WITH THE VALUE OF THE BRANDED CONTENT MARKET SET TO TRIPLE OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS, IT'S NO WONDER THAT BRANDS ARE ENGAGING IN A LAND GRAB FOR PRIME ONLINE REAL ESTATE. BUT IN THE RACE FOR FRONT OF MIND - MORE IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER.
Content that serves only to exist, instead of engage, and that is not part of a broader communications strategy can easily get lost in the noise. That’s why we’ve pulled together these 4 guidelines to help you develop better branded content.
1. Create “with” the audience, not “for” the audience
As you try to gain brand awareness, your audience shouldn't be your 'audience' per se, but rather your collaborators. By involving the consumer in the creation of the product, brands can cultivate a sense of connection that can't be replicated after the fact. Something as simple as a hash tag for your #content, coupled with competitions or promotions, makes it easy for consumers to follow the creative process and interact with your brand as it is establishing itself.
2. Give your audience a reason to care
When creating digital content, you have to provide a reason for your audience to digest it. Follow current events and social campaigns that are relevant to what you are creating and use them to gain an audience. The headphone manufacturer, Beats By Dre, acquired by Apple for $3bn last year, ran a successful campaign called "The Game Starts Here" coinciding with the Rugby World Cup to engage viewers in markets like Australia, New Zealand and the UK – regions where sales have typically not been as strong as its native US. The more you understand your audience, the better they’ll react to your content and then, to your brand. The more relevant content is to them, the more likely they are to interact with it.
3. Know your audience
Every audience is different – just like in real life. The South Sydney sports fans, Surry Hills hipsters and Bondi yoga mums all have their niches online where they spend time consuming content relevant to current trends and their long standing interests. While it’s important to be active on a wide range of social platforms to give your audience every chance to interact with your content, it's vital to focus time and money on being at the right place at the right time.
4. Keep your content coming
Once you have found your audience, make sure you keep them interested, engaged and entertained. Video production should never be a one off. It should always be a part of a long-term communications strategy with a designated end purpose in mind – whether that’s boosting subscribers, getting foot traffic through the door or increasing online sales. By releasing a stream of content to your audience you won’t let yourself get lost or left behind in the ever-growing market.
So take your time, do your research and then engage with your customers in a considered, purposeful and decisive way. This will make sure you get the most value-for-money from any marketing spend.