Branded ContentThe concept of branded content can be rather confusing for non-marketers. Technically, it’s a way of marketing your product by producing or funding the production of your own content. Vertex Media can handled product placement for your video production needs.

To further clarify the issue, let’s differentiate branded content from other types of marketing techniques:

♦ It’s distinct from content marketing, which focuses on providing quality content for your intended audience. Content marketing is about informing your audience, so that they eventually realize how a particular product/service/brand can benefit them. Branded content, however, is more about entertaining your audience – the focus is essentially on being able to tug on the emotions of your audience to engage them. It’s less focused on facts and information, so in a way it’s less boring.

♦ Branded content is not an outright advertisement or commercial, because, in general, ads are focused on highlighting a product/service/brand. In contrast, branded content is focused on the storyline or the content being promoted, with less emphasis on the brand and its products and services.

In some cases the brand is hardly mentioned at all, or just placed innocuously in the background of the content. Some marketing experts feel that advertisements are too blatant in selling, and it hasn’t escaped their notice that people often ignore the commercials during commercial breaks for TV shows

♦ Branded content is also not product placement, though in a way it’s similar. In product placement, the product is incorporated into a distinct and separate creative work like a movie or TV show – the protagonist using a certain car or drinking a particular brand of drink, for example. With branded content, however, the creative work is produced or funded by the brand.

So why go with branded content?

Why take the time and effort to produce or fund a creative work when the product isn’t the main attraction? Why not go with ads, content marketing, or product placement?

Here are some of the advantages you’ll enjoy:

♦ It’s more interesting. That’s a given, since the nature of the content is more entertaining than it is informational. It’s like the difference between watching Braveheart and reading a dry textbook on the wars between Scotland and England. Even people who aren’t really interested in your product can watch your content, since it may not be about your product at all.

For example, Gatorade produced a short-animated feature about Usain Bolt. Gatorade is hardly featured in the work, yet it has increased its brand visibility because it produced the short film.

♦ People will want to share it on social media. The Usain Bolt feature has been viewed more than 15 million times. Part of the reason for this is that people have found it interesting and made it go viral on social media. That would never have happened with a boring article explaining the ingredients in a Gatorade drink.

♦ It’s more subtle. An increasing number of people are turned off by the blatant “buy this” approach of most advertising material. With branded content, such messages are avoided – though a subtle undercurrent may be present.

♦ You can control the content. This is the main difference to product placement. You’re at the mercy of the creative heads of the content in product placement. But with branded content you control the narrative. That means you also control the values that you want to emphasize in that content, sending the message that your brand shares those same values.

It can be difficult to do branded content all by yourself. You will need marketing and creative experts to come up with appropriate content. But with the right people on your team, you can use it effectively to boost your brand image and visibility.