Preferences of today’s generation are no longer the same. They have changed over the period. As a result of this changing preference, marketing has changed too. Traditional ways of advertising are no longer in use as the millennials don’t like intensive selling techniques. They are more attracted to a pleasant experience with brands. Based on their skills, they build a relationship with them. It is more about relevant and meaningful connections than just buying something and forgetting at the end.
Brands do just like that using branded content. It’s an era when the audience is blocking the 24*7 advertisement chase using ad blockers; branded content has become a saviour that has a positive impact on people.
Let’s know more about it in detail and differentiate between branded content and native advertising.
We all know that ‘content is king“ But you need to keep in mind that every type of content isn’t king. According to a study, 34% of customers are more likely to take an unplanned purchase decision if a brand personalizes its content. Right here, the idea of branded content kicks in.
In the marketing sphere, branded content is perhaps a new term. However, people confuse it with native advertising. Therefore, we will discuss branded content first and see how businesses unleash their power.
Here it goes. Branded content is nothing like traditional advertising. It is a suitable option for a saturated market sphere. It can include anything from a video, article, graphics, podcast, or any content that enhances consumer’s experience and helps in establishing a relationship with the business.
A branded content evokes the emotions of the audience regularly and influences them to go to the brand. Here, the brand doesn’t reach out to the audience, but the audience does. In fact, the content is created in such a way that it does not focus on making a sale. Instead, it educates, engages, and entertains the audience on a different level.
Lego Movie is one of the best examples of content marketing at its finest. Of course with branded content! The building blocks of childhood turned out to be the building blocks of success for the company.
Of course, the use of logos made the emotional connection bigger. The brand brought our yesteryear’s plaything to life and presented it to us in an entertaining way.
This brand-specific content had people so much fun that they forgot it’s a marketing trick. There have been a couple of more movies like the Lego Ninjago and Lego Batman.
The following are the attributes of branded content which differentiate it from others.
It generates conversation
One of the most critical factors of branded content is that it creates a buzz focused on the brand, not the sale. If people mention, share and view your content that means it has established a conversation with them. You can use the same key metrics to measure the success of your campaign.
It targets the value propositions, not the product
Today’s audience is smarter than ever. So, branded content helps them find some value either in an informative or entertaining way. It’s the kind of content people are attracted towards and look forward to consuming it.
It evokes emotions
As said earlier, branded content doesn’t focus on sales; it attracts the audience by evoking their emotions. Instead of providing rational arguments, it connects the audience on a personal level.
It tells a tale
The Lego Movie example is actually a story that the brand tells. There is no doubt that it’s all about lego, but the story involves the brand in a subtle suitable way. And, as we see, the audience isn’t forced to buy it but enjoy it. So, branded content tells the story that includes the brand but in a smarter way.
It is data-driven
It’s the era of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Marketers are done with the guesswork to create a campaign. Data helps a brand to create a story and measure its response through its campaign.
It includes collaboration & sponsorship
Brands collaborate with influencers or other brands regularly as a strategy to amplify their reach. Branded content helps in that.
Effectiveness of Branded Content
Traditional methods of marketing a product to the audience are becoming outdated. Marketers have started newer methods of introducing content to the audience have come up. For example, sponsored posts on social media, billboards, advertising emails, display ads and a lot more. However, you won’t check each of them proactively, would you?
But there are some content pieces that you would go after and look for. Let’s talk for an example: Dove’s Real Beauty video campaign. It’s yet another example of branded content. This video showed an artist drawing the sketches of women based on their descriptions.
In the next phase, the artist created the same women’s portraits. However, this time, strangers described them. The difference between these two sketches was outstanding. This video campaign went viral as expected and garnered 50 million views in just 12 days of its release.
When branded content puts forth such a story, it also makes you come back for more. Since it doesn’t revolve around a forceful sales concept, the audience gains trust in the brand. That’s how branded content works effectively.
Branded Content vs Native Advertising – Differences
People often get confused between these two terms. But there lie differences between the two. Understanding the differences helps in getting the message out in the right way at the right time and right place.
Native advertising comes into play when marketers understand that the customers have evolved and can quickly figure out the purpose of an ad.
Native advertising is a form of paid media. However, the advertisement gives a subtle hint of its paid nature. Native ads, on the other hand, do not appear like ads. They camouflage themselves in something interactive and focus more on user experience. Their advertising content doesn’t include sale but tells a tale. In simple language, it informs and doesn’t hurt or chase the audience as other advertisements do.
Suppose that you’re specialized in logo design. If you give logo design ideas to other designers using interactive Facebook sponsored posts, but in a subtle way, you ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, it is native advertising.
Here is an example of native advertising.
KPMG appearing on the BrandVoice page of Forbes is a brilliant example of native advertising. The platform is dedicated to sponsored content. Along with KPMG, many other brands such as Deloitte, SAP, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and more have their dedicated BrandVoice channels.
With the “The Great Rewrite” campaign, KPMG has revolutionized its native content. The appearance is big and bold (ideal for native advertising), and it has a different topic related to various industries. It shows how those topics are rewritten after innovation. The campaign is easy to navigate with a rich look and feel.
Remember, the campaign makes a point here. It focuses on connecting the brand with upcoming innovations while adding new topics about different sectors. In every chapter, you will find different types of content such as featured articles, videos along with content recommendations. That’s a brilliant example of native advertising.
The sole purpose of native advertising is leading to creation and sales generation. It leverages other platforms besides the brand’s own platform to place a paid ad like you want to place an ad on Google AdWords for book cover designs or other products or services. On the other hand, the branded content is published on its channels.
Here is the most apparent difference — native advertising is “sales” in nature while branded content is all about storytelling.
Don’t bother about which one of these two is better. It’s because you won’t find the right answer. The only way is to understand both to draw the attention of your audience. The most crucial factor is to understand your goals and the ability to spend on every campaign.
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