Branded Content: Why Is It that More and More Brands Are Choosing it?

Grafiti de Popeye.

In 1929, during the Great Depression, the Chamber of Spinach Producers of the United States held a meeting to discuss the need to increase spinach consumption among children. Their bright idea was to create a comic strip about a muscular sailor that became strong thanks to his spinach intake. The plan worked to perfection — spinach consumption rose by 33% and the sailor became one of the most famous characters in the world. That’s how Popeye was born — the first Branded Content in history.

While the average user tries to dodge ads, Branded Content continues to be one of the most efficient promotion strategies and a trending one in the world of marketing. But, what is Branded Content exactly?

Branded Content — or how to get people to listen to you when everyone else is screaming

What is Branded Content?

Branded Content is a marketing technique that’s based on the creation of content. Brands use their own entertainment content in order to offer value to their users through, for example, podcasts, documentaries, etc. Unlike traditional advertising that’s created around the product, branded content is created around the brand’s values. This is because the goal of this marketing technique is to generate affinity more than selling a service or product.

The 3 Great Benefits of Branded Content

The benefits of branded content are many — it offers the potential to go viral, to create an emotional connection, to increase leads… However, there are three benefits that stand out thanks to how much more efficient they are compared to other marketing strategies:

Brand Recognition

There are few things as important for a brand than increasing their recognition and positioning in the mind of consumers. Here’s where branded content stands out above every other technique. According to a study carried out by Forbes, brand recognition increases 59% in consumers who watch branded content as opposed to display ads.

Advertising Turned Upside Down — Bye, bye, egocentricity!

We’re used to having ads chasing us, stalking us, around every corner, even on the internet, with banners and all… It can be quite annoying and vague. By contrast, branded content seeks to provoke voluntary consumption; it’s the audience who approaches the brand, because the content produces interest in them. Content isn’t about the product, it focuses on the audience. That same Forbes’ study says that 14% of consumers are more prone to look for further content from that brand after watching branded content.

Receptive Audience

Another study, by Nielsen, shows that audiences are much more receptive to brand messages when consuming close, captivating and quality content. These characteristics can also be seen in other types of advertising; however, captivating the audience by offering content that interests them is much easier.

A Clear Example of Branded Content

You may be reading this because you think this concept is new and you think you have never seen it. But, one thing is sure: you have consumed branded content, for sure, besides Popeye.

Red Bull, the energy drinks company, is one of the greatest exponents of branded content in the world. In fact, most of their marketing is centred on creating stories that share their values. One of these stories was followed, live, from everywhere in the world, by 8 million spectators on YouTube: Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the stratosphere broke height and audience records and became one of the most successful branded contents in history. Earnings from the advertising campaign tripled the initial investment — and that’s not even the most important part… The positive impact it had for the brand is beyond measure. The thing is that having such worldwide visibility and doing something that will go down as a historical moment for humanity is priceless.

The rules of the game have changed. Too many ads have made audiences impervious to most of it. This situation has led brands to explore different strategies to make themselves noticeable. Branded content is one of these strategies. In recent years, its growth has been exponential and trends suggest it will keep on going. In 2022, an estimated 58% of advertisers will increase their investment in this marketing strategy.

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