Ditch Advertising – Switch to Branded Content Instead
Whoa, hang on – what’s branded content? I’m asking you to forget about traditional advertising methods and switch to using branded content. You’re not going to do that without good cause. So, let’s find out what it is and why you should consider using it to get better results from your website.
It’s not about selling
Advertising equals selling. That much is clear. Branded content takes the consumer, tired of being sold to online, on TV, and in magazines and newspapers, in a different direction. Instead of saying, ‘Buy our new cleaning widget today!’, it might share ‘five reasons why cleaning could change your life in unexpected and positive ways’. Branded content connects with and is relevant to the product or service the business wants to sell. However, it doesn’t directly sell to the person reading it. It tends to display one or more features. It could be:
… and always positive.
Medium published a great article on branded content that’s packed with examples of what it looks like. The best one focuses on The LEGO Movie. As the article points out, this was so successful people weren’t even aware it was branded content. Millions of people around the world loved it, bought the DVD or BluRay copy… and LEGO saw a 25% uptick in sales on the back of it.
The presentation of branded content
If you’re interested in developing content that supports your brand like this, there are lots of ways you can do it. Videos, blog posts, infographics, even interviews… you can use whatever suits the information you want to release. There have been some successful social media campaigns using content designed to enhance and support brands too.
What could branded content do for your business?
If you’ve been focusing on pay-per-click advertising and other promotional avenues, you might want to switch your focus to branded content instead. Think about how you react whenever you visit a website heavy with pop-ups, adverts, and ‘last chance to sign up for a discount’ messages, all trying to persuade you to buy. If you’re like me, you probably get irritated by them. I know I generally leave a site that is heavy on adverts. I hate the hard sell. You probably do too.
Take me to a site where I can learn about something and enjoy the information I can get there, and it’s a different story. I enjoy gardening and I’ve bought a few gardening tools and gadgets over the years. Most of those purchasing decisions have been made after reading what I now recognise as branded content. Even though that content wasn’t designed to make sales – not initially – it did just that.
Inbound marketing in another guise
Branded content is a form of inbound marketing, something I’ve written about already. It showcases your business in a positive and different way. According to Hubspot’s State of Inbound 2018 report, inbound marketers boost their average site conversion rate from 6% to an impressive 12%. What would that do for your business?
If you start implementing branded content as part of your overall marketing approach, who knows what the possibilities could be?