In this modern world, everyone is leveraging on content for marketing in some way or another. Specifically for branded content, it has become way more than writing something with a specific tone and language that resonates well with a target audience. As most would agree, it now needs to be capable of increasing brand awareness and equity that will in turn raise the overall value of a company. With such an objective in mind, run-of-the-mill content will certainly not fit the bill. Instead, a company needs stuff of utmost quality to effectively build positive relationships with its audience and cultivate a sense of identity with its products/services. Furthermore, such content can allow a company to position itself as an authority or opinion leader in its industry.
What is Branded Content?
As the name suggests, branded content is an advertising technique that utilizes content to subtly and indirectly create awareness for your brand so as to promote its products/services. It can be said to be a broad area of digital advertising that involves blog posts, website content, webinars, online videos, images, infographics, social media posts, and much more. A well executed campaign involving high quality branded content has the potential to yield numerous benefits for your business over a relatively short period of time. Below are a few key areas that you should be focusing on to create high quality branded content.
Address Your Target Audience
While this may appear to be rather obvious, it is the number one mistake many digital marketers make. As you are not writing to everybody, identify your target audience and learn more about their interests or the kind of content they are really after. By creating exactly what they want, you are able to bring about a high level of engagement and awareness. Understandably, it may seem easier said than done; you may be lost and do not know where to begin. If this is the case, start off by researching on their interests and needs before creating your initial piece of content.
Next up, you need to pay attention to the tone, style, and language that is used in your content. Once again, it has to be tailored to the demographics you are targeting in order to resonate well with them. For instance, a trendy retail business that targets teens will definitely employ a different branded content marketing approach from a business targeting baby boomers. And if you target a diverse audience, it is always safer to lean towards the more conservative side of things by making things sound more neutral.
As a general rule of thumb, the effectiveness of any branded content will increase several fold when you address your target audience in a way they can identify with. This will be essential in earning their trust and getting them to view your brand as their own.
It is Not All About Written Text
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when you mention content is blocks of text. Although branded content marketing as a whole has a lot to do with text, it is a diverse field that incorporates other forms of communication media such as images, infographics, videos, webinars, and even audio clips. In this age of information overload, many consumers, especially those viewing your content on mobile devices, prefer quick visual content to large blocks of text.
Of course, text content does have its obvious advantages too such as its positive impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Forgoing the use of images will also increase the load speed of a webpage. Hence, it is not right to completely forgo blocks of text either.
In essence, a you should strike a balance between the different types of content in your overall marketing strategy.
Social Media Integration
The biggest advantage of integrating social media into your branded content is the fact that your audience will have the option to share the content with their peers across social media platforms. Should a piece of content go viral, your brand is sure to benefit immensely.
In addition, incorporating social media in your content strategy also provides the opportunity for you to interact with your audience, get feedback about certain products/services, and collect reviews for your company (especially in the case of Facebook and Google).
Leverage on Analytics
Creating content is one thing, ensuring its effectiveness is the other. You can create content in droves, but it is pointless if the approach is wrong and the content is not well received by your target market. With the suite of impressive tracking methods on digital media, you are able to evaluate the performance of a branded content marketing campaign at every step of the way, from creation to dissemination. To put things into perspective on how tracking can be done, here are some examples:
- Video - Number of views and average view duration
- Website Article - Number of views likes, shares and comments for an article on social media platforms
- Live Webinar - Number of live viewers
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. The absolute power of online tracking will enable you to quickly address critical issues while identifying new opportunities in your branded content campaigns.
Especially in the tough Singapore economy, creating quality branded content has become all the more important for just about any company that is looking to take its marketing seriously. If executed properly, not only does it increase interest from your primary target audience, it also leads to them sharing your brand through social media or word of mouth with their family and friends. In the short to mid-run, this can lead to an exponential gain in popularity for your brand. If your budget allows, be sure to kick-start content creation with a specialized in-house team. Otherwise, simply tap on the expertise of an experienced digital marketing agency and watch as your brand’s influence increases at an impressive rate never seen before through traditional methods.