If you currently think that branded content is just a thin veil covering the traditional advertising model – then this is a really valuable article to read. What this model brings to the table is plugging in to your audience’s needs and desires and the opportunity to become the brands that makes them feel heard and provide the solutions.
So what exactly is branded content?
In a nutshell, it’s a process that involves creating and dispersing useful, helpful, entertaining content so that it ends up reaching people who will find it valuable. Whether it’s a video, article, podcast, social media post, or story – this new wave of human-centric marketing is the answer to building an excellent brand reputation.
The goal of this is up to the business, but the most common include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Attaining prospects
- Securing leads
- Building a brand community
Clients that collaborate with us here at Videoworks have a meeting where we discuss exactly what KPIs we’re going to be delivering for them. Mapping out a campaign begins with what we want to achieve and who we want to reach.
Benefits of branded content
With advertising, companies generally send content out to their target audience without feedback. Branded contenthas distinct advantages over advertising:
- Customer intel – the easiest way to know whether you’re connecting with your target market is in the engagement rates. If your target audience is really engaged and sharing your content, then you know you’re onto a winner. Likewise, if there’s a tumbleweed response, then you know that you need to tweak your content to build a better connection. If you’re throwing content out that doesn’t have a natural space for comments and discussion, it’s that much more difficult to steer your content in the right direction.
- Less ‘salesy’ – people are very resistant to blatant adverts due to overexposure. People no longer want to be told that they need a product and service, but instead a looking for solutions. Instead of pushing products with loud adverts, success lies in connecting with your customers’ pain points, giving useful information, and showing them how your business can help.
- Builds community – more and more, we can see a shift towards conscious spending. People want whatever their purchasing to align with their personal image, morals, or ethics. Being a brand that speaks towards your target audience’s own brand allows a deeper connection.
Back in 2009, Ireland spent €74 million on digital advertising, 2019 saw that figure rise to €247 million. Clearly, Irish businesses are seeing the benefits of investing in digital marketing. However, it doesn’t matter how much money you pour into a campaign if the content isn’t outstanding. That’s why we’ve included examples of companies who are doing an incredible job in the Irish market with their award-winning branded content.
Examples of branded content
We’re all familiar with the grandiose brand that is Brown Thomas. It’s where we go for that ‘extra special treat’, when we have to seriously apologise to a spouse, or root through the rails during the Christmas sales to grab a luxury bargain. But how did this brand survive when all the other Irish luxury retail brands struggled and eventually closed as shopping became a click away?
They focused on making their customers feel special and found a way to publish these feelings on social media. Let me explain…
Here is a really solid example of bringing your audience into your brand story. It’s also a pretty seamless blend of digital and in-store engagement. By getting footfall into the store with a chance to win, you’re increasing the likelihood of securing sales. Also, you’ve got what’s known as UGC (user-generated content) going on here. Encouraging people to tell a story strengthens your brand community, generates word of mouth, and furthers your brand’s reach online.
The campaign resulted in 391 posts being generated by BT visitors on Instagram – and since each post is published on Instagrammers feeds, all of their followers see this branded post as well.
The Wild Atlantic Way
This video campaign sent chills down the spine – it was the emotive power of the videos that captured both the global and local market and sent people in their droves to travel the weather-beaten cliffs of the west coast.
What was interesting was how the campaign snowballed – being the on #WAW became the place to be. This hashtag has over 400,000 posts on Instagram. Fáilte Ireland worked to create hype and again UGC was seriously potent aspect of the campaign’s gaining traction and its explosive popularity.
As Siobhán McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, puts it: “We are really pleased with the results of the ‘Call of the Wild’ campaign – with close to 14 million views of the videos by potential visitors around the world. Tourism Ireland was delighted to highlight some of the fantastic hidden gems of the Wild Atlantic Way in our top overseas markets, to encourage people everywhere to come and experience the Wild Atlantic Way for themselves in 2019.”
Known mostly for their mortgage lending services, EBS does an exceptional job of making a dry topic entertaining and memorable. They’ve recently put out a “you know it’s time for a mortgage when…” social video series. This is just one example of how they create content that is genuinely entertaining for their audience.
There’s a great takeaway here – you need to be really clued into your customers’ pain points. EBS was able to encapsulate in forty seconds, just how frustrating it can be for an adult to be living at home with parents due to the housing shortage. Here at VideoWorks, we always create our campaigns centred around the humans behind your target audience.
SuperValu is part of the Musgrave Group, Ireland’s largest grocery and food distributor. The supermarket is unparalleled in listening to what it’s customer wants and isn’t afraid to invest in tech that will give customers a better customer journey. The real rewards app has over 170k downlands – which has increasing customer loyalty and footfall into their stores. You’ve also got their Food Academy campaign, and plenty of interaction with Ireland’s top foodie influencers – The Happy Pear being a firm Irish favorite.
Check out the Irish Film Tax Incentive to show just how good we are at creating branded content across several platforms. So if you’re looking to increase your reach on the Irish marketing and engage with your audience, then branded content is your next step. And if you’re looking for a very friendly and expert team to design and implement your creative visual campaign, then you can get in touch here.