Branded content and content marketing are two of the most effective ways to build a successful digital marketing strategy. While they share some similarities, there are also some key differences between the two that must be understood to get the most out of your campaigns.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of both branded content and content marketing, discuss why each is essential for a successful digital marketing strategy, and look at strategies for creating effective campaigns. We’ll also cover how to measure success for each type of content so you can optimize your efforts over time.
Definition of branded content and content marketing.
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, and businesses must adapt their strategies to keep up with the latest trends.
One of the most important aspects of any digital marketing strategy is content creation, which can be divided into two main categories: branded content and content marketing.
Both have different benefits for businesses, but it’s important to understand their differences to maximize your efforts and achieve success.
Brand marketing: AKA branded content.
Branded content refers to any type of media created by or on behalf of a brand that promotes its products or services in an entertaining or informative way. This could include videos, articles, images, social media posts, etc. All are designed with the purpose of engaging customers while also promoting brand awareness.
Branded content has become increasingly popular as it allows brands to effectively communicate their message without being overly promotional. Something to which consumers tend not to respond well these days.
Branded content can create positive associations with a brand by conveying values such as trustworthiness and authenticity. Both are key factors for customer loyalty and long-term business success.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable content with the aim of attracting, retaining, and engaging customers. This type of marketing usually involves creating educational content or informative content that provides customers with useful information related to your business. The ultimate goal of a content marketing strategy is to generate leads and convert them into customers.
Benefits of brand marketing.
You’ve seen branded content before. It’s becoming increasingly popular as a way for companies to create an emotional connection with their customers. It also helps them build trust with their target audience.
The benefits of branded content include the following—
- Increased brand awareness
- Improved customer loyalty
- Greater visibility in search engine results
- More credibility within your industry
A branded content campaign will aim for tangible results—namely, to build brand loyalty and drive sales. It’s more of a long-term lead-generation approach. As more people know your business’s name and brand, they’ll talk about it, and more people will flock to it.
Benefits of content marketing.
However, on the other end of the spectrum is content marketing, which is more of a short-term strategy. Content marketing involves creating and distributing engaging content that provides value to your target audience. Unlike branded content, it’s not designed with the intention of promoting a product or service.
The primary benefit of content marketing is
- increased visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs)
- better lead generation
- improved customer engagement
- increased authority in your industry
Content marketing is a great way to generate leads and increase conversions. This is because it provides useful information that customers are looking for and establishes trust with them. For example, if you’re a dentist, you might share authoritative content on your site that people are actively searching for. They read your article, associate your business with expertise, and schedule their next appointment with you.
Creating an effective branded content and content marketing strategy.
This is a lot easier said than done, but there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your strategy is successful.
For branded content, focus on creating high-quality and engaging content that people will actually want to watch or read. Don’t be overly promotional—instead, use stories and visuals to convey your message.
One thing we really like to see businesses we work with do is take photos of their team in action. For this, you’ll want to have your employees engaged with customers and everyone wearing professional attire (branded shirts, etc.). You’re giving an image of your brand and how it is to work with you. The caption on the photo doesn’t have to be overly salesy. In fact you might not want it to be. However, potential customers will see what you do and how your team carries themselves.
For content marketing, focus on providing valuable information that will help your customers make decisions. Be sure to research the topics that your target audience is interested in and create content accordingly. This is where keyword research plays a major role. You’ll want to use keywords that are relevant to your industry and have high search volume.
Measuring success with branded content and content marketing.
There are a few metrics to look at to measure the success of your branded content and content marketing campaigns.
For branded content, you’ll want to focus on engagement metrics like likes, shares, comments, and views. These will give you an idea of how well people are connecting with your content and what kind of emotional reaction it’s eliciting. You’ll also use a tool such as SEMRush or Google Search Console to see how many times a month people are searching for your business name.
To effectively measure the success of a content marketing campaign, you should focus on metrics such as organic traffic to your website, conversions, and leads. You can also use tools such as Google Analytics to track the number of page views for each article or blog post. This will show you which pages/articles are performing the best and allow you to tweak them to convert the potential customers to existing customers.
Examples of effective branded content and content marketing campaigns.
If you’re confused, don’t worry. We’ll give you a few examples of successful content marketing and branded content campaigns to get your creative juices flowing. Keep in mind that these are big companies that mix a bit of traditional advertising with their brand story. Not only that, they they also have massive budgets. However, maybe these examples will give you some inspiration for how branded content vs. content marketing can make an impact on your business and brand identity.
One example of successful branded content is Red Bull’s Stratos campaign, which saw an Austrian daredevil skydive from the edge of space. The campaign was a huge success, with millions of people tuning in to watch the live stream or visiting the website to watch the video. The campaign generated a lot of buzz and brought tons of organic traffic to Red Bull’s website. The idea of a man jumping from the edge of space doesn’t generate sales directly, but it builds on the brand’s personality and brand identity, which can be leveraged in future promotions.
A classic example of effective content marketing is Volvo’s The True Cost Of Ownership campaign, which used content marketing to target potential car buyers. They created videos that explored different aspects of owning and operating a Volvo, such as maintenance costs and repair bills. Sure, there are aspects of both branded content and content marketing (we sometimes call this branded content marketing), but the focus here was on providing valuable information to potential customers. The result? Volvo saw a 12% increase in sales year-over-year, and the campaign cost around 20x less than an average TV commercial.
At the end of the day, branded content and content marketing are essential for any successful digital marketing strategy.
Tips for integrating both types of digital media into your overall digital strategy.
We wouldn’t leave you hanging without any tips and tricks to get the most out of both branded content and content marketing campaigns. Here are a few key tips to keep in mind:
- Focus on quality over quantity – Quality is always better than quantity in digital media. Spend time crafting compelling stories and creating visually appealing designs that draw people in and make them want to click, watch, or read your content.
- Utilize multiple channels – Don’t just stick to one channel when it comes to promoting your content. Use different platforms like social media, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and paid advertising to ensure that your message reaches the right people in the most effective way possible.
- Focus on the customer journey – Think about the customer journey and make sure you are creating content that is relevant to each stage. This will ensure that you are providing customers with the information they need when they need it, which will help them along their path to purchase.
- Test, measure, and optimize – Make sure to conduct trials of your content and record their feedback. This will inform you which pages/articles bring the most results, subsequently allowing you to adjust them into lucrative conversions for would-be customers.
Start your content strategy with a strategic marketing approach.
Many small businesses jump straight to traditional advertising without thinking about what profitable customer action they want to encourage.
Before you start creating content, take a step back and consider what kind of digital marketing strategy will be most effective for your business.
Take the time to research and define your target audience, identify their primary needs or pain points, and create an action plan with clear goals.
This will help you design campaigns that are tailored to reach a clearly defined audience and enhance your brand image while you’re at it.