Branded Content – Content Marketing’s next big thing

There’s no questioning the fact that content marketing is here to stay. Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 trends report states that marketing departments are allocating anywhere from 28-46% of their marketing budgets to supporting content marketing strategies. 88% of those who responded to CMI’s survey state that they use content marketing. With the content marketing revolution in full swing, attention in 2016 will naturally shift to maximizing the benefit of content, and finding new ways to engage with potential clients.

The biggest reason that content marketing is successful is that it’s based on and encourages trust. People distrust advertising more than ever, and have demonstrated that they don’t want to be advertised to by using tools like Adblock, streaming services, and DVRs. Content Marketing focuses on delivering value and relevance, and on minimizing disruption.

By moving away from disruptive advertising while focusing on delivering value and relevance, brands are showing consumers respect while earning back trust that’s been lost. But how can we optimize this effort? Many marketers have turned to native advertising, which can deliver value and relevance when done right. But native advertising is still disruptive, and consumers don’t understand it. Most content marketing efforts include blogs and other written material, but 50% of consumers read less than half of a given piece of content. There’s got to be a better way to reach consumers.

Enter branded content. Branded content is content that’s produced and distributed on owned channels, such as websites and social accounts. This stands in stark contrast to the pay-to-play nature of traditional and native advertising. Branded content is built using content marketing principles, with an added goal of entertaining.

This video is aimed at marketing and business executives, and is certainly relevant to today’s marketing challenges. It entertains, and doesn’t feel like advertising. At the same time, Adobe is able to tie their product (Adobe Marketing Cloud) to the video’s message in an organic way. Adobe has succeeded at creating branded content. And because 80% of viewers recall a branded video after 30 days, this piece of content will stick in your mind long after you’ve forgotten this post.

Branded content puts you in control of the message. Rather than disrupting the narrative on a third party platform, or aligning your message with someone else’s, branded content allows you to own the message. This allows marketers to communicate brand messages loud and clear, while still being transparent, valuable, and relevant. Consumers consume video voraciously, and it affects their purchasing behavior. Consumers have been shown to be 174% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video, and are 1200% more likely to share video content than other types of content.

As you move through 2016, consider the value of branded content, and the alignment branded video content has with current trends in consumer consumption and preferences. Everyone’s using social media and blogging, and that should absolutely be part of your marketing strategy. But if you want to stand out to consumers, branded content is king. As a final note, have a look at this video from food chain Chipotle. It’s a fantastic example of branded content in the B2C arena.

References:

  • (2016). Nielsen.com. Retrieved 30 March 2016, from http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/nielsenglobal/apac/docs/reports/2015/nielsen-global-trust-in-advertising-report-september-2015.pdf
  • Maria, J. (2013). 45 Video Marketing Statistics – Virtuets. Virtuets. Retrieved 30 March 2016, from http://www.virtuets.com/45-video-marketing-statistics/
  • Just The Stats: The Science of Video Engagement – Single Grain. (2014).Single Grain. Retrieved 30 March 2016, from https://www.singlegrain.com/video-marketing/just-stats-science-video-engagement/
  • Manjoo, F. (2016). You Won’t Finish This Article. Slate Magazine. Retrieved 30 March 2016, from http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.html