The question on the minds of brand marketers everywhere today is:
How do I tell our brand’s story in a memorable way?
At its core, branded content is storytelling. Done well, branded content taps into users’ emotions, encourages brand affinity, and builds trust.
Branded content appears across the digital ecosystem but most obviously on social media like Facebook and Instagram posts, Instagram Stories and Reels, TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube, blogs – anywhere your customers consume and engage with content.
What Is Branded Content?
Branded content is immersive and typically uses audio and video formats to capture user interest. A branded content approach can be implemented by one brand across several social media channels at the same time.
In a traditional digital or print ad, the goal is to sell a product and highlight your brand or business. With branded content, the focus is on tapping into the emotional experience of the user and building trust.
Influencer marketing is one popular method of leveraging branded content. Instead of being told to buy a product, users are briefly immersed into a lifestyle they aspire to or are curious about.
Why Use Branded Content?
More than 40% of global internet users used social media to search for brand information in 2020. Looking at specific paid social channels, 81% of people on Instagram use the platform to research products and services.
Staying visible and sharing content that is memorable, engaging, and educational can make or break the success of your brand’s ad strategy.
Branded content brings a unique twist to users’ timeline since the shared content feels organic. Seamlessly mixed in with organic content, it provides a non-disruptive user experience. Because users are familiar with influencers educating them on a product, engagement has been proven to increase with this format.
In a Facebook Case study with Kleenex, branded content led to a 67% increase in organic reach along with a 250% increase in engagement rate.
Using Branded Content With Your Paid Social Media Strategy
Good fit verticals for branded content expand far beyond the beauty or fitness industries.
Think of it this way: What business doesn’t benefit from increased word of mouth referrals, improved brand trust, and increased engagement?
Facebook and Instagram offer an easy way to explore influencer marketing and experiment with branded content. With Facebook’s Branded Content tool, advertisers can leverage influencers’ reach and impact to promote their own products and brand message.
Before diving in, being strategic with where and when to utilize this ad type is important.
1. Assess Creative
First, realistically assess your in-house capabilities to connect with influencers and create your ads. Working with influencers requires a network to connect with the influencer and receive approval from their Facebook Page.
Does it make sense to outsource part or all of these logistics? If you currently don’t have an influencer network, branded content is still within reach! ROI Revolution uses both brand networks and our partner network to connect our clients with the perfect brand fit. Send a message to our social media team to learn more!
2. Define the Story
Understanding your core message and the target demographic you want to reach is crucial in identifying which partnerships will be the most effective.
Do you want to educate shoppers? Or is your goal to tap into users’ emotional response to inspire affinity and connection with your brand or product? Maybe you’re looking to close the sale by promoting your 5-star reviews from loyal customers?
Your answer to these questions will help discern what story you’re looking to share and the best partners to help you tell it.
3. Find Your Audience
With such widespread audiences on Facebook and Instagram, you may not want to target all of your brand’s key demographics at once, as some influencers or types of content strategy may speak more effectively to a particular group than others.
Pro tip: This may be an opportunity to use demographic filters more heavily than other campaigns in your account. While best practices often require broad targeting to achieve the lowest cost per result, this style of content is a great place to incorporate detailed demographic testing to see what works best for your business.
4. Choose Your KPI
Next, the all-important question: How will you measure success? Branded content via influencer marketing generates increased engagement and you are likely to capture the attention of a user for longer. Use that data to inform your next campaign. You can use metrics like percent or time spent watching to further measure the effectiveness of your content.
There may be a lot that goes into the world of branded content, but you’re not alone. If you’re interested in partnering with our team to develop a branded content strategy and road map for testing, contact our proven digital marketing experts today to set up a consultation.
Co-authored by: Whitney Pike, Social Media Analyst.