The arrival of the pandemic caused by Covid-19 has revealed a reality that we already knew: branded content is the main tool that brands have to connect with their consumers.
It has been like this for a long time, but in 2020 we have verified that brand content is what has made it possible for companies to continue being there, through stories that have kept them united with their audience. In this post we remind you of the reasons why branded content has become the lifeline of many brands.
What is branded content?
Its objective is to convey the values, emotions and philosophy of your brand, that is, to convey thE reason why we have talked so much about when mentioning the Theory of the Golden Circle. But since it is about transmitting non-tangible aspects of your brand, a story that captures them is necessary, hence, branded content frequently uses the technique of storytelling to build that story that conveys to consumers the true reason for being of his existence.
Is it the same as content marketing?
What a mess with so much content! Well, the answer to this question is a no that we now explain to you.
The content marketing in a broader concept that refers to the content strategy that launches a brand to drive profitable action and achieving specific goals (generate leads quality, close sales …).
The most representative example of a content marketing strategy is the creation and dissemination of useful content by brands from their blog and social media to educate and guide consumers throughout their purchase process.
Meanwhile, branded content focuses on a very specific content typology: the content that serves to tell the essence of a brand and that, although it can be part of a content marketing strategy, its objective and execution tend to be independent.
Perhaps these characteristics of branded content help you better understand the difference.
Branded content characteristics
1. It focuses on the essence and values of a brand, not on the products or services it sells.
The main objective of branded content is to tell a story so that both loyal and potential consumers connect with the brand and feel proud of it.
That is why it never revolves around the qualities of a product or service or takes into account the different phases of the conversion funnel that consumers are in, it simply wants to tell a story to find an emotional link away from prices and promotions.
2. Seeks to generate conversations and notoriety around the brand.
As these contents are not oriented to guide consumers in the purchase decision process but rather are intended to leave a special impact so that they talk about the brand, the KPIs to measure its effectiveness are totally different from those used in a content plan .
The branded content does not pay attention to direct sales achieved but aspects such as engagement, notoriety or the number of entries received online.
3. It is inbound marketing without pretending it
The intrusive nature of traditional advertising was the premise from which the inbound marketing technique arises, which intended that consumers were the ones who voluntarily searched for the contents of a brand because of the utility and interest it aroused in them.
Well, although branded content is not based on creating useful content adapted to each phase of the purchase process, we can say that, without intending it, it achieves the same result. In other words, branded content creates content that users want to consume even if it is not especially useful. And that is because they provide them with another added value, usually in the form of entertainment, fun or excitement.
4. Appeal to emotions through the use of storytelling
This is surely taken for granted: branded content or brand content is not intended to convey rational information about a brand but to connect with its audience on a more emotional, almost intimate level.
And to achieve this, the storytelling technique is the most effective solution, since it allows to build a coherent story, with a narrative structure that includes protagonists who go through a beginning, a middle and an end.
5. Adopt different formats and ways of diffusion
Branded content adopts a wide variety of formats, be it video, podcasts, videogames, events … although of all of them, video takes the cake as it is a very complete medium that lends itself to telling these types of stories with greater appeal.
Depending on the format, the channels for disseminating brand content will also vary, from collaborations with national media to publish it exclusively to more common channels such as the brand’s website or its social profiles, with Instagram and TikTok at the fore.