Does Branded Content Work?

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for businesses aiming to capture the attention of their target audience. Branded content, with its unique approach to advertising, has become a buzzword in the marketing industry. But does branded content work, and who exactly needs it? Read on to learn all about Triple7Marketing’s approach to branded content, its effectiveness, the different types of branded content, and how it can make or break your brand.

What Is Branded Content?

Branded content is a marketing strategy that focuses on creating and distributing content that aligns with a brand’s values and resonates with its target audience. Effective branded content seamlessly blends in among a sea of earned media — content produced about your brand that you haven’t paid for or created yourself — but more on that later.

Unlike traditional advertising, which often interrupts the viewer’s experience, branded content seeks to entertain, inform, or inspire, all while subtly promoting the brand. Further, effective branded content promises what it delivers from the headline to the very last line of the content. It allows the reader to get a deeper understanding of an individual or a brand, without being overly laudatory or sales-y in tone. 

Branded content takes various forms, including articles, blog posts, videos, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, and more. The key is that it must be engaging and valuable to the audience, ultimately forging a stronger connection between the consumer and the brand.

What Are Branded Content Campaigns?

Branded content campaigns are strategic initiatives designed to leverage the power of content to achieve marketing objectives. These campaigns involve the creation and distribution of branded content across various channels to reach and engage the target audience effectively.

A successful branded content campaign isn’t just about producing content; it’s about crafting a narrative that tells the brand’s story and resonates with consumers. These campaigns often require careful planning, creative thinking, and a deep understanding of the brand’s identity and the preferences of its audience.

It’s about connecting with you, the client, and understanding your “why” on a cellular level in a way that leaves a lasting impression on the reader’s (or viewer’s) mind. 

Does Branded Content Work?

Yes, branded content works, and here’s why: It builds authenticity and trust with your audience. When consumers feel that a brand is genuinely trying to provide value through its content, it creates a positive perception of the brand. This trust can lead to increased loyalty and customer spend.

Thoughtfully crafted branded content engages and captivates the audience. When content is entertaining, informative, or emotionally resonant, consumers are more likely to spend time with it, which increases brand exposure.

It also adapts to consumer behavior. Modern consumers have become adept at avoiding traditional advertising. They use ad blockers, skip ads, or simply tune them out. Branded content, on the other hand, aligns with consumer behavior. People actively seek out content that interests them, making branded content a more natural fit into their digital experience.

When done right, it converts readers into customers. By providing valuable information and establishing the brand’s authority in its niche, consumers are more likely to take action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing the content with their network.

And then there’s that old friend, SEO. Content marketing is a powerful tool for improving a brand’s search engine visibility. When a brand consistently produces high-quality content, it can rank higher on search engine results pages, driving organic traffic to its website.

Who Needs Branded Content?

Who needs branded content? Branded content is a versatile and impactful strategy that benefits a broad spectrum of entities, ranging from startups and small businesses seeking to carve out a niche in a crowded market, to established brands aiming to enhance their market presence. Here are some examples of who can benefit from branded content:

  • Startups and Small Businesses

Startups and small businesses often face the challenge of limited budgets for marketing. Branded content offers a cost-effective way to build brand awareness, establish authority, and compete with larger competitors.

  • Established Brands

Established brands looking to maintain their market presence can use branded content to stay relevant and connect with younger, tech-savvy audiences. 

  • E-Commerce Businesses

Online retailers can leverage branded content to provide valuable product information, reviews, and guides. This helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions, ultimately boosting sales.

  • Nonprofits and NGOs

Nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations can use branded content to raise awareness about their causes, engage supporters, and drive donations. Effective storytelling through branded content can evoke empathy and inspire action.

  • Influencers and Personal Brands

Individuals, including influencers and personal brands, can benefit from creating branded content that aligns with their niche or expertise. It can help them monetize their online presence and build partnerships with relevant brands.

  • B2B Companies

Even in the business-to-business space, branded content plays a significant role. It helps B2B companies showcase their expertise, build trust with potential clients, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market.

When To Use Branded Content?

If you’re deciding when to use branded content, timing is key. One popular scenario? Product launches. That’s when branded content builds anticipation, educates potential customers, and generates buzz, creating excitement and driving initial sales. Need a rebrand? Branded content can effectively communicate the brand’s new identity, values, and positioning to both existing and potential customers, ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining customer loyalty. Branded content doesn’t have to have an expiration date, of course. It can be an ongoing strategy that keeps the brand consistently in the audience’s mind while nurturing long-term relationships. Additionally, it can be employed to address current industry trends, challenges, or news, establishing the brand as a thought leader. Lastly, for brands aiming to establish authority within their niche, thoughtful and informative branded content becomes an invaluable tool in building trust and credibility. Whether you own a cupcake shop or you’re helming a multinational conglomerate, being a thought leader in your industry will help you outshine the competition.

Branded Content Versus Advertising

What is the difference between branded content and traditional advertising? While both serve marketing purposes, they have distinct differences:

  • Audience Engagement

Advertising often interrupts the viewer’s experience, while branded content aims to engage and entertain the audience. Branded content relies on the audience’s choice to consume it voluntarily.

  • Storytelling vs. Promotion

Branded content focuses on storytelling and conveying a brand’s values, whereas advertising primarily promotes products or services. Branded content creates a deeper connection with the audience by addressing their needs or interests.

  • Subtlety vs. Directness

Branded content is subtle in its promotion, often weaving brand messages into the narrative. Advertising is more direct, with the goal of prompting immediate action, such as making a purchase.

  • Longevity

Advertising campaigns often have short life spans and are tied to specific promotions. Branded content has a longer shelf life, continually providing value to the audience.

Branded Content Versus Sponsored Content

Another common point of confusion is the difference between branded content and sponsored content. While they share some similarities, they have distinct characteristics.

  • Ownership

Branded content is typically created and owned by the brand itself. It reflects the brand’s identity, values, and messaging. Sponsored content, on the other hand, is content created by third parties and paid for by the brand to promote its products or services.

  • Creative Control

Branded content gives the brand full creative control over the content’s message and style. In contrast, sponsored content may involve collaboration with external creators who have creative input.

  • Authenticity

Branded content aims to maintain authenticity and align with the brand’s identity, while sponsored content may feel more like a traditional advertisement.

Let Triple7Marketing Be Your Guide

In a world saturated with advertising messages, branded content stands out as a powerful strategy for building authentic connections with consumers. It not only works, but has the potential to transform how your brand is perceived and engage your audience on a deeper level — when it’s done effectively by experienced writers and editors.

At Triple7Marketing, we understand the nuances of branded content like no other agency. With our expertise, creativity, and commitment to delivering results, we can help your brand harness the full potential of branded content. Contact us today for a free consultation.For more insights, industry trends, and updates, follow Triple7Marketing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn @TheTriple7Mark. Join our community of satisfied clients who have experienced success with Triple7Marketing today.