It’s often hard to let go of that laser-focused content marketing mindset, the one where you agonize over a specific segment of your target audience and evaluate all of the pain points you could alleviate if they just considered an interaction with your brand. By employing a branded content marketing strategy, you can communicate more effectively and appeal in different ways to all those different audiences.
Make People Feel Something.
To create a branded content campaign for your clients think about how to make an emotional connection, and then develop a story around that feeling. Put your customer first, think about what they need (and what they don’t even know they need). Then, make sure there’s alignment between that feeling and the ethos of your brand. If your message doesn’t feel aligned with your mission, then you’ve got some hard choices ahead of you.
For example, Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign tackled body image in an honest and powerful and pure way, and delivered on Dove’s dedication to women’s empowerment, honest conversations and relatable product.
The Power of Three.
Love. Death. Time. Every emotion we feel and action we take has tension. It’s up to us as marketers to recognize that tension and identify what motivates our customers, and then deliver content that satisfies those needs. Develop content that creates a sense of urgency or storytelling, dream up characters that use that content to defeat an antagonist, and always stay true to your brand even if you need to push a sponsorship. There are ways to delicately straddle the line between sponsorship and branded entertainment. Just remember, true branded entertainment is storytelling, while sponsorship is often still seen as advertising by those not easily fooled.
Find the Story Behind the Passion.
When our team here at Koi-Fly Creative told the story of Russ, an apple supplier for RIPE, we highlighted his passion for his craft. Russ’s enthusiasm for his business resonates on an emotional level with RIPE’s target audience who appreciate the origin of the fruit that ends up in that bottle. Plus, it’s wholesome entertainment to watch Russ playfully bite into his apples and hang out with the CEO like they are long lost buddies.
Make Dreams Attainable. Be Aspirational.
What differentiates branded content from the traditional advertising we all grew up with? The approach you take when telling your brand’s story. By building our storytelling around a person, we often give viewers a chance to engage, and sometimes a new opportunity to dream. When Michael Jordan launched his clothing brand with Nike, kids bought Air Jordans simply because they wanted to “Be Like Mike” and the brand made them feel like that dream was actually possible. They’d feel like a superhero, one who could jump higher, run faster and dunk harder.
Set Expectations, Deliver Results.
A 2016 study jointly published by Forbes, S.I. Newhouse School and IPG Media Lab revealed that brand recall on branded content was 59% higher than standard display ads. Consumers were 14% more likely to look for more content published by a particular brand after viewing a single piece of branded content from that brand. Once again proving that, when done right, branded content can be a very effective tool for raising brand awareness.
Let Yourself Have Fun.
When creating content, think about what you would actually want to read or watch, and then make it happen. Think about how you unwind at home, d do you read up on the latest industry buzz and thought leadership pieces? C’mon, you know you’d rather spend your free time watching Netflix, YouTube videos and catching up on the latest Twitter #trends.
So what’s the short answer? People often tune out the moment an ad is shown but with branded content, you can ensure a more meaningful interaction, and sincere reaction, if you concentrate on unique and authentic product integration. From the moment your story is being told, people tune in. That’s when you’ll have a successful branded entertainment media property on your hands.