Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Looking for Inspiration: Excerpts About Branded Content


"People don’t like being sold to. It’s a discomforting experience, so the challenge for content marketers is to make sure the entertainment value of the content outweighs the discomfort"
Mike Clear, ZenithOptimedia Group.


Branded content is a form of advertising that uses the generating of content as a way to promote the particular brand which funds the content's production. Often utilized in native marketing, and somewhat similar in appearance, though different in technique than content marketing, branded content typically presents itself as something other than a marketing ploy first, albeit simultaneously and always presented as a highly branded property and often labeled as "sponsored".

Jan Godsk from the BCMA explains the differences between branded and content marketing (Jeremy Taylor, Our Social Times, 2014):
  • Branded content marketing campaigns are often associated with entertainment-type content, such as creative video advertising. The aim is to resonate with the consumer on an emotional level rather than focusing on the actual product and USPs.
  • Content marketing campaigns are more focused on the product or service and the content is usually more rational and informative. This takes place further down the customer decision journey and, unlike branded content, ROI is more about lead-generation and sales than building a positive image of the brandThe term branded content itself, however, really took hold as a labeled marketing technique in 2001, when The Hire was produced and distributed on the internet and DVDs.
"Branded content is all about storytelling – in short, giving customers the information and insights that they want to look through before making their purchasing decision", Sonal Mishra, Your Story, 2016.

"The goal is to build trust over time by providing useful information (...) The content is not only produced in relevance with the customer's interest but also strategically placed at the brand’s own properties (...) The idea is to provide customers with as much information to build the brand’s credibility in their eyes", Sonal Mishra, Your Story, 2016

Consumers are open to branded content, but marketers must make sure that they have a plan to distribute this content on the right platforms so the right audience finds it", .Kathy Kayse, VP of sales strategy and solutions at Yahoo (Natasha D. Smith, DMN, 2016).

"Branded content is the practicing of investing in compelling content, whether to inform or entertain, that as a result is able to create an immersive experience for the consumer", Chris Rooke, SVP of strategy and operations at native advertising platform Nativo (Natasha D. Smith, DMN, 2016).

"As more brands embrace content marketing as a valuable channel to reach their customers, a new trend is emerging: brands are becoming publishers. What this means is that many progressive brands are beginning to create their own content hubs and micro-sites to publish relevant, educational content that’s produced in-house. The overall effect: brands are able to build and engage with their target audience by providing them with content that they find useful or interesting", StackAdapt, 2015

The term branded content itself, however, really took hold as a labeled marketing technique in 2001, when The Hire was produced and distributed on the internet and DVDs. It featured a series of short films by Hollywood "A-List" directors, but featuring the BMW car in the film was the true intent of the production. The popularity of these films spurred other marketers to create films, music, games, interactive content and real-life events, which merely exists to entertain and educate the consumer, keeping their attention long enough to market a product or service.In 2003, the Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) was formed in order to promote branded content to a wider, international audience.

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