see who wins this battle – WAU
That content production is a necessity within a brand’s digital marketing strategy, you already know, don’t you? After all, 71% of London companies already adopt a content strategy (data from Content Trends 2017). What many people do not know is that there are several ways to produce rich material for […]
That content production is a necessity within a brand’s digital marketing strategy, you already know, don’t you?
After all, 71% of London companies already adopt a content strategy (data from Content Trends 2017). What many people do not know is that there are several ways to produce rich material for the internet, generating engagement among consumers and improving brand recognition.
One of the most common confusions is the distinction between Branded Content and Content Marketing. Although many people believe that it is a subdivision, these strategies have quite different goals and characteristics.
In short, the choice must be made according to the company’s objectives in the market and in marketing. Nothing prevents the two from being produced simultaneously, but it is important to understand the differences so that each one is, in fact, effective and generates significant results for the brand.
Branded Content and the positioning of the brand image
Branded Content is directly related to the production of content in order to improve brand positioning in the market and transform the public’s view of the company behind the products or services offered.
This strategy can be translated as “branded content”, it is also known as “branded entertainment”. The proposal is that the consumer has access to content that brings fun and information at the same time, making it clear that the material was produced by a company.
For example: if a makeup brand intends to establish itself in the market as one that is looking for self-esteem and appreciation of the beauty of women, it can produce a video with ordinary women talking about what they like most about themselves, while test the brand’s products.
The idea is precisely this: to produce content that reinforce the brand positioning or intends to have in the market, making the public feel empathy and identify.
In the makeup brand example, for example, women with self-esteem problems could identify themselves and seek to know more about the products offered, increasing the possibility of purchase intent.
So, in addition to passing on relevant information about the standardization of female beauty, the brand generates engagement among its target audience and, in some cases, even manages to use these contents as a buzz marketing strategy.
There will be a connection, almost a feeling of gratitude among the audience, causing them to be encouraged to purchase the product.
The objectives of Branded Content
The purpose of this content production is to ensure that the public remembers the brand when a need arises. The objective is to capture the attention consumer, touching on a subject he didn’t expect to be related to a product.
A person who has socialization difficulties may feel identified with content produced by a brand of toothpaste, for example.
What does the product have to do with the problem? It is enough to show that contact with others sells confidence, relating this characteristic directly with a beautiful and imposing smile.
This is just one of several examples that reinforce the “power” of the brand in a way that the public never imagined, making it start to identify itself after having contact with this content.
Some of the goals of branded content are:
- Brand positioning in the market: when the proposal is to demonstrate a brand differential to the public, creating the feeling of added value and confidence in the act of purchasing;
- Improved brand value: recognition of the company as an expert in the market, giving the feeling of leadership, even when this is not the reality in the sales data;
- Word of mouth marketing: when the content is so interesting and touches on a hot topic in society, consumers start to talk about the content produced in conversation circles, indicating the product to their friends in an unpretentious way;
- Spontaneous recall: the consumer will remember the brand at different times, whether at the time of purchase or in a conversation about the subject. The brand starts to become a reference in its niche.
It is important to remember that the objective, in general, is not the direct sale of a product, but the positioning of the brand in a different way. It is about developing a good relationship with the public.
Striking Branded Content Examples
1. Intel and the human processor
The disclosure of the launch of a new computer processor needs to be thought out very carefully, because if the content released is very technical, the general public that buys these machines will not have the slightest interest. In the meantime, if it is too vague, it will not be possible to see the product’s differential.
Therefore, Intel innovated with an action that mixed the online and offline world. The proposal was to present a computer that thought like a human.
For this reason, rapper Emicida was invited to do a show for 150 people, which was broadcast live over the internet, while the online audience sent words that should be included in the rhyme via Twitter. The artist’s brainwaves were captured and projected on stage, showing that the computer would work with similar reasoning.
The hashtag came first in TrendTopics and got about 2 million views.
2. O Boticário and the beauty that transforms
The beauty products brand O Boticário organized an action in Rio de Janeiro, producing an exciting video to be published on the internet. The brand joined the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) for a somewhat bold move.
A dance was organized for several girls who were turning 15, who lived in Morro da Providência. All birthdays were received at the National Historical Museum to receive a kit with beauty products, in addition to being made up by professionals.
The documentary called “Beauty that transforms” shows the difficult reality faced by residents, showing the importance of girls feeling valued, even when the world does not seem to care.
