Branded content gets 86% recall, compared to commercials’ 65%.
86% of people skip adverts on TV these days, if they watch TV at all. As for online advertising, with things like AdBlocker, that number could be even higher. While advertising and paid online content can still make impressive conversions, branded content gets 86% recall, compared to commercials’ 65%. Branded content, like videos, articles and other kinds of online media are a far more genuine way of raising your brand awareness and letting people know about the quality of your work. Why focus on an outdated form of promotion when this more innovative, creative content brings you a much higher Return on Investment?
Why branded content?
While the use of advertising has only increased in recent years, it’s become far less effective. Fewer people use the same media that they used to, with 13.7% of all sales globally now taking place totally online. That means marketers have to use new tools like podcasts, articles, videos, photos, web series, virtual reality, and other different kinds of online media.
What’s more, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising at all. They want to see genuine commitment to the company’s field. Popular new businesses like Netflix drive customer attention by producing their own brand content, showing their expertise and giving a ‘human face’ to their work.
The biggest branded content trends of 2019
Telling a story
Stories can be a full 22% more effective than facts.
All your content needs to be telling a story one way or another. It’s a simple narrative: you’re aiming to raise interest, make customers desire your product, and then buy it. Whether you’re selling products, services, software, you can draw out a story and show the authenticity and quality of your work. Stories can be a full 22% more effective than facts.
© Warby Parker
Many brands decide to do this by showing how their products are made. Warby Parker, the start-up glasses manufacturer, has an excellent, detailed section of their website dedicated to showing how they’re made, letting you see each detail of the process and all the materials that go into one pair. For the average viewer, this is showing the real commitment the brand has to its craft.
Using personal experiences
The best way you can humanize your company like this is by creating content dedicated to the experiences of your past customers and clients where they give their own impressions of your work. Not only is this minimal effort, but it shows clear experience and the reliable testimonies of clients that you can stylize to have as great an impact on customers as possible.
© Airbnb Community
Just take Airbnb, for example. The company wanted to focus its marketing on the personal experiences of its customers and put them at the focus of its branded content, so they created Airbnb Community. The page showcases different clients’ and property owners’ time using the service and shows expertise while doing so. 89% of millennials trust the testimonies of people more than brands, after all.
Making a social statement
61% of millennials are more likely to shop with a brand sharing their values
You don’t have to be totally disingenuous and attach your brand to a cause that has nothing to do with your work, but making a statement and sending a message to your audience has been extremely successful for certain brands. 61% of millennials feel a personal responsibility for making a difference in the world and are more likely to shop with a brand sharing their values.
Take Dove, for example, whose Real Beauty campaign focused on putting people of different body types at the forefront of content, attempting to create much more inclusive social standards of beauty. In one video, they got an FBI sketch artist to draw women how they described themselves, then how a stranger described them. This particular bit of content became the 3rd most shared video of 2013, and to date has 180 million views. Dove became a major talking point across the internet, meaning more and more people were considering their brand and, of course, going on to make a purchase.
Turning company events into online content
A large conference or an office party can be good for improving your internal employee involvement in work and raising your profile in the professional world, but it doesn’t get average customers onboard. That’s where the Internet becomes key.
If you turn interviews, speeches, analyses and other parts of major events into media you put online, it stays there forever and works as advertising twofold: the event gets more traction, and you get more content to show your expertise. Synchrony did just this with its collaboration with CNBC on the State of Pay series of events, all of which were shown on the CNBC website.
Guestwriting to target your audience
Content published through professionals gets 50% higher brand lift
If you produce some kind of content that is independent from, but relevant to your work, you can easily build confidence in potential customers by showing you already have a certain level of experience in the field. Not only that, but you could increase your brand awareness from people simply looking for your information on your kind of services that don’t know about you already. That’s why branded content published through professionals gets a 50% higher brand lift than other content.
Consider how Netflix wrote an article on the daily experiences of female inmates in the US prison system for The New York Times while releasing a new series of Orange is the New Black. It wasn’t advertising - it was straight journalism on actual lives across America and aimed to be as objective as possible - but it was clearly related to the program Netflix was releasing. It wasn’t even an article aimed at attracting customers: anyone interested in the subject matter could have seen it and used it as information in itself, and they did. It ended up being read by over 1 million people, creating interest in the subject matter that Netflix was then able to convert into viewers of their fictional story on the subject and then into sales.
Building new partnerships
You have to think outside the box. It’s not as simple these days as just finding competitors or people that work in related fields and getting them to share your content. You have to reach out to make content with partners that might surprise you at first to build a much wider and more varied target audience.
When Marvel released its new Runaways series, they collaborated with both Hulu, an online streaming platform, and rideshare company Lyft. Both of these might seem unlikely partners, but by bringing the three together in their content all 3 managed to make extra revenue by appealing to the audiences of the others - Lyft got more Marvel fans, Marvel got more Lyft users, and Hulu got more streaming revenue from both. It may seem weird, but it’s a perfect symbiotic relationship.
Using several different channels at once
If you’re producing branded content, you can get it out on different journals and sites to increase your reach by leveraging existing readerships. The wider the range the better! You don’t want to repeat yourself, but bearing in mind your target audience may not always be using the exact media every time, spreading out like this makes sure no one gets left behind.
© The Bump
This was carried out pretty effectively by a recent partnership between Ally Bank and The Studio at XO on their We're in this Together project. The network ended up producing content on three different sites - The Bump, The Nest and The Knot - which all featured similar content for similar audiences but spread evenly across different channels to make sure they reached as much of their target as possible
Letting visuals do the talking
People retain 65% of the information they see in images or videos,
Whatever kind of work your company is involved in, visuals are the number one way for you to get it across to future customers online. People retain 65% of the information they see in images or videos, compared to a much lower 11% for aural or written info. You can’t just leave it up to a well-written blog article or an entertaining podcast; people want to see compelling and relevant visuals to really understand the work you do.
© Red Bull
Just look at the work Red Bull does to put their brand on different content around the internet. Currently Red Bull does far more work filming with extreme sports specialists and street artists than it does any advertising of the drink itself. Their brand appears alongside all kinds of eye-catching content, creating a brand image and general atmosphere to the product, rather than trying to sell an energy drink itself.
It’s the visuals that can really make branded content work. Casual browsers on the internet looking for pure entertainment will see your company, right there next to what they want. 51% of marketers are already prioritizing visual content for their strategies as you read this!
Why not choose Meero’s solutions for your branded content?
Clients that have used Meero’s services have seen their click-through rate increase by 2.8x
This is where Meero comes in. As you’ve seen, branded content has a much more dramatic impact on your online presence than simple advertising that most people just ignore. To really make it effective, however, and eventually convert into revenues, you need to have high-quality Visuals for your brand. Research from the company Skyword found, for example, that businesses using dynamic, interesting visual content had an average 94 percent more views than boring, purely demonstrative photos.
Meero is exactly the kind of simple, dynamic, high-volume solution for a branded-content strategy to take off. We’re an international startup and community of over 58,000 photographers around the world, so no matter where your premises are, we’ll have an image professional ready and available to provide you with any of the visual content you need anytime you need it.
Our service allows you to order a photoshoot or video session wherever and whenever you want, and get content back within 24 hours, no matter the volume. Say goodbye to briefings, invoicing and billing - Meero handles the whole process with our intuitive platform that puts all your content in one place. Meero’s all-in-one visual content solution is just the key to an effective branded content strategy online.