best practice for your content strategy – WAU
Brand publishing, branded content, white labels and Inbound Marketing are Content Marketing strategies that your company can adopt. They require different techniques and levels of maturity from companies and meet different marketing objectives. Now understand what they are and when to adopt each approach.
Brand content has been a protagonist in marketing. Companies that want to build authority, educate the market, engage consumers and attract potential customers increasingly resort to Content Marketing strategies.
But we’re not talking about anything new, right? Content Marketing is already an old practice, adopted by brands even before the Internet. This was the strategy used when brands produced cookbooks as gifts when buying microwaves, for example.
On the web, however, this production found a favorable environment for its explosion. Today, brands of any size can produce and publish whatever they want, which has led to unrestrained – and often unreasonable – production of content.
But this market has already matured a lot. If publications didn’t even have a plan before, today many brands think their content strategies from the marketing goals to have effective results.
And a sign of this maturity is the definition of categories and terminologies for the brands’ fronts, which little by little become more precise.
In this article, we’ll talk about brand publishing, branded content, white labels and Inbound Marketing. These are the main content strategies that a brand can follow, using different approaches to achieve different goals.
Content Marketing, after all, is a very broad concept. So, in planning, it is useless to say that you want to invest in it – you need to define which strategy you will follow to achieve the results you want.
In this text, you will see:
What are the differences and similarities between these strategies?
Before seeing what brand publishing, branded content, white labels and Inbound Marketing are, it is important to understand the main points that differentiate and bring them together.
These strategies are within the context of saturation of traditional advertising. If consumers no longer have the patience for interrupt ads, brands need to produce content that is relevant. So, it is no longer the brands that run after them – they are the ones that reach the brand, because perceive value in the content it produces.
This is the main point that unites brand publishing, branded content, white labels and Inbound Marketing. However, each strategy has specific characteristics that generate different results for companies and require different levels of company maturity.
Therefore, each strategy must be thought within the context of the brand, according to its marketing objectives. Now, let’s understand each one better.
What is brand publishing?
Brand publishing is a content production strategy in a own brand platform that deals with market issues in which it is inserted.
The focus here is not to talk about the brand itself or its products. She can even use internal sources as experts to comment on a particular subject or cite their solutions as examples in publications.
But the contents are independent: they talk essentially about the market, news and trends, important concepts in the area or about the public’s lifestyle.
To that end, brand publishing can also address competing products and brands and other market experts, as long as they bring value to the content and contribute to the consumer’s buying journey.
In a long-term effort, the brand is the main source of information and knowledge about the market. Like this, reinforces its position as an authority, not only for consumers, but also for competitors, suppliers, partners and society in general.
In addition to generating authority, another goal that brand publishing serves is to increase the reach of the brand.
After all, a platform that covers all the themes of the market tends to attract looks from all sides and be easily found in Google searches.
Therefore, brand publishing turns brands into media companies. Instead of paying to show their ads on media companies – such as TV channels or web portals – they produce valuable content themselves and monetize the attracted audience through event revenue, subscriptions, merchandising and even advertising on their platform.
When to use brand publishing content?
The brand publishing strategy requires a certain maturity in the market. To create a platform that is a reference, the brand already needs have a consolidated audience and be recognized as an authority.
Often, it is already a leader in the market, and brand publishing serves to reinforce this position.
A company new to the market, for example, would hardly be able to win this position, because recognition takes time. It still needs to gain public trust, which requires other content strategies before brand publishing.
Brand publishing cases
One brand that is a reference in brand publishing is Red Bull. Today the company is much more than an energy drink brand. In addition to its own teams and sponsored athletes in various sports, the company also owns the Red Bull Media House.
It is a multiplatform media company, which produces all types of content – TV shows, films, series, live broadcasts, print magazines, digital media, etc. -, with their own productions or in partnership with major brands.
The focus is on sports content, aligned with the essence of the brand and the public’s lifestyle.
Another brand publishing case comes from Adobe. You may have already used one of the company’s software, such as the famous Photoshop, but you may not be aware of the brand’s effort to be recognized as a reference among company leaders.
It is for this purpose that Adobe created CMO by Adobe, a platform for news, interviews, research, insights and marketing trends. The content is aimed at marketing directors – Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) – and other professionals who lead companies in the direction of digital transformation.