3. Volvo and confidence in its vehicles
Swedish Volvo also worked very well on this strategy. In one of its various actions, the brand invited actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, famous for his action films, to show that his trucks had one of the safest directions on the market.
The video, which was shared on social media in 2013, shows the actor doing a split – full leg spread on the ground – while two trucks passed by him, at an extremely short distance. The result was a video that hit 90 million views and a scene that could have been a hit movie.
The result was the reinforcement of the information that Volvo has one of the safest trucks on the market, which is excellent for the company’s image and sales.
Tips for effective Branded Content
As with any other strategy related to the marketing world, there is no magic formula for producing content focused on branding. However, there are some issues that need to be remembered to ensure good results:
- Always think about the essence behind the product
- Understand the difficulties and needs of the public
- Create an empathetic relationship
- Working with mental triggers
- Find the brand or product differential
- Be creative and innovative
Content marketing and a focus on the customer experience
Unlike a good Branded Content strategy, Content Marketing produces material that will not always be directly linked to the company’s image.
The proposal here is completely different, despite maintaining the focus on the relationship with the public and on the promotion of the brand subjectively.
This production is focused on solving problems for a consumer, who does not need to know the brand to reach it as a solution to something that is going on.
Content Marketing is directly linked to the consumer’s journey.
It is a buying process that goes from the identification of a pain, something that needs to be solved, to the identification of a solution and, finally, the finding of a product that will satisfy exactly that individual’s need.
It is the production of relevant material that will be delivered to a consumer in a moment of doubt, encouraging them to make a purchase decision through different contents.
The idea here is to be useful to the potential customer, showing that that brand has a product that will solve their problems in some way.
A good example of this situation may be a brand of organic products that needs to position itself as one that will bring greater quality of life for people. Thus, it must produce content about natural life, diets, well-being and the advantages of consuming organic foods.
A person who searches on Google, for example, about “how to be healthier”, “how to improve my diet”, etc., can reach this company’s website and learn about its products as a result of their search.
Of course, this attraction through Google is just one of several possibilities.
Content Marketing can be used in blogs, social networks, email marketing, Youtube and several other channels. It is enough that relevant content is produced that does not deal only with the benefits of the brand, showing the products as an end to the problem already identified by the consumer.
As long as the public is attracted to the brand by identifying a problem, find a viable solution through the information offered by the company (regardless of the acquisition channel) and, finally, be converted by presenting the brand differentials through some material produced by the company, it is a content marketing strategy.
The objectives of a content marketing strategy
The goals of Content Marketing, as you might imagine by now, can be many.
The focus of this production is to offer relevant information to the persona, whether it is to make a purchase, learn about the brand or ask a question before making a decision.
However, it is important to be clear about what is intended to be achieved so that the results are analyzed later. Among the most common are:
- Perception of the brand as an authority: when a brand is able to remove all doubts from an individual about the functioning of a product, its advantages and how it should be used, it creates the feeling that it is an expert in the market niche in which it operates, ensuring greater confidence the consumer when making the decision to close a deal with the brand;
- Improvement of the brand’s organic reach: when producing relevant content on a given subject, which is not directly related to the promotion of a product, the organic reach of this material is something to be expected. It is very common to combine Content Marketing strategies with Inbound Marketing, precisely for this reason. If your brand produces content that answers questions that people are asking on the internet, just find a way to reach them;
- Support customer service: the production of rich content that answers consumer questions also helps to significantly reduce customer service costs, because instead of providing a specialist to answer the public in real time, just produce a text that answers the questions and make it available to the client. Thus, the problem will be solved with greater agility and in a more dynamic way;
- Generation of public engagement: the public feels more engaged when they have access to rich content, which helps them make smart buying decisions, instead of just finding advertisements with the advantages offered by a brand. Internet users who reach the content and recognize its relevance, will quickly become promoters of the brand;
- Increases the conversion of potential customers: imagine a running fanatic who finds a blog full of sports tips, clothing and tennis tips and directions to improve your performance. If this blog is from an e-commerce that offers these products, the visitor will be easily transformed into a customer. That is, a significant increase in the company’s sales.
The objective will depend on the company’s need and, of course, it is possible to combine more than one of them to maximize the positive results.
It is important to remember that, according to the needs of the brand, the chosen objective must guide the characteristics of the production and the performance metrics to be followed.
