How to Create Branded Content to Drive Engagement
Your content strategy is vital to your overall content marketing efforts, but it's not the only thing you need to consider. Your content must stand out from the rest, but how can you create content that makes people go gaga over your brand?
Creating great content that will inspire your audience is the foundation of your brand identity. When creating branded content for your social media accounts, you need to start with a clear objective: build brand awareness or engage with your audience.
If you want to create great content that will inspire your audience, the first step is to figure out exactly why you want to create it. This step is crucial because your reasons will dictate your tone, style, and overall approach to creating your content. It's the difference between creating a simple image or video on Instagram or an elaborate graphic on LinkedIn. Think about what type of content you want to create before you get started.
Content marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available today. However, it can be challenging to create compelling content that engages your target audience and converts them into loyal fans.
To be successful with brand content, your organisation must understand the value of the audience to whom you are trying to reach. This audience must include current clients, new prospects, and current and potential employees. When creating brand content, consider the benefits to your audience and whether they see your brand as trustworthy. Consider how your audience will view your brand to create a message that resonates with them.
Branded content allows you to engage with your audience at an emotional level. Studies show that emotions are the reason people are more likely to take action and respond positively to a brand. By using branded content, you can connect with your audience deeper, creating better results for you and your business.
What types of brand content does your organisation need to create? There are a variety of ways in which branded content can be used, including:
- Promotion of the brand: Branded content is used to promote the brand. A customer service representative uses branded content to explain the organisation's policies and procedures. A salesperson uses branded content to convince a client to purchase a product.
- Marketing campaigns: Brand content is marketing a specific product or service to an audience. For example, a retailer might use branded content to promote a sale on jeans.
- Advertisements: Branded content is used for advertising the public's products or services. Branded content is commonly used on television, radio, and online websites.
- Training: Content is used to train employees and educate customers. An organisation might use branded content to train its employees about its products and services.
- Events: Branded content is used to promote an event related to the organisation. For example, an organisation might use branded content to promote its conference.
- Social media: Content is shared via social media. Examples include blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts.
- Surveys: Research is done to gather information from the target audience. You can then use this information to create brand content.
- Reports: Reports are created to provide information to the target audience. These reports can help the organisation improve in areas with room for growth.
- Case studies: These are stories or accounts of events that happened in the past. The purpose is to educate the audience and demonstrate a solution to a problem.
- Interviews: Audiences are interviewed to gain a better understanding of the audience. The interview creates a story about the audience, which you can incorporate into the brand content.
- Testimonials: Consumers give testimonials for a product or service. These stories are used to demonstrate a product's or service's benefits.
- How-to guides: Guides are helpful, step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task. An example would be an instruction manual for a piece of equipment.
- Newsletters: Newsletters are sent to the target audience. These newsletters can contain an exciting story or helpful information.
- Podcasts: Podcasts are digital media that includes audio and video. Podcasts allow for more personal interaction with an audience, allowing the organisation to use the voice of its employees.
- Online videos: can be uploaded directly to a website or posted on YouTube. Online videos are a great way to promote the brand, as the audience can access it anywhere.
- Email marketing: Email marketing can include personalised messages sent to the recipient's inbox. This method is cost-effective, as it allows the organisation to communicate with the audience.
Create a Unique Value Proposition
If you have a product or service, then how do you describe it so that people understand it? This is where the value proposition comes in. If your product/service is unique, how do you stand out from other products/services in your sector?
In my experience, the problem with many companies is that they have a product or service, but they forget to put together a value proposition. They see that the product or service exists and there is a need, but they don't go beyond that.
We focus on creating content for brands to use to market their products. The term branded content has been around for some time. Brands like Apple have used branded content for years.
Branded content is different from traditional advertising. There is no direct message being sent from a brand to its audience. Instead, it is more communication between the brand and the consumer. For example, the brand creates content and gets promoted through social media. As part of this, the brand provides the content and a link back to its website. The content can include videos, images, articles, blog posts, etc.
A brand must sell the product or service to make money from a campaign. Therefore, branded content is usually paid for by the brand rather than a third party. However, if the campaign is successful, then the brand can make a commission from a third party for a specific product or service.
The brand benefits from promoting its product or service and makes a profit. And, of course, the consumer benefits from the content itself. If the consumer likes the content, they might buy the product or service, and if they are interested in the product or service, they will visit the brand's website.
The problem with branded content is that it can be costly. Therefore, it needs to be targeted to a specific audience. For example, if a company has an offer for its customers, running a branded content campaign will only be worthwhile if it is targeted at the correct customers. It might not be worth the cost if it is aimed at a broad audience.
Another problem is that it can be difficult to prove ROI (return on investment). This is because it is not clear what the value of the campaign is. Therefore, the brand must measure the campaign's success against a baseline. But how do you know what the baseline is? Is it the amount of traffic to the brand's website? How about the number of products sold? The value of the campaign will depend on the particular product or service.
These factors mean it can be tricky to quantify the campaign's value and measure the ROI. It can be a problem for the brand, but it can be challenging even for the consumer.
