If you are exposed to the wonderful (and ever-changing) world of marketing, most likely, you will have come across the term ‘branded content’ more than once. This buzzword, although not a new one, has grown in popularity over recent years as the go-to method for effective marketing.
In this blog, we will cover a number of key points about branded content, including why it works and most importantly, why video should be a key focus within this segment of your marketing strategy.
Back to Basics
Before we dive into all the benefits of using branded video content, let’s take a step back to determine what branded content actually is.
By definition, branded content is content that does not involve traditional advertising. This could mean articles, videos, podcasts or even films that have included the brand within the content to some extent.
This is not to be confused with banner ads, social media ads, or other similar forms of advertising. It’s less upfront and provides more value to the consumer than a simple advertisement.
Why Branded Content Works
When it comes to selling your products or services, long gone are the days of the pushy car salesman methods. People simply don’t respond to this type of approach anymore and prefer to be engaged in a brand’s story before making a purchase decision.
Brand storytelling has become increasingly popular with forward-thinking brands, as it allows them to tap into the emotions of consumers. This ‘emotional marketing’ works wonders for a few different reasons, but the most important is that it inspires people to follow their heart and act quicker on a purchase decision.
Let’s take an example…
One of the most successful branded content projects was the LEGO Movie film released in 2014. According to Marketing Society, this film overcame a tough challenge and was able to tap into the nostalgic sentiments of adult movie-goers as well as excite the younger generations as a film ‘made with toys’ to make this a worldwide success.
Grossing over $460,000,000 worldwide, this large-scale branded content project brought LEGO some serious return on investment and endless spin-off merchandise for children (and even some adults) to enjoy.
Why Video is the King, or Queen, of Branded Content
When it comes to choosing what is the best type of branded content to invest in, we will (of course) recommend video.
Video is a highly engaging, easily digestible and is generally the prefered way to consume content across multiple generations. Also, if made correctly, it can be a timeless asset that can be reused across various channels, making your investment worth it in the long run.
However, branded video content can often be confused with video advertising, which tends to be less powerful in delivering your chosen message. The line between the two is a thin one, but generally, branded video content will lean more towards storytelling (selling the concept of the video), whereas video advertising will take more of a direct selling approach.
The reason we recommend branded video and not video advertising goes back to tapping into the emotions of the target audience. The most successful emotional marketing videos don’t have or have a very subtle CTA (call to action). In fact, they hardly mention the brand at all and only drop hints within the video or wait until the end of the video to mention their brand.
Let’s use the video we created for Happy Socks as an example. The idea behind the video was for it to be a reward for existing followers to reinforce the ‘brand love’ they had for Happy Socks.
For the video, we created a story around the ‘last year’s’ Christmas sock, which follows the year-long journey from being lost to constantly found and re-purposed. Along the way, we show how the ‘Happy Sock’ spreads joy and delight to all that it meets.
The result? This animated social media video was viewed by over 40,000 people across different social platforms! What is more, we also won a Surrey Digital Award in 2017 for best-branded content video.
Getting Started in Three Easy Steps
If we have convinced you to create a video as part of your branded content strategy, then great! However, there are a few things you should consider before getting started:
1. Don’t forget to define your audience and what emotions will resonate with them the most.
2. Think carefully about the story you want to tell. This story will define your brand image and the actions that your audience will take.
3. Make sure you are working with the right agency. By choosing an agency that is experienced with creating branded content, you will ensure that you get the most out of your investment.
Ready to get started? Get in touch with our talented team to find out how we can bring your branded content to life.