One of the most important goals of brands is to develop a love connection between consumers and their brand. However, as we are getting deeper into the age of social media, it is getting increasingly difficult to achieve this bond through traditional advertising methods. Print ads, banner ads and billboards just don’t have the same ROI as they used to.
Consumers now need a memorable experience to connect with a brand, but this courtship doesn