Customers are increasingly resistant to classic forms of advertising. In an advertisement-saturated market, this attitude is not surprising.

At every turn, someone is trying to sell you something – no matter if it’s on the Internet, TV, or a roadside billboard. Brands are starting to realize that certain forms of advertising can annoy their audience, so as a result, they are trying to find new ways to interest their potential customers (or better yet, engage them).

In this area, branded content campaigns have the potential to deliver remarkable results.

What is branded content, and how do industry giants use it? Keep reading if you want to know how to create new ideas easily and use branded content to your advantage over competitors.

What is branded content?

Simply put, branded content is a special kind of communication with potential customers. However, that doesn’t say much.

More specifically, this communication involves specific actions that lead to an outstanding and attractive presentation of a product, service, or brand

Branded content is the enemy of classical advertising, which the former is trying to replace. Customers nowadays generally don’t want to watch TV commercials, they block pop-ups, and skim over newspaper ads.

That is why branded content is designed to get into a reader’s subconscious instead. This way, such messages can encourage them to take particular actions. Thus, the customer is subjected to advertising without being fully aware of it. Clever, isn’t it?

As advertising gets combined with entertainment, branded content is becoming more appealing to wider audiences. Used correctly, it drives engagement, increases brand awareness, and strengthens loyalty. Branded content also brings benefits to the audience, which is why its results are so promising.

Examples of branded content

Branded content is available almost everywhere – during events, movies, games, TV series, and music. But it’s especially visible on the Internet.

Where does it come from?

From Procter & Gamble, for example. In the 1930s, the company was looking for an atypical form of advertising. And they came up with soap operas, which appeared on radio shows and changed the advertising world forever.

Did you know that the term “soap opera” originates from radio dramas sponsored by soap manufacturers?

1943, the radio soap opera “Ma Perkins,” sponsored by P&G’s Oxydol (source: cincinnati.com)

What are some examples of branded content today?

Video content is leading here. The number of great examples of branded content continues to grow, and more and more brands are getting creative. We want to show some that are still listed among the best examples of branded content ideas over the years. They’re exactly as they should be:

  • unmistakable, creative, and unique
  • oriented to the needs of the recipient
  • reflexive
  • a combination of art and advertising
  • not dazzling with branding

1. Volvo

An example of branded content that we watched with complete attention, this video is a must-see. Volvo masterfully showed the core value of their brand – safety. 

#MakeYourCitySafe was a campaign to draw attention to a massive problem in India – 84% of women don’t feel safe in their cities. Volvo didn’t want to be indifferent about it, so they spoke up.

In Mumbai, they organized a night walk called “Make Your City Safe” to reclaim the night as a safe place for women. Moreover, they released a branded video (3.5 million views) to show people about the event and the safety issue.

2. Red Bull

Do you remember the famous jump from space? Almost ten years ago, Felix Baumgartner completed a record-breaking freefall from the edge of space. RedBull played their role there, which is not surprising because this brand has been supporting and investing in extreme sports for years.

They keep engaging their audience. Red Bull’s YouTube account has more than 10 million followers, and the company has its own branded TV called Red Bull TV. It is a streaming app that contains films, short videos, and shows about people who do the impossible and cross human boundaries.

3. LEGO

Another example of a brilliant form of advertising is The Lego Movie. The brand launched a movie in which the iconic yellow figurines played the leading roles. The story evokes emotions and associates the LEGO brand with important life lessons.

The movie turned out to be such a success that it didn’t stop at part one. The series gave LEGO sales a big boost, making them some of the most successful pieces of branded content ever created.

The LEGO Movie Official Trailer

As you can see from these examples, you have to develop an excellent idea in order to create branded content that is so successful. Who cares if you create great branded content if it doesn’t even reach your target audience? That is why you need to prepare a well-thought-out plan first. And here’s the challenge – not creating just one among many of the same ads means you won’t have an example to follow.

Branded content often requires a significant financial investment, but if done right that can be returned several times over. It does involve some risk, so it is crucial to refine the idea and make sure that you do everything in your power to engage your audience and succeed.

All of these have to be done based on preliminary analysis. So what is the best way to create branded content? Unfortunately, there is no single recipe for this. But you can simplify the process, and we know how.

How to create branded content with Mediatoolkit

You might assume that Mediatoolkit is an online media monitoring tool that is suitable only for tracking mentions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mediatoolkit gives you the big picture of your online presence, shows how your brand image is shaping up, and as a result, helps you to gain insights about your audience from their feedback and about their preferences.