The contents are produced by the Adobe team, but also by external collaborators.
They are published on the website and distributed in The Wall Street Journal and Fox Business News. Note, however, that the mention of the brand appears only in the name of the site – publications are not a promotional vehicle for Adobe products.
What is branded content?
Branded content is the content produced by brands for engage audiences around your universe, which covers the company itself and the market in which it operates.
The company’s products, however, are not protagonists. They enter just like an element of the story told by the brand to prove its relevance in solving public problems, needs and desires.
It is worth mentioning that the competitors do not have space here. After all, the brand wants to consolidate its positioning in the minds of consumers. It usually only invites experts and consumers to corroborate its point of view.
Content distribution is multichannel The brand can build its own platform for its publications (such as a blog or a specific portal), but also use third-party vehicles.
YouTube, social networks, email marketing, even magazines and TV channels, among other media outlets, are used to communicate with the public.
Branded content is seen as the first step for companies in the transition from interruption marketing to attraction marketing.
Branded content, after all, is not advertising: the intention is to offer relevant publications, which do not interrupt what the consumer is doing, but which be the very content he wants to consume.
With this strategy, companies are able to engage a user base around the brand with the intention of educating the market, generating identification with the public and increasing reach. Gradually, it strengthens its image in the market and also builds its authority.
When to use branded content?
Branded content does not demand as much maturity from the company in the market as brand publishing.
After all, it does not need to be recognized as an authority to produce its own content. This is one of the steps for her to start positioning herself as a reference for the public and, who knows, investing in brand publishing in the future.
In fact, brand publishing is seen as an evolution of branded content. In the case of brand publishing, the brand already has its authority consolidated – it does not worry about promoting its products or sees problems in citing competitors, for example, because it is secure with its position in the market.
Branded content is a strategy for build the audience that will help consolidate brand authority.
Branded content cases
From magazine-sponsored articles to music videos, from product review videos to YouTube series – branded content can have different formats and approaches. What matters is that the content engages, inform and delight the audience.
One company that knows how to do this is Lego. The company has consolidated itself as the brand with the largest audience on YouTube (according to Socialbakers), producing quality branded content for its channel, in full alignment with the public.
In addition, the company launched, in 2013, the Lego Movie, the first feature film. Two hours of branded content, which reinforces important values for the brand.
The film puts the product as an essential element of the story, but without selling it directly.
Another brand that worked well with branded content was Honda. In 2014, the band OK Go, known for their fun music videos, released the video for their song “I Won’t Let You Down”.
In this video, the band members have fun with Honda’s UNI-CUB unicycles – although there is no direct mention of the brand.
Realize that the product is not the protagonist, but presents itself as a solution for consumers to have fun, as the band did. And the content, light and attractive, generates a direct identification with the public.
What are white labels?
White label is a content strategy focused on news coverage about the market, which works as a side business for the brand.
The focus of the content is not on the brand itself, nor on its products – it is the publication of hard news about the market in which it operates.
Therefore, the company’s solutions, as well as those of competitors, can appear as news or in columnists’ texts, at the launch of a product or a new contract, for example. But the intention is not to sell them directly.
There is also space for paid advertising, both from the proprietary brand and from competitors. This is one of the forms of monetization of the platform, which tends to attract large traffic of visitors looking for updates on the market.
White label is not an exclusive concept of Content Marketing. The expression can be translated as “white label”, inspired by clothing brands that buy ready-made pieces and only apply their identity to the labels.
The concept, therefore, concerns a business model in which the proprietary brand creates a product or service and allows other companies to trade under their own brand.
In the Content Marketing strategy, white label means that the company creates its own platform, but uses it with another brand unrelated to it.
When to use white labels?
White labels are quite common in commoditized markets or with great difficulty in penetration. The company does not intend to build authority or engage around its brand.
The objective is essentially generate enough traffic to obtain valuable market data, and sell media spaces that generate financial returns.
However, a platform that acts as a news hub about a market also addresses sensitive issues – crises, controversies, negative trends -, which requires care to “not shoot yourself in the foot”.
White labels cases
A successful example of a white label publisher is XP Investimentos, which created the InfoMoney website to publish financial market news. It is one of the main sites on the topic in London, which attracts millions of visitors.