Examples of successful content marketing
1. Hellmann’s helps you cook
Going far beyond producing a blog with recipes and cooking tips, Hellmann’s decided to innovate. The brand merged with the supermarket chain St. Marché, in the city of São Paulo, showing that it is possible to build consumer loyalty using content.
The proposal consisted of the following: if the customer left the supermarket with only a jar of branded mayonnaise, he would receive any recipe to show how the product could be used.
But the most incredible part of the whole strategy is that if the customer bought other food products, like bread or chicken for example, the brand sent a recipe in which the mayonnaise was used with the remaining goods in the cart, making the experience of the cart even easier. consumer in the kitchen and showing different ways to use the Hellmann’s pot.
This is an example of Content Marketing that aims at engagement and loyalty, since the consumer already knows and buys the brand’s products.
2. Patagoia and the natural lifestyle
The sportswear brand Patagonia is an excellent example of a brand that produces Content Marketing on different channels. Its audience is formed by a group of people who are interested in adventure and nature, since they sell clothes and accessories for the practice of sport in the most diverse environments.
The company used this strategy long before it became a trend. The brand’s blog was launched in 2005, exploring themes focused on environmental issues and, later, tips on sports.
The public’s engagement was the result achieved, reinforcing the concept of the spirit of conscious adventure.
In addition, all of these issues are also addressed in other social networks. On Tumblr, for example, the brand’s consumers themselves share their stories by giving testimonials about situations they spent wearing Patagonian clothes.
In other words, the brand strategy does not only generate conversion, but also a healthier relationship with the public, being respected for sharing the same principles.
3. HubSpot as an expert in the niche market
HubSpot has one of the most famous marketing tools on the market today, being marketed in countries around the world. Therefore, it needed to position itself as an expert in its niche market, gaining the trust of professionals in the area.
Therefore, the company started producing content in different formats to attract this audience.
In addition to blogs that address much more than marketing automation – objective of the company’s tool – articles are published on various topics: branding, advertising, content, etc.
That is, whenever a professional has a question, they are there to answer. This makes it recognized as a specialist, who knows how good automation should be developed.
After all, what does it take to have successful Content Marketing?
In summary, Content Marketing requires the brand to think about the consumer before thinking about itself.
By recognizing the real reason why people buy your product, it is possible to start producing material that meets their demands.
This is a more focused strategy for conversion after contact with the content, however it must be elaborated with extra care to guarantee the public’s trust, showing that the product or service offered will make a significant difference in your routine.
Some important tips for developing efficient planning are:
- Build a persona based on customer data;
- Present the product as a consultant, not a salesperson;
- Understand how the consumer journey works;
- Focus actions on solving persona problems;
- Demonstrate the added value that the product offers;
- Attract the audience in a natural and contextualized way.
Branded Content X Content Marketing: who won the battle?
The truth is that both strategies have their advantages and it is not possible to say, in a generalized way, which companies should invest. It is necessary to analyze the situation, define the objectives, understand the public demand and, finally, reach a conclusion.
However, it is possible to indicate the best strategy based on the needs of the brand. So, come on …
Reflect on the following issues and understand what YOUR demand is.
A brand needs a good marketing strategy Branded Content When…
- It is necessary to create recognition of the brand among the public
- The company wants to demonstrate its values
- The idea is to launch a product or make a advertisement in a different way
- If you want to escape the traditional advertising
- There is a need to to transform the company’s image in the market
On the other hand, the brand needs to create a strategy for Content Marketing When…
- Do you want to create a relationship closer to the consumer
- Need to have greater authority in your niche
- Would you like to attract the audience in a more natural and contextualized way
- It is necessary reduce the cost of acquisition per customer
- It’s needed to educate the market about the usefulness of the product or service offered
Of course, at times these goals are mixed and it is possible to use one or the other strategy to achieve them.
This is because the production of content for each brand will be done in a unique way, in search of the creation of its identity and directed to its specific audience.
The most interesting thing, in fact, is to merge the two possibilities. After all, relevant content never hurts. A well-produced material is capable of generating much more engagement and, consequently, an opportunity to purchase than an advertisement.
So, the tip is: study the possibilities and understand the demand of your brand. Only then will it be possible to define the ideal strategy to achieve the established objective.
Also check out excellent content on digital marketing planning. After all, once you’ve decided which is the best content type option, you’ll need to get your hands dirty!