The answer to these challenges is a unique value proposition. A unique value proposition (UVP) is the key to creating a successful branded content campaign. The UVP explains your product or service and why it is special. It is not enough to say that the product or service exists and there is a need for it. You need to explain why it is unique and different.
Brands are constantly looking to create more opportunities to expand their market share. This means they want to reach a broader audience to sell more products and services. The challenge is that they don't want to spend too much money.
The UVP enables the brand to target a specific group of consumers. The message must be clear and easy to understand. A UVP must explain why a consumer should buy a product or service. It needs to highlight the benefits of buying the product or service. Finally, the UVP must also explain the difference between the product or service and others available to the consumer.
For the past few years, brands have been busy creating social media content, which has been very successful for most businesses but not all brands.
Branded content is designed for a brand's audience and is typically produced by an internal or external PR agency. It is usually well-produced and has a vital creative component. It can be any type of content: video, images, text, etc. and should always include a call to action to drive the customer to the business's website.
So, why do many brands struggle to get their branded content shared?
- Most branded content marketing budgets are focused on paid advertising rather than creating content that will naturally go viral.
- Content marketing budgets aren't set up to produce content that is easy to share.
- Many brands don't understand how to promote their content correctly.
Let's examine these issues and explain why making your branded content easy to share is essential.
Branded Content Marketing vs Paid Advertising
If your budget is limited, using it on paid advertising is tempting. Paid advertising is much cheaper than producing branded content, and you will often get more impressions and a higher click-through rate with paid ads. However, a low cost does not necessarily mean a high return. This is because of a problem with the algorithm that drives social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram: they reward users with many friends and followers.
This means that the most famous content is always shown to the user, regardless of whether it is relevant to the user or not. So, paid to advertise means your content competes for attention with other users' content – not just the other users in your company but also the millions of other content providers.
To make things worse, there is an ever-growing pile of content, with brands and businesses competing for the same customers' attention. What works for a brand today may not work tomorrow, so the need to pay for advertising to be seen becomes more urgent.
Branded Content Marketing Budget
Spending money on branded content is vital to driving traffic to your website. However, this doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot.
The problem with the way budgets are set up is that they are usually set up to cover only paid advertising. If you don't see results within a set timeframe, the money you invested in your campaign is wasted. If you do see results, you might have spent the maximum that you could spend on paid advertising. This means you will have to find the money elsewhere the next time you want to invest in content marketing.
When you set up a budget to make your content easy to share, you are setting up a budget to create content that will generate results and not a budget to advertise your product.
Content Marketing Budget
Content marketing budgets are usually set to pay for paid advertising, content marketing, and community management. When you have a budget for all three, it is easier to track results and spend the money you get.
However, if you only budget for content marketing and leave paid advertising as a free bonus, you won't be able to track its results. It will simply be too late to make changes if you see a decrease in results.
This leads us to the first point we want to make: a low cost doesn't always mean a high return. For example, if you have a budget for content marketing, you can spend the money you get on creating and producing your content.
But, when you create content that isn't easy to share, it will take much effort to create and spread the word. You must think about how to promote your content and plan it carefully.
There are a few things you can do to make your content easy to share:
- Make your content easy to digest.
- Use bullet points, images and videos.
- These are great ways to get information across quickly.
- Be clear about what you want people to do after reading or watching your content.
- If people don't know exactly what they should do next, they won't be able to share your content.
- Use links. Ensure your content is linked correctly so people can easily share it.
Providing value is one of the keys to building a successful brand. But how do you ensure your brand provides value to your prospects and clients? Here is a brief overview of what you need to consider before creating a branded content campaign.
Branded content is anything you create to promote your brand or business. This can include blogs, videos, presentations, infographics, etc. While branded content has many different forms, one thing is sure – it's a great way to reach out to new people and connect with them. It's also a great way to position yourself as an expert and show your expertise.
Providing value in branded content campaigns:
What to consider before creating your content
As mentioned above, there are many different ways to create branded content. Some companies use video content to explain their products or services. Others use blogs to provide tips and advice on using their products. Still, others use presentations to teach their audience how to use their products.
Before creating your own branded content, it's essential to understand the purpose of your content and whom you want to target. Are you creating your content to drive traffic to your website? Or are you creating it to promote your product or service? Either way, you need to know the goals and audience of your content before you start creating it.
After you know whom you are creating the content for and the purpose of your content, you can start creating your content. But before you create your content, you need to think about the following things:
Do you want to give away free content?
Giving away free content is a great way to get people to like your brand. Giving away free content can build credibility, attract new followers, and establish yourself as an expert. Ensure you don't lose potential customers and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your content.
A CTA is something you want your visitors to do after they read your content. For example, if you're writing a blog post about your company's new product, you may want to encourage your readers to go to your website and sign up for your newsletter. You can also ask your followers to like your Facebook page.
How do you know you're providing value?
Once you decide on the goals and purpose of your content, you need to evaluate whether your content is providing value to your audience. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the content helpful? Is it helping your readers? Does it help your readers get what they need? Does it help your readers solve their problems?
- Is the content valuable? Is it worth sharing? Is it worth recommending? Does it help people achieve their goals?
