As consumers, we’re inundated with advertising. And as advertisers, we’re challenged to break through. But reaching consumers isn’t always about standing out—sometimes it means blending in.
Have you ever noticed content from a company that didn’t quite feel like an advertisement? Perhaps you were browsing Facebook or Instagram and saw an image that you thought was just a regular part of your feed. Or maybe you searched for something on Google and clicked on the top result without realizing it was an ad. Advertising content like this has become immensely popular with modern marketers because it allows you to connect with and engage target audiences without being intrusive. As a local business owner, you need to consider adding branded content to your media mix.
Also known as native advertising, branded content is a form of paid online advertising that closely follows the natural form and function of the platform on which it appears. Visually, native ads match the design of the content platform they live on, making it look and feel more like natural content. Better still, they also function like natural content, adding value for viewers beyond pure advertising.
Some examples of branded content include in-feed branded ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads resemble natural visual and written content rather than in-your-face advertisements. Another example would be content recommendation widgets, which often appear at the end of a piece of content to entice readers to click on a related post. Additionally, there are search and promoted listings, which are relevant ad links placed at the top of the search engine results page.
Branded content offers unlimited opportunities to reach your target audiences. Whether it’s appearing on their mobile devices or in their favorite publications, branded content is everywhere they are. And it’s only limited by your imagination. Just as branded advertising is a chameleon that blends in with the content surrounding it, it can also be as versatile as the platforms on which is appears, especially when it comes to digital. Branded content can include:
- Captivating stories: Show consumers you’re more than a company; you’re a trusted resource and a subject matter expert they can count on.
- Engaging videos: Give existing and potential customers in-depth information and provide instruction that helps draw lines between your offerings and what they hope to accomplish.
- Interactive media: Let them click and play, all while learning more about your industry and how it impacts their lives.
Don’t let the thought of creating compelling content intimidate you. The good news is you needn’t have a team of writers or a production studio in house. Media partners will work with you to produce quality content using the same team that tells their stories.
Here are just a few of the benefits that branded advertising offers:
- Less interruptive: Since branded content looks and feels like natural content, it is less likely to be disruptive or feel intrusive to the consumer.
- Helps beat ad blindness: The modern consumer sees so many ads on a regular basis that they have learned to block them out. Branded content appears in line with the content they’re enjoying, making them more likely to engage.
- Creates brand affinity: Branded content doesn’t explicitly sell a product or service, so many consumers are more likely to be attracted to this type of advertising and build a connection with your brand.
- Offers more than just a sales pitch: Though branded content is at its heart a form of advertising, it provides more than just a sales pitch. Branded ads tell your brand’s story and reveal its value, which provides more value to the viewer.
In an age where consumers have become so over-exposed to advertising, it is important to find less intrusive ways to promote your business online. Creating and publishing branded content on the channels your target audience is most likely to visit provides visibility for your business and helps build brand affinity with both new and old customers.
We can help!
Are you ready to let your brand do the talking? USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE offers an unparalleled platform for you to give audiences an in-depth view of your business. To learn more about branded content and the latest in digital advertising, download our Digital Trends whitepaper. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.