Four ways to make a lasting impact through branded content


More than ever before, audiences are inundated with marketing efforts. Traditional advertising is effective and has its place, but it can be disruptive and easy to ignore. After all, anyone can say their gizmos and gadgets are the best in the biz, but if your audience doesn’t believe you, they’ll skip right over your big box.

Enter branded content: it may not be as flashy as a display ad, but don’t mistake subtlety with inefficacy. Rather than making an obvious product pitch, branded content packs a punch as a creative technique that focuses on building continuing trust and reader relationships – and those relationships turn into repeat customers. Rather than disrupting the conversation, branded content contributes to it. According to Pressboard Media, branded content is 22 times more engaging than display ads – its impact is seen in the long-term, especially when combined with display advertising as part of a larger marketing strategy.

To make that lasting impression, branded content must be done well, and its efficacy depends on both quality and quantity. Here are four ways to ensure your content makes a long-term impact.

1. Know your audience
What’s happening in your industry? What are the real issues that make your clients tick? What could help streamline operations or maximize efficiency? Look at what matters to your audience and consider how you brand fits into the puzzle. Then, prove you understand their needs and concerns by telling the story, adding context and value through statistics, anecdotes, case studies and third-party resources.

2. Consider the medium
Do your clients have time to sit down and read an in-depth report filled with charts and graphs, or would they rather a series of short-form blogs and infographics? Is a mobile-friendly article more likely to land with your crowd, or is a printed article more impactful? Meet your audience where they are and take their work and lifestyle into account when planning your approach.

3. Be authentic
Sponsored content should be valuable and informative, with clear solutions and takeaways for the reader – even if they aren’t interested in buying your product or engaging with your company. There’s still room for your brand to shine, but this isn’t the place to toot your own horn. Make the biggest impact by showcasing your brand’s values and highlighting how they align with your industry and/or the topic of the content.

4. Don’t stop after the first effort
A study led by IPG MediaLab, Forbes and Syracuse University found that consumers are 14 per cent more likely to seek out further information from an advertiser after viewing their branded content. Mark Howard, chief revenue officer at Forbes, says banner ads can contribute to this, reminding the audience of the brand, and pushing them down the sales funnel. And, the study also noted that brand recall is 59 per cent higher for branded content compared to other display ads. In summary: Capture your audience’s attention with branded content, and then capitalize on that engagement with companion advertising to keep your brand top of mind.

Branded content is a long game, but with the right strategy, it can make a great impact.

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