What is Branded Content?
Each year a few new words and phrases enter the sales and marketing industry. People scramble to understand the new lingo, then add it to their social profiles and websites to capitalize on the new trend. Like most ‘new ideas’ they are commonly old ones that have just been renamed. So that brings us to today’s topic.
“What is Branded Content, and Can I Create It?”
In the 50’s and the 60’s television shows would insert advertising right into the TV show itself. Mary Petrie in the Dick Van Dyke show would stop down and start talking about how great the dish soap was for her hands. That is what the native advertising of the past looked like.
The clever shows would create a story around a product or service right into the episode you were already watching. This was their version of branded content.
The medium is a successful one that rotated in and out several times over the years, but now is back in full swing.
Technology is making it extremely easy to create dynamic and engaging content in a MUCH shorter timeframe than even 2-3 years ago. That means brands can be a lot more creative and fun with the types of things they put out into the digital world.
Companies that already have the infrastructure and resources to stamp out content have led the way for us to see. Saturday Night Live creates moments in the current show structure to introduce a product in a sketch. The sketch is written with the real actors/comedians and for the purpose of entertaining.
Comedy Central does things commercial style, but actually have written full characters that play out over multiple commercials. Check out the Comedy Central hand-model series that features a different sponsor each episode!
Why it Works
SURPRISE! Writing, filming, and recording stuff people enjoy makes you trustworthy 🙂 The good news is that having fun while you create makes it better for you and the people consuming it.
Specifically though branded content is nice because of three traits:
It’s Conversational – When you are trying to build a story it becomes easier to get in a conversational tone. That makes it more comfortable and easy to consume.
Brings Awareness – You can bring up a topic or issue that is important to your team, and it still gets read or watched.
Portable – It’s an acceptable format to pass around. No one wants to share ads and few people want to share business content. People love to share stories because they are universal.
What About Me?
So how do you make branded content work for your team?
That depends on time, money and resources of course. The good news is that anyone can build out one story that is important to them in one of the two ways mentioned above. It just takes a little time and elbow grease to push it across the finish line!
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