Spend some time reading a marketing blog and you’ll find catch-phrases galore — like omnichannel, advertainment, and hyperlocal. “Branded content” might seem like more of the same, but this particular marketing buzzword is super important.
Let’s talk about what branded content marketing is, and how it helps businesses reach their target audience and build relationships.
How is branded content marketing defined?
At a basic level, branded content marketing is the practice of creating content — usually content that tells a story, entertains, or delivers valuable information — that is funded and/or produced by your brand and intended for marketing purposes.
Some examples of branded content marketing are a podcast that your company produces, a webinar series sponsored by your business, or a movie that tells your brand’s story.
What is the goal of branded content marketing?
Branded content can contribute to a company’s marketing efforts in four impactful ways:
1. Building relationships and connections through shared interests or values
Most branded content is based on something the brand has in common with its audience. For example, if we created a podcast, it would explore content marketing from a production, strategy, and ROI perspective—a subject that interests both our agency and our audience of potential partners.
2. Telling a brand’s story in an engaging, entertaining way
When we were kids, before smartphones were invented, we probably read a few brand stories on the back of cereal boxes in the morning. Those days are long gone. Today, if your target market has a choice, they’d much rather watch a video about your brand than read the “About Us” page on your website.
Fortunately, there are a million different ways to tell a brand story through rich media. You can focus on the main challenges you solve or the way you do business differently than your competitors. You can cover your feel-good brand beginnings or the customers you’ve served along the way.
Just make sure it reaches your audience on an emotional level and clues them into your brand values.
3. Opening up cross-marketing opportunities
Branded content marketing enables you to work closely with other brands, professionals, or thought-leaders, and cross-promote your content to each other’s audiences.
For example, if you create a branded podcast that features a weekly guest from your industry, your reach will extend as your guest shares the episode with their audience. In return, the guest has new exposure to your audience as well.
Another option is to co-produce branded content with another entity. For example, an Italian restaurant could produce a series of cooking lessons using a specific brand of tomato sauce. Both audiences receive an extended marketing reach from this type of content.
4. Using one piece of content across multiple channels (social media, YouTube, podcast platforms, etc.)
Branded content also allows you to fill your content calendar without having to produce new content for each channel and marketing purpose. This is done by using the Content 2.0 method, in which you start with a larger piece of content (such as a video podcast) and break it down into length and formats that are optimized for social media posts, YouTube, and other channels.
How can my business start producing branded content?
A video podcast is a simple, accessible way to begin creating branded content at any level of budget or experience. If you need help with content strategy or podcast production, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends at Tobe Agency.
In the marketing world, we like to throw around buzzwords. “Branded content” might seem like one of them, but this particular marketing buzzword is here to stay.
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