Digital marketing is a combination of various elements, all of which play a specific and very important role. With its purpose to improve brand image and strengthen the bonds with target consumers, branded content is becoming one of the essential elements in the mix.
Today, more than 200 million people use ad blockers. Customers carefully select the content they want to consume, so you must go beyond paid advertising. To put it simply, you need branded content to promote the values that your company represents.
But how exactly do you brand content? What makes it so different from traditional content creation? In this post, we will give you answers to these questions and show you the 7-step guide to branded content.
Analyze Target Audience
Content creation demands careful analysis of the target audience. You need to understand your average buyers, their age, location, and purchasing power. Besides that, branded content is focusing on their lifestyle and basic values, so you must adapt the strategy to fit these features.
Once you’ve learned the primary characteristics of the target audience, you need to choose the right channels of communication. Large companies usually cover all media and social networks, but smaller businesses should focus on one or two platforms that can generate the best results.
For instance, almost 60% of Twitter users earn more than $50 thousand a year, so it is the best option for brands that target premium customers. Each social media has its own advantages and you need to be aware of it before creating and publishing branded content.
Define Brand Attributes
Now that you’ve crafted your buyer persona, you have to define brand attributes accordingly. Brand attributes represent functional and emotional associations that are assigned to the brand by its customers and prospects.
But it’s a two-fold process because you are the one who should suggest to consumers what to think about the brand. As Steve Jobs put it – you must be clear on what you want them to know about the brand.
Let’s say you are in a software business. In this case, you want to define the brand as reliable and trustworthy. Software users need to know they can count on your products, so you must be analytical and provide them with lots of credible statistics and influencer opinions to align brand attributes with the expectations of an average user.
Use the Right Colors
A color scheme plays an essential role in branding, which means you must pick colors that truly represent brand style and vision. A nice combination of colors will do 2 things for you:
- Make the content more appealing;
- Make the brand recognizable at a glance.
Therefore, you need to make the right combination and respect the logic of color harmony. In the case of the software business, we mentioned above, blue would probably be the perfect option because it represents professional credibility and trustworthiness.
Create Compelling Content
Branded content is not supposed to sell but rather to tell a story that correlates with the nature of your brand. Amanda Harrison, a content creator at Best Dissertation, told us how this works: “Creating branded content, you should not base the whole story on the product. Instead, you need to focus on real people and then seamlessly place the product throughout content”.
Thai Life Insurance used the storytelling technique to create a beautiful and heartwarming video. Its creators wrote a story that reveals that petty things always count and how much you can influence somebody else’s life.
The brand itself doesn’t show until the very end, but it still makes a significant impact on viewers.
Play with Emotions
Emotions are a powerful driver of user engagement and you should exploit it to win over the hearts of potential customers.
Using emotional branding, you can directly address the feelings and beliefs of the target audience. Marketers use 4 basic emotions in branded content:
- Happiness: When content evokes positive emotions, the audience will remember the brand by it and probably take concrete moves upon your call to action.
- Sadness: Use this feeling to show the problem that only your brand can solve.
- Fear & Surprise: The shock doctrine will always force people to pay attention to your message.
- Anger: Anger is a big motivator as it inspires consumers to get involved and prevent the cause that created the problem in the first place.
Around 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. You don’t have to be as productive, but you do have to post regularly and get your audience used to a certain rhythm. This way, you will keep reminding followers that your brand is alive and kicking.
Timing is another factor that you must respect here. People want to see relevant content, so try to follow the latest industry trends while creating branded content. You probably know what is going on in your niche, but even if you don’t there are tools such as Google Trends that can help you to discover the hottest topics.
It’s not easy to design high-quality branded content week after week, so we suggest you repurpose old posts. Although things change quickly in digital marketing, you’ll probably be able to find enough material to convert into new formats and publish as the brand-new content.
For instance, you can use conclusions from one of the top-performing videos to create an infographic. You just need to add newer statistical findings, but the essence of the post remains the same. Conducting simple website analytics, you can find content that caused the biggest user engagement and repurpose it to inspire the latest comments, shares, and likes.
With its storytelling power, branded content can take your business to a higher level. You should use it to promote brand values and build a stronger relationship with target consumers. In this post, we showed you the definitive guide to branded content.
What do you think is the most important aspect of branded content? Do you have other suggestions to share with our readers? Let us know about your opinion in the comments and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you.