How Branded Content Can Improve Your Manage Services Business' Bottom Line
These days, it seems like every marketing blog and expert is talking about content marketing. And every time you read a new piece or watch a new video, you get a vague set of rules you should follow that promise even more abstract outcomes.
But when you're running your own business or driving marketing in your company, you need quantifiable results that contribute to the bottom line, not hazy promises of sales growth. And the good thing is that branded content marketing tactics and strategies have yielded concrete results for businesses of all sizes across industries.
To be clear, content marketing involves the creation of online material designed to spark interest in a product or service. Branded content marketing explicitly identifies the content as associated with your business. And there's ample evidence that this approach helps businesses grow customer awareness, engagement, sales, and revenue.
Branded Content Aids Consumer Recall, Awareness, and Engagement
Branded content is the right approach if you're looking for marketing tactics that engage consumers. As per a recent Pressboard study, consumers engage with branded content for an average of 45 seconds (compared to 1.6 seconds for traditional banner ads). That's likely partially driven by the fact that 90 percent of consumers tend to buy from brands they follow on social media, as per Marketing Dive.
Branded content also improves consumer recall and engagement, as per Nielsen. The media research firm found that consumers were 59 percent more likely to recall branded content than they were either native or display ads. Consumers were also 14 percent more likely to look for related content after seeing branded content.
A separate Facebook study of branded content on its platform showed that branded content improved ad recall by 7.6 percent and brand product awareness by 5.7 percent. It's worth noting that these improvements in brand recall are at their highest when branded content appears on a premium publisher's platform rather than on a brand's own network or on social media, according to a separate Nielsen study.
Branded Content Builds Trust
The Facebook study also noted that 58 percent of Gen Z consumers rely on celebrities and influencers regarding new products. Indeed, 51 percent of all consumers Facebook surveyed indicated that they considered brands a part of their online community. Moreover, Forbes noted that 58 percent of Millennials would watch ads that involve their favourite celebrities or influencers.
Branded content is tremendously effective when integrated with influencer marketing. And when you have influencers share or promote your branded content, you have a golden opportunity to build and reinforce your brand's credibility, authenticity, and trust, especially with younger audiences.
And while many consumers have an aversion to advertising, the majority (79 percent) accept it as a legitimate form of content, according to a recent Verizon Media study. However, respondents prefer to see ads integrated into a page, publication, or channel rather than standalone ads. Coca-Cola's "Real Magic Presents" promotion of a film anthology for the 2022 holiday season on Amazon prime is a perfect example. But companies from Acura to Albertsons are making big bets on branded content and, in many cases, winning big.
Some of the best examples of this predate the Internet era. Think about The Michelin Guides, Guinness World Records, and Proctor & Gamble's role in developing the modern soap opera. Branded content, such as advertorials, streaming videos, and events, can help greatly improve awareness and trust with all demographics.
Branded Content Aids in Conversions
Branded content can also substantially improve conversions, as well as marketing ROI. A study recently cited an AdAge noted a 17 percent lift in consumers likely to buy a product after seeing branded content. Facebook noted that branded content on its platform has resulted in a 3.5 percent lift in conversions and a 6.8 percent lift in new buyers.
Moreover, branded content doesn't just help increase how many consumers become customers. It can also help encourage them to spend more and spread the word. 70 percent of respondents to a Capgemini study indicated they spend twice as much on a brand they feel connected to, while 81 percent indicated they also promote that brand to friends.
Nielsen's first ROI Report found that brands reduce their potential ROI by underinvesting in media. The report also noted that many companies spend far more on channels that aid in conversions than those that improve other brand metrics. By balancing ad spending, Nielsen contends, companies can increase their marketing ROI by as much as 70 percent. And branded content can offer not only greater brand recall and engagement but also conversions.
How Your Business Can Benefit From Branded Content
Among the many benefits of branded content is its scope. You can brand any form of content you create in a manner that's a natural fit for your business. You don't need to sponsor or create a full streaming service to employ a branded content strategy. Doing so may not be the best fit for your brand. And branded content strategies work best when they are a natural extension of your business.
You can easily leverage blogs, podcasts, online videos, local influencers, and other channels to create the best strategy for your business, brand, and budget. However, with abundant options, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to develop the right content and measure your ROI. And suppose you're a small business owner or driving a small business's marketing and sales efforts. In that case, chances are your daily responsibilities don't leave you with much time to determine the best way to leverage branded content effectively for your business.
That's where Out N' Aboot Marketing comes in. Working with you and your team, we'll help you identify the right branded content strategy to improve awareness of your brand and products, increase sales and revenue, and engage and retain customers long-term. We've worked with various managed IT services businesses throughout Canada, and we'd love to help you tackle your most-pressing marketing challenges. Contact us today, and let's discuss how Out N'Aboot Marketing can help you develop the right branded content strategy today.