Branded content is fast becoming more than just a shiny new marketing tool. If executed well, it allows brands to do more than just get their message into the right hands, it gives them access to the kinds of inter-consumer conversations that previously, they could only have dreamed of. But for branded content to inspire any kind of action it needs a point-of-view that is passionate and authentic. Say Media’s UK Solutions Director Carla Faria shares five quick tips to get you started.
1. Articles are the new homepage
Don’t waste time trying to drive readers to a homepage or landing page to discover great content. Readers navigate through the pipes of the web with search and social. Take advantage of where they wash up. Each channel has its merits, so understand the context and exploit them.
2. Communities create their own ‘native’ language
One thing that elevates a strong editorial property above the throng is its resonant voice… that identifiable mother tongue that is evident in every sentence, image or piece of video. It’s vital to respect these social norms, because once a readers feels invested enough in a digital magazine, they will join the conversation and speak that language too. If the style and tone of a piece of branded content jars, it could be the difference between acceptance and exile.
3. Transparency is your most valuable currency
Content needs to come from a place of truth. Readers are the arbiters of success, and trust is their most valued possession. They are sharp, intuitive and quick to reveal disingenuous content when it shows up. Great editors are honest and forthright with their communities and great advertisers are happy to join in with open transparency.
4. Influential branded content is not created by a factory
When you have an opportunity to connect with individuals in a community, be more mindful of what you say than how frequently you are saying it. Cheaper by the dozen may work for a standard media buying strategy, but here, it is usually synonymous with a lack of authenticity. Content with a strong point of view is personal, authentic, opinionated and, therefore, conversational.
5. Great content will find its audience
What’s the point in building a cathedral in the desert? A beautiful, thoughtfully crafted piece of content will undoubtedly be loved by the readers of the site on which it lives… but it deserves much more appreciation. We believe in creating accountable scale through opt-in ad experiences and by allowing advertisers to take that content and use it on their own brand channels across the web.
Branded content created in the right way by the right people works. Not every piece of content will be universally loved, but that’s alright – it doesn’t need to be. There’s so much content out there that marketers should never feel the need to please everyone when they embark on a branded content campaign. Having a point of view fast-tracks engagement. It makes readers feel something and inevitably compels them to take action.
By Carla Faria
UK Solutions Director