Creating the best branded content: A 5-Step Guide
Creating effective branded content for your business is a critical strategy in today’s marketing landscape. In a time when people tend to ignore traditional advertisements, it’s vital to connect with your target audience through engaging storytelling. Branded content allows you to do just that by ensuring that your marketing messages revolve around your brand and its values rather than just your products or services. The ultimate goal is to boost brand awareness and build a strong emotional connection with potential customers.
Recent statistics highlight the success of branded content, with more than one million hours spent consuming such content in 2022, which represents a remarkable 204% increase from the previous year. This approach is subtle and blends seamlessly with a user’s online experience, rather than interrupting it.
Now, let’s clarify the differences between branded content, content marketing, and native advertising:
Branded Content vs. Content Marketing:
Purpose: Branded content primarily aims to increase brand awareness and foster customer loyalty, while content marketing is more focused on driving sales and conversions.
Focus: Branded content revolves around the brand’s story, mission, and values, whereas content marketing addresses specific audience questions and issues.
Audience: Branded content targets a broad audience, seeking to make the brand known to as many people as possible, while content marketing is tailored to a niche audience.
In essence, branded content is a subset of content marketing, serving a distinct purpose in the marketing mix.
Branded Content vs. Native Advertising:
Purpose: Both branded content and native advertising seamlessly blend with the media in which they appear, but native advertising places a stronger emphasis on product promotion, unlike branded content.
Location: Native ads typically appear on third-party websites, while branded content resides on your own platform.
Now, let’s delve into five tips for creating outstanding branded content:
- Define Your Brand Voice:
Why: Your brand voice is the personality and style of your brand, which defines how you communicate with your audience. Defining it is essential because it ensures that all your marketing efforts, including branded content, maintain a consistent and recognizable tone.
How: Begin by understanding your brand’s core values, mission, and vision. Ask yourself what you want your brand to be known for and how you want you’re audience to perceive it. Is your brand fun and casual, or serious and professional? Once you’ve clarified your brand voice, document it in brand guidelines. These guidelines should include details about tone, vocabulary, and even specific examples of how to write or speak in your brand’s voice.
- Understand Your Audience:
Why: Knowing your audience is fundamental for creating content that resonates with them. By understanding their demographics, psychographics, and preferences, you can tailor your branded content to their specific needs and interests.
How: Begin by developing detailed buyer personas. These are fictional representations of your ideal customers. Consider their age, gender, location, interests, challenges, and goals. Conduct market research and analyze data to gain insights into you’re audience’s behavior and preferences. The more you understand your audience, the better you can create content that speaks directly to them, solving their problems or fulfilling their desires.
- Tell a Story:
Why: Stories have a unique power to engage and connect with your audience emotionally. They help your brand become relatable and memorable.
How: Start by identifying the key elements of a compelling narrative: characters, setting, conflict, climax, and resolution. Think about how your brand’s story aligns with your mission and values. Then, craft stories that reflect these elements. These stories could be about your brand’s history, customer success stories, or even fictional narratives that embody your brand’s principles. Ensure that these stories are not only well-crafted but also relevant to your audience’s interests and challenges.
- Use Visuals:
Why: Visual content, such as images, infographics, and videos, is more engaging and accessible to today’s digital audience. Visuals can help convey complex information quickly and effectively.
How: Create a visual content strategy that complements your written content. Utilize high-quality images that reflect your brand’s style. Design infographics that explain complex concepts related to your industry or products. Additionally, consider incorporating video content, as videos tend to capture and maintain the viewer’s attention. Whether you’re showcasing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your brand or creating informative how-to videos, visuals can significantly enhance the impact of your branded content.
- Be Shareable:
Why: Creating shareable content expands your brand’s reach and encourages user engagement. When people share your content, it’s a testament to its quality and relevance.
How: To make your content shareable, tap into the emotions of your audience. Content that evokes strong emotions, whether it’s humor, inspiration, or empathy, is more likely to be shared. Additionally, ensure your content is relevant to current trends or discussions in your industry. Use social media platforms and relevant hashtags to amplify your content’s reach. Finally, consider the timing of your content. Posting at times when your target audience is most active on social media can increase its visibility and shareability.
In conclusion, creating branded content is a strategic approach to building brand awareness and connecting with your audience on a deeper level. By defining your brand voice, understanding your audience, telling compelling stories, incorporating visuals, and making your content shareable, you can create content that not only engages but also converts your audience into loyal customers. These steps provide a roadmap to success in the ever-evolving world of digital marketing. If you need expert guidance in crafting and implementing a branded content strategy, consider partnering with a digital marketing agency like 360 Digital Idea, where we specialize in tailoring content to meet your branding objectives. Contact us today to discover how we can help your brand stand out in the competitive digital landscape.
Q1: What is branded content, and how does it differ from traditional advertising?
A1: Branded content is a type of marketing strategy that focuses on creating content that revolves around your brand’s values, mission, and story, rather than solely promoting your products or services. It aims to engage your audience through storytelling and emotional connections. In contrast, traditional advertising directly promotes products or services and often interrupts the user’s online experience.
Q2: What are the primary goals of branded content?
A2: The primary goals of branded content are to increase brand awareness and foster a strong emotional connection with potential customers. It aims to make your brand more relatable and memorable by sharing your brand’s story and values.
Q3: How does branded content differ from content marketing?
A3: Branded content and content marketing share similarities, but they have distinct purposes. Branded content primarily aims to increase brand awareness and build brand loyalty, while content marketing is more focused on driving sales and conversions. Content marketing typically addresses specific audience questions and issues.
Q4: Where can branded content be found or published?
A4: Branded content can be published on your own platform, such as your website or social media channels. It can also be featured on third-party platforms if you collaborate with publishers or influencers. The key is to ensure that the content aligns with your brand and its values.
Q5: How can I make my branded content more engaging?
A5: To make your branded content more engaging, consider these strategies:
Define a clear brand voice and style.
Understand your audience by creating detailed buyer personas.
Tell a compelling story that connects emotionally with your audience.
Utilize visuals like images, infographics, and videos to enhance the content.
Make your content shareable by evoking emotions and relevance, and consider factors like content types, usefulness, relevant hashtags, and timing.
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