When you know your audience and competitors’ actions, you will be able to notice any gaps in your branded content.

Step 1: Use Competitive Analysis

To analyze the competition, you have to start from some reference point. Benchmarks are a good fit here, as they mean you won’t have to spend hours making reports and then analyzing the data (assuming that you have Mediatoolkit). Would you be interested in knowing how you can get it done in less than a minute?

All you have to do is go to the Reports section, where there are three types of ready-made reports available and an option to make your own from scratch. Choose Competitive Analysis, and that’s all – you’ve got this.

In a competitive analysis, two queries are compared against each other to determine their online performance. This is a valuable option if you’re interested in tracking, for example, which campaign is performing better, but it’s also an excellent way to see how far the competition is reaching.

What can you find in this kind of report exactly? Aside from the basic data, it includes such information as a share of voice, sentiment comparison, and even insights into top influencers. What’s more, all of them are presented in visually appealing graphs.

More on this topic 👉 Competitive analysis: all you need to know in 2021

Step 2: Get notified when competitor mentions show up

Branded content has the potential to go viral. If you want to be constantly updated about your competitors’ actions, setting up notifications is extremely helpful. Keeping close track of the market can help you react quickly to unforeseen situations (and learn how to predict them in the future).

What are the steps to take? First, go to Alerts, and then choose the feed source that you want to start tracking. 

Select the medium on which you would like to receive notifications (you can even connect your account with Slack and receive notifications directly to your channel). You can also set a custom time frame during which you want to mute notifications.

In addition, there are features like Discard Similars that allow users to disable multiple alerts in case of similar mentions. If you can’t learn anything new from a particular mention, then you won’t be bothered by notifications about it.

Step 3: Find influencers

We haven’t yet mentioned that branded content is strictly associated with influencers. Instagram defines posts as branded content if they’re “created by influencers to promote a particular brand in return for some sort of compensation“.

So then, is sponsored content also branded content? 

There are different opinions; some say it is, while others say sponsored is an entirely different type of content to branded. We believe it is the same – as long as the promotion is indirect and presented in a non-invasive manner.

If you want to have valuable branded content, it’s essential to find influencers who will create it professionally and in line with your brand. It would be best to find people who share the same values and are a perfect match for your brand. But how can you find them?

Mediatoolkit offers three types of data to help you. With them, you can easily get to know the top influencers by source, number of mentions, and reach. Isn’t it easier now to determine which influencer to choose?

Step 4: Keep up with competitors’ news

Remember to track mentions of and all activities on your competitors’ websites and social media accounts. This sounds pretty much the same as Step 2 – and in a way, it is. But we want to be sure that you don’t end your actions on notifications. 

You have to constantly keep a close eye on things that happen on the market. As we mentioned many (many) times here, your branded content needs to be creative. You have to know what your competition is doing if you want to stand out from the crowd.

In Mediatoolkit, you can filter the feed by sources. Thanks to that, you’re able to choose only those specific sources that you want to analyze closer. For example, are you looking for some business news about a competitor? Tick on only Twitter.

Step 5: Analyze competitor mentions

Take advantage of your competitors and analyze their mentions. In Mediatoolkit, you can explore what emotions a brand evokes – maybe they uploaded a campaign that didn’t exactly inspire enthusiasm?

In Mediatoolkit, every mention is automatically sorted by sentiment and “thrown” into three categories: positive, neutral, or negative. Thanks to this feature, you can quickly analyze what people are saying about your competition.

Can you see the dashes on the left side of the post? They indicate the post’s sentiment.

Why do you need all of this? Among the most critical aspects of branded content is its distribution. Therefore, the content you create must be well-targeted. Mediatoolkit gives you insight into everything that is essential for getting to know the distribution. You will identify what topics your competition covers, which case performs best, and where they share it.

Step 6: Create new content!

You’re ready to create new branded content! Please pay attention to all of the points mentioned here in order to get to know your target audience, competitors, and influencers. All you need now is a good idea. You’ve already got everything else.

To sum up

Branded content is quite a tricky issue. Promote a brand/product, but without advertising it at the same time. This is possible, but you have to remember a few of the most important aspects of branded content. It should…

  • generate emotions
  • contain some story-telling
  • be preceded by thorough research.

Don’t have Mediatoolkit yet? Sign up to find the most up-to-date information about your brand and competitors and prepare an outstanding branded content strategy.


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