Even if your product or service is not ostensibly the most exciting in the world, with a little imagination, you can still create engaging, sharable content. Before you start creating that traffic-driving blog or witty infographic, make sure you have a clear idea of your aims and your identity. What is it that makes your company unique within your industry? And what do you hope to gain from creating your branded content? Are you looking for more followers on social media, higher sales conversion rates or are you just hoping to make something go viral? Figuring out exactly what you want to achieve will help you choose the best formats and spaces for your content.
This is the most important aspect of creating excellent branded content – you need to drop the hard sell. Whoever your audience may be, they do not want to watch a video or read a page full of thinly-veiled sales patter. Obviously you want to make sales, but creating great content is about more than conversion rates. An amusing branded YouTube video, for example, may not be directly related to sales, but it can increase brand awareness exponentially.
The recent series of Skittles ‘Touch’ adverts for example have next-to-nothing to do with sweets, but they are funny and immersive and as a result they have millions of YouTube hits, putting the Skittles brand name at the forefront of the minds of their young target market.
Although you want your content to be entertaining, there is very little point in creating a lovely video or blog post which has absolutely nothing to do with your product. Ultimately content marketing is about getting people to associate your brand with a certain industry or specific lifestyle. A great way of tapping into your company’s relevance in your space is via an informative blog or e-newsletter. As a business owner, you are likely to have a lot of very relevant industry-specific knowledge – use it! Your blog can also be a fantastic forum to share news, whether you’ve received a business award or getting ISO 9001 certification, keep your audience updated.
L’Oreal do this brilliantly, as they are behind popular how-to site makeup.com. The site provides beauty news, trends and a celebrity look-book, providing really helpful step-by-step guides, all styled with a subtle bias towards L’Oreal products.
This is another vital aspect – there is no point plugging vital resources into producing content if no-one is interested in what you are producing. Whether you are creating a step-by-step guide on your blog or a community Pinterest board, you need to make sure your content is engaging and that people will want to talk about it.
Red Bull is an incredible example of this. A veritable power-house of sharable content, Red Bull’s branding has appeared on some of the most amazing stunts of all time, of course including Felix Baumgartner’s 23-mile intergalactic freefall last year. The jump gained international news coverage and trended on Twitter for over a week, resulting in priceless brand promotion.