- Is the content shareable? Does it stand out among similar content?
Create an Audience
Branded content marketing is about creating and sharing content with the targeted audiences relevant to your brand. It's all about building relationships with your consumers and creating trust. Here are the essential things that you need to do to create an audience for branded content campaigns:
You need to understand your brand before starting your audience creation process. The audience creation process of your brand should be consistent with your brand's identity. For example, you can create videos about healthy eating if you work for a fast-food brand. Your audience creation process should be like this:
Brand + Target Audience = Branded Content Marketing
The target audience for the branded content should be your consumers or those who are interested in what you offer.
There are two methods to create an audience:
Using a list service:
A list service is one of the best ways to create an audience. You can use services like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign or Constant Contact to create an audience list for your branded content. It's a lot easier to create an audience using these services than doing it manually.
Using the Facebook Ads Manager:
Facebook Ads manager is another good option for creating an audience. It has all the features like demographics, interests, custom audiences, etc.
You've successfully created your audience for branded content campaigns. Now you can start creating the content for your consumers.
Create Brand Advocacy
I know that it is not always possible to generate massive numbers of mentions, but there are ways to create brand advocates that would benefit from being told about a specific campaign.
Brand advocates promote your brand because they believe in it and want others to experience it too. Your brand does not pay them; they are fans who feel compelled to share your message with their friends and colleagues.
If you have already researched and identified the influencers your target audience will trust to spread your message, then you need to build a campaign around these individuals.
Once you have the influencer list, you must develop a campaign strategy. The next step is to create a compelling offer that can make the influencer an advocate.
Here are the steps you need to follow to start building brand advocates for your brand:
Create compelling content
You first must pick a topic and consider what you can say about it. It would be best if you came up with something people can relate to.
What if I don't have the expertise to write a blog post? Many online articles and guides can be helpful for you. Look up articles related to your niche and read them to understand what type of content works best for your audience.
When you're ready to publish your content, you must share it on all social networks. You also need to make sure you tag the influencer in the post. This way, they can see and share the post with their audience.
Adding the influencer in the bio section of your social profiles is also essential. This way, they will be able to see all the shares and likes you receive on your social posts.
Include a call-to-action (CTA) to encourage them to share your content. Make sure you include the influencer in your CTA. You can even put a special message for them. This way, they will be able to receive a personalised message, making them more likely to share the content.
Invite the influencer to your email campaign
Once you have published your content, you need to email the influencer, inviting them to be a part of your campaign. You can do this using a tool like MailChimp. Make sure you have the influencer list, and you can invite them to your campaign.
Ensure you include the influencer in your email and send them a link to your blog. You can also send them a message through Twitter or Facebook. You will want to allow them to opt-in if they want to join your campaign. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website, and it's easy to use.
Use Emotion, Social Proof, and a Great Call to Action
Branded content has many applications and uses, but it is important to note that there are three main elements to branded content. The first is the brand, the second is the call to action, and the third is the emotion. We will look at each of these elements in detail in this article.
The brand is the name of the company. When talking about brands, we should always think about what they stand for. They should be able to create a sense of trust within their audience because people will always buy a product if they trust the brand.
An excellent example of a great brand is Apple. When you hear the word Apple, you know what to expect. It is a premium product that delivers the highest quality and has the highest standard. The same is true for every brand that you have ever heard of.
The brand must always stay consistent. It means that the brand should never change its style or its image. You should brand the content because it is something the brand wants to deliver to its audience. A brand that always stays consistent will always have a loyal audience.
It is always recommended that the brand be the driving force of the content. This is why they need to create the content, and they need to make sure that it is delivered in the right way. There are two ways in which a brand can deliver the content; they can either be the content's primary subject or a secondary subject.
In the case of a secondary subject, the brand can still ensure that it is a part of the content, but it will not be the main focus. In the case of a primary subject, the brand needs to focus on delivering the content.
The Call to Action
The call to action is the final element of branded content. The call to action should be clear and highly likely to be converted. It should be something that will get the viewer to take action. The call to action needs to be a part of the content, but it should not be the primary purpose of the content. The best example of this is an eCommerce website. The content might say “Buy this product”, but the call to action should say “Purchase now”.
The emotional appeal
Emotional appeal is the last element of branded content. The emotional appeal can be anything that will create an emotional response in the audience. It could be an image, video, song, or brand story.
It's essential to make sure the emotional appeal is appropriate for the brand, and it is also important that it complements the brand message. When you are creating branded content, it is imperative to identify what the emotional appeal will be. This is one of the essential elements of branded content.
In addition to the emotional appeal, other elements are necessary for branded content, such as the visual appeal, audio appeal, text appeal, timing and placement of the content and the story behind it.
The key to creating branded content is to think like a human being consuming your content instead of thinking like a marketer trying to promote your brand. That's why brands like Apple, Google, and Amazon have developed such a strong identity and brand—because their marketing and advertising teams were able to connect with consumers on a personal level.
That's how you create branded content—by taking a human approach to your audience and listening to what they're saying.
Use these ideas to build your content marketing strategy that resonates with your audience and leads to long-term engagement.