content that solves a problem for them (consumer-focused), especially if it comes from a brand they love, as against searching for an ad that only sells a product or service (brand-focused). When a consumer watches branded content, brand recall is up to 59% higher compared to regular ads. Also, viewers are 14% more likely to seek out extra content from the same brand. In terms of ROI, these are strong numbers.
What’s the Performance Like?
Leading global information and measurement company, Nielsen, in a study reports that brand recall was 86% for branded content and only 65% for regular ads. They also found that certain qualities make one branded content stand out from the other. These qualities are a central personality, a unique concept, and connection with the audience, emotionally engaging and brand-content fit (the style of content must be a perfect match for the brand).
How Can It Help My Brand?
Branded content is here to stay and it sure doesn’t look like it’s leaving the scene any time soon. Do you say your company hasn’t jumped on the branded content ship yet? Well, don’t let the ship cruise too far before you realize you have been left out of the biggest brand marketing evolution.
You can connect with your customers in an authentic and real way. And did I mention that there is a thing between happy customers and good bottom line or as you may prefer to call it, sales?
At Codekago Interactive Limited, our mission is to create innovative brand experiences for our client’s customers. Nothing thrills us more than helping you to promote your work, campaign, project or events. We develop and create original contents for brands (short videos, video series, documentaries, or podcasts) and distribute it to your audience. You can connect with the creative team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was originally published on Codekago’s blog.