Branded content, like articles, blogs, social media posts, email newsletter content, photos and video, specifically about your business (and sometimes products, services, etc.) should never be looked at as tooting your own horn or being selfish of the time readers take to review the message. Content that helps current and potential customers learn more about your business can only help your business grow and flourish and enhance customer relationships. Content that actually doesn’t even mention your business, product or service can also help! Plus, it is likely that branded content is going to be less costly than traditional advertising options (although there are some expensive options like movies). Let’s look at some branded content examples and how branded content is not selfish but helpful to any business.
Blog posts are obviously something that we like to have on our own website. You’re already here and you are hopefully still reading (first one to email us to say they read this gets $1,000! Just kidding!!) Blog posts are a wonderful tool to drive traffic to your website. Blog posts can be anything that you want them to be, but it is always important to ask yourself, is this post going to be useful to my reader? Will my reader actually take the time to read this whole post or would it be better as a video for someone to watch/listen to? Know your keywords and your audience and wrap all of that together to publish a beautiful post! Don’t forget images too, especially so you can share it on social media.
A few blog post ideas:
- FAQ blogs – write a blog post about common questions you receive
- Specific product/service blogs – Some argue that blogs about specific services/products don’t qualify as branded content, but we see a thin line to argue this. For example, a salon is seeing a big trend in a certain style of coloring. They can write a blog about it to tell the reader what the trend is, how they can do this trend for the customer, roughly how much it could cost and show pictures and videos of the before and after result. So while they are talking about a service they can offer, they are also talking about a popular trend!
- How-to posts – Maybe your business sells a tool. You could write different blog posts about the many ways a specific tool could be used.
- Advice/opinion pieces – Maybe your business offers services for people. Posts about how your services can help them in different ways are always useful.
Think of something you have purchased lately. Did you see a photo or video of it before you made the purchase? Were there multiple angles of the product? Even if you purchased a service, did you watch any videos or testimonials about the service, maybe from a currently satisfied customer?
Having great photos and videos can only help to build your content. We live in a digital world and people tend to gravitate toward photos and videos first, then moving on to read what goes with it. Make sure you have something for people to look at or listen to.
Speaking of reviews and testimonials, those are also great branded content to have on hand for others to read. Hearing from satisfied customers can help to sell whatever it is you have. When others are happy with your business, reviews and testimonials help to spread the word to others. You can pull these from your Google My Business account where reviews may already live, or have a space on your website where people can input their own content for you. Either way, it is still more branded content that can help with the end goal.
Case Studies/White Papers
Case studies and white papers are wonderful tools that can prove that your products/services work for others. Start with how someone had a problem or a need and write about how your product/service helped them overcome that need. You will never know how your product/services have really helped someone until you ask around. Write about these wonderful stories as often as you can.
Examples of Great Branded Content
We understand that not every business is a fortune 500 business with endless amounts of money to spend. That is why the examples we gave are great starting points for any business. The hope is that something you write goes viral and is able to reach millions of people. But if you want to know about some businesses that have gone above and beyond with branded content, here are some examples:
- The LEGO Movies – Who even knew how much making movies about LEGO would benefit the product, but it did! Sales increased by 25% after the first LEGO movie was released!
- TOMS Shoes – TOMS Shoes posts a lot of great photos and videos about adventures that they go on to help others and in every photo/video, it shows someone wearing their shoes! Great product placement and brand recognition.
- Airbnb – There was an article about families vacationing together, sponsored by Airbnb on Fatherly.com. Only two sentences mentioned Airbnb – the first sentence at the very beginning of the article said they were a sponsor and that they have vacation options around the world and at the very end another sentence that just wraps up the article saying to explore their options. The rest of the article was just a story about a family on vacation. But because of the piece not being salesy, people won’t feel pushed away from Airbnb, but more likely to say hey – this family had a great time, so can we!
Wrapping It Up
After reading this, you may be thinking to yourself, wow that seems like a lot of writing and use of photo/video equipment that I don’t have. And I am certainly not a creator or writer. No fear. That is why we are here! We have team members who are content creators and writers who can help bring your ideas to life through visuals and words. Let us help you grow your branded content and impact your customers in a way that makes them want to purchase what you are selling!