However, the XP brand name does not appear on the website as the owner or sponsor – it is only in the coverage of the market, when there is some relevant news.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a content strategy guided by the sales funnel steps – attraction, nutrition and conversion – and focused on lead generation and relationship with the public.
It is an attraction marketing approach, in which the intention is to bring consumers to the brand, capture their data and then nurture them until the moment of sale. In this process, the production of relevant content is the fuel of the strategy.
For this, brands can use different channels. Generally, the company’s blog centralizes the content for the different stages of the funnel, but especially from the top. But it can also use social media to generate traffic, YouTube to educate the public and email marketing to nurture leads, for example.
The approach to branded products in Inbound Marketing content is getting closer as the stages of the funnel progress.
At first, little is said about the products. The initial objective is to deal with broad themes, which are most sought after on Google, and generate proximity to the brand, since the public does not even know the company yet.
The sign that the brand has managed to win the trust of the blog visitor is the fact that he provides his contact details. In capture forms, the brand collects data from stakeholders and starts treating them as leads.
At this point, it can already begin to approach its products as solutions to the need that the consumer is trying to solve.
During the lead nurturing process, content should help them mature their purchase decision, considering the brand as the main solution possibility.
Finally, in the conversion stage, the approach is centered on products. With persuasive content, then, the intention is to close the sale.
The brand must show the functional and emotional benefits of the product, create tutorials, guides and comparisons, provide tools and demos. Here it is okay to quote the competitor, as long as it is to point out a differentiation of the product.
Inbound Marketing became popular as of the 2010s and came to wear out. Some brands adopted aggressive practices or did not know how to adapt the content to the purchase journey, which made Inbound Marketing as uncomfortable as traditional advertising.
However, this is an essential strategy for attracting leads and growing the base. In the Content Trends 2019 survey, 83.4% of companies reported that lead generation is the main objective of your Content Marketing strategy.
Therefore, Inbound Marketing plays an important role in content strategies. If combined with other approaches we have mentioned, the results tend to be even better, since the strategy does not wear out.
When to use Inbound Marketing content?
When Inbound Marketing became popular, the strategy was propagated as a solution for any business. And that’s one reason she’s worn out.
This strategy requires the company to have a defined and structured sales model. There is no point in producing content for the funnel if you have not yet organized the tasks, managers and goals for each stage.
Therefore, before creating content for Inbound Marketing, it is necessary to structure the company, especially the marketing and sales teams, which must act in line.
This is more common in B2B companies, which usually have a longer sales process, which allows you to clearly visualize each step of the funnel.
In addition, the company needs to have the correct perception of the approach and the type of content that must be produced at each stage. Otherwise, it can generate conflict with the consumer and keep them away from the brand instead of attracting them.
Inbound Marketing Cases
Inbound Marketing has become a popular strategy and has generated several cases. We brought here the example of two companies that stood out for putting Inbound Marketing content at the heart of your strategies and arrived at the most expected result: lead generation.
One example is ContaAzul, a B2B startup that offers an online financial management platform.
Since the beginning of the business, the company’s blog has centralized the brand’s content, with tips on management, finance and accounting for small companies, in addition to materials such as spreadsheets and guides.
The company also saw the opportunity to work with accountants. For this, he created a blog specifically for this audience, whose intention is also to generate leads for the business.
Another example comes from a B2C business, Racon Consórcios. This consortium administrator needed to make her business more friendly and easy for the public to understand, with the intention of educating the market and generating leads for the company.
For this, the company started to produce content aligned to its persona for the blog, in addition to free materials, such as e-books and spreadsheets, with the intention of capturing the contacts of interested parties.
Thus, the company managed to conquer more than 70% of the organic traffic from the Racon domain and more than 40% of the leads generated with the blog.
Here you can read more about Racon’s case with Websites Are Us.
Finally, the professionalization and maturity of Content Marketing better defined the possibilities for strategies. In this way, companies have more clarity to define their fronts of action, according to the results they want to obtain.
So, can you identify which type of strategy is best for your company?
Analyze the moment of your business and your market to understand if you should adopt brand publishing, branded content, white labels or Inbound Marketing. But also consider that these strategies can complement each other to meet different objectives of your business.
Here at Websites Are Us, we work with all these types of content. If you want to have better results with Content Marketing, talk to one of our consultants now. We will help you choose the best strategy for your brand!