Jackie Maxted, founder of beautyheaven.com.au talks about how brands must create conversations online.
Brands and their marketing teams spend significant amounts of time and money carefully crafting their preferred brand messages, but consumers won’t care how clever your messages are or how great your product is if you don’t connect with them in a meaningful way.
Branded content is a new way to cut through the clutter and align your brand with a trend, an idea or topic that audiences are interested in, giving you and your brand a platform for consumers to connect. Successful branded content engages and entertains, the most successful of which is shared and reaches an incrementally bigger audience.
It’s no secret that brands need to listen to consumers. This is especially true and relevant when creating branded content. With so many competing sources of information online; advertising and content alike, dry brand facts and features won’t cut it. Be clever, be new – surprise and inspire.
People are savvy and they know when they are reading marketing messages. Branded content, when it’s done well, finds a place between a brand’s message and entertainment (be it information, news, humour or just a quirky idea) and that’s when native advertising can become so successful.
The best branded content finds a way to evokes a brand’s identity or message while giving people something to take away, whether that’s advice, information or entertainment.
Perhaps most importantly; people from all over the world are creating engaging content, so brands and digital publishers alike must make ensure the content produced is truly innovative and compelling. For beautyheaven, our members are interested in how to pick and use products, new beauty trends as well as expert advice. To engage with these people, we (together with our brand partners) create a conversation about the brand, or tie the products into a broader conversation. For some brands, this might be sharing their product and inviting honest feedback, while for others it might be engaging by sharing knowledge and expertise to help visitors with their ideal, every-day beauty routine.
At beautyheaven we aim to produce sharable and insightful content, so that once a visitor stumbles across us, they bookmark the site and/or join us on social media and become part of our loyal group of visitors and members.
It’s in our best interest as a business, and in the best interest of the brands we work with, to make content that’s always ‘for the user’. Branded content lives on beyond a campaign and if it’s good, it will stay relevant a week, month or even years later, and continue to drive the brand’s objectives.