What is branded content?

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Seth Godin

Many businesses are producing online content, but most of them struggle to get conversions from it. Why? That’s because they fail to produce content that’s on-brand and memorable.

So in this article, let’s take a peek into branded content and how it can help you take your content from good to absolutely mindblowing.

Are you ready? Let’s go.

What is branded content?

Branded content is the art and science of publishing content, that is, in sync with your brand’s core values. It speaks in the voice of your brand.
Besides being infotainment for your target audience, it reflects your brand’s personality.

➔ It could be humorous and fun, or it could be authoritative and straightforward.
➔ It follows your brand’s color palette and other style guidelines.

Here’s the bottom line: when someone comes across a piece of branded content, they know it’s coming from a specific brand. That’s because it exudes that distinct aroma and flavour.

Let’s now understand branded content with the help of an example.

What is an example of branded content?

Have you noticed the uniqueness of content produced by brands like Red Bull, Starbucks, Coca Cola or Apple? These brands have, over the years, sailed along consistently with their core values. As a result, they’ve used powerful brand identities and infused them with their content marketing strategy. For instance,

➔ Redbull’s content stands for extreme sports and adventure.
➔ Coca-Cola produces content that showcases its values around happiness.
➔ Starbucks sticks with warmth and belongingness.
➔ Apple’s branded content conveys creative innovation.

Branded content paves the way for a marketer to make content stand out from the competition. It helps you make prospects notice your business.

But branded content isn’t a form of advertising. Let’s learn about it in the next section.

Branded content vs. native advertising

Well, branded content and advertising are not the same. Here’s how:

➔ The focus of advertising is to promote specific products and services. An advertising message highlights the key USPs of any product or service.
➔ On the other hand, branded content helps you educate the target audience to solve their problems. This way, branded content enables you to build a relationship with prospective customers.
➔ Advertising is an intrusive form of brand communication, while branded content is non-invasive and user-friendly. In addition, branded content attracts audience loyalty towards a business.

Let’s now take a peek into the key differences between branded content and content marketing.

Branded content vs. content marketing

Although branded content is a part of the overall concept of content marketing, it’s what makes content marketing a lot more relevant in today’s times.

➔ Branded content entails that each piece of online content you produce aligns with your brand’s unique voice.
➔ It is branded content that makes content marketing more authentic and trustworthy. It distinguishes your content in a crowded content landscape.

So, you can’t just do content marketing and expect great results unless you produce and publish on-brand content. Let’s move ahead and understand some of the key advantages of branded content.

Advantages of branded content

When you consistently publish and promote branded content, it becomes the key to getting more conversions for your business.

➔ Branded content, unlike ads, is something that the audience willfully consumes. So whether they subscribe to your newsletter or your YouTube channel, your potential customers start taking an active interest in your brand and its content.
➔ Branded content entertains the audience by telling them engaging stories. It helps to build a deeper emotional bond with your target group. You can create a community of those who resonate with your brand voice and have similar values.
➔ Branded content attracts more and relevant website traffic adding more people to your sales funnel.
➔ It’s through branded content that you can create a distinct brand positioning in a competitive market. Moreover, such positioning helps build a positive reputation for your business, which fetches you recurring sales and revenue in the long run.
➔ Content aligned with your brand voice helps you engage with key stakeholders like employees, partners, agencies, and shareholders. In addition, it enables you to build trust with all company stakeholders. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in attracting the right people to your organization who share similar values and work towards making your vision a success.

In short, branded content tells people who you are and creates a powerful identity in their minds. It’s how you’re able to build a business that solves people’s problems and maintains strong and lasting relationships with them. Are you wondering if branded content is only for the big brands like Starbucks and Lufthansa? Let’s take a look at how every business can create branded content and start competing with much bigger players in their industry.

How to make every content piece on-brand without losing your mind?

Making every content piece on a brand is indeed no piece of cake. Most small and growing businesses fail to produce branded content. That’s why they struggle to get any tangible business outcomes from their content marketing efforts.

Here are some challenges that businesses face when making their content on-brand:

➔ Many businesses do not have a set of solid brand guidelines that their teams can follow. Even if they do, these guidelines aren’t always available to all company employees and stakeholders at all times.
➔ Sharing brand guidelines and assets like company logos and product pictures with employees and stakeholders remains a big task for marketing managers.
➔ Imagine a situation where a brand’s social media team does not have access to the latest version of the brand logo?
➔ Sometimes sales teams find it hard to get a pitch deck that’s on-brand. So at times, they end up creating a shoddy presentation all by themselves.

Therefore, as a growing business, you can only dream of a real solution to all these bottlenecks that come your way every single day. And trust me, you’re not alone. Many small and medium enterprises struggle because most of their brand assets are scattered in different locations.

Do you have no clue about how a brand portal functions?

Then, you can check out this article about what a brand portal is and why it is so essential for your business.

➔ Our solutions offer you a single source of truth for your brand. It means all company employees can access your brand assets along with the guidelines to use them through one single platform.
➔ Don’t get confused; a portal is not the same as a website. Instead, it offers you a platform where users can log in with their unique IDs and access the relevant information at the right time.
➔ Plus, you have complete control over all content assets. That means you can manage user permissions and see who’s using what and when.

So, you don’t need to spend your entire day sharing important files over email.

➔ With Smint.io portal solutions, you can create a cost-effective content-sharing solution in just a few days.
➔ And unlike other portal solutions, Smint.io Portals do not need you to have any technical knowledge or an IT backup to start and run a content portal platform.

Are you ready to start sharing branded content for your business?

Here’s what you can do—self signup to portals and get going in an instant.

Christina Holzner

Christina is our Chief Marketing Officier and loves great brand experiences & life hacks.

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