A lot has been said about this new buzz that everybody is defining in their own language. A term that emerged in 2001, branded content is a form of advertising which does not sell the product directly to a customer but rather beats around the bush only to arrive at the same point. It seeks to win the emotions of a customer into buying the product rather than them analyzing it from features/benefit perspective. Branded content employs different techniques such as storytelling, entertainment and journalism to get the message across. For example, a brand will go a long way to describe challenges that a customer undergoes then pop up the product as a solution. This is a trend that is emerging in marketing and advertising and luckily enough, it seems to work.
However, when dealing with branded content, it is important to consider a well rounded content because it is aimed at producing a positive association between the brand and the audience so that it convinces them to buy. Failure to achieve this will lead to the method backfiring and be left with a damage control to do, which is why many brands use a content marketing agency.
To go around this; you need to present the brand without being too salesy but still promotional enough to make them aware that it is from you and balance both so that the customer may not feel tricked at the end.
This is not easy, but when done correctly, it is entertaining, compelling and interesting needless to say; the results will also be pretty good.
The secret lies in knowing or understanding your customers deeply so that you are able to relate with them in a personal level and deliver that which they truly want. Branded content can work alongside other advertising techniques such as traditional advertising, banner ads and native adverts in order to reach a wider audience. It works very well with social media marketing since content generated are normally sharable in these platforms.