The idea of combining education and entertainment is nothing new in the world of marketing but nowadays, it is called with a new name – Branded Content. There are companies that have been using this tactic, in some or other form, to inspire, educate and entertain their audience for years. But the new age companies are realizing its worth now, considering it to be a great strategy to establish a connection with their customers, and generate more and more business.
Like the combination of education and entertainment in a message is not new, similarly the idea of brands creating their own content has been around for quite some time now. But brands turning into publishers and creating branded content is quite a new thing. Well, it’s not easy for sellers to become marketers and relationship creators but there are some companies including Coca Cola, Red Bull and GE who have really achieved a status in this field also.
What is Branded Content?
Before going into details, let us first understand what exactly branded content is.
Branded content is a new term for advertising which is essentially a fusion of traditional advertising and entertainment, intended to be spread as entertainment content. Unlike conventional form of content production, branded content is generally conceptualized and created by brands themselves rather than an outside media company.
The concept of producing engaging content has been around for decades but the term “Branded Content” took hold took hold in somewhere around 2001 as a new marketing technique. But it gained momentum in last two-three years when some campaigns really stood as models. Of course, there have been flops and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to produce branded content. But companies are still spending their wings in an effort to come up with some really amazing content.
Interesting and Original Always Wins
It’s quite difficult to say how to produce branded content and generate maximum effect. But the practice fully blooms when the story is woven to establish personal connection and sell emotions. The idea is not to focus on selling the core product but sharing experience. It’s not wrong to push your own interests but the marketers should ensure that it’s not anti-user.
Examples of Branded Content
Looking at the extent to which people are indulged on Facebook, it seems as if it is synonyms to everything that’s exciting and fascinating. Facebook Stories is the monthly magazine launched by the social network in August 2012 to showcase interesting ways in which people use technology. Every month, the theme is different and the magazine publishes really interesting and extraordinary tales. By now Facebook owns a fascinating collection of original stories, engaging people.
2. Expedia – Find Yours
Expedia is a travel site that has stick to the golden rule of content marketing – “Don’t make it feel like selling or marketing, otherwise no one will read and share it”. ‘Find Yours’ shares videos of emotional journeys covering diverse stories from real lives. The subjects range from the journey of finding true love to cancer survivors. The campaign aims to tie the travel site with the feelings of discovery, courage and boldness instead of selling plane tickets.
3. Red Bull
In the game of branded content, it’s impossible to miss Red Bull. Far ahead of other brands-turned-publishers, the energy drink company reinforced its position with persistent action-sports stories. The company understands that superficial or unoriginal content is completely fruitless. It drains your finances without doing any good to your company’s image; instead deteriorates it.
Branded content aligns itself to people and what they think, dream and want. It is something that people feel like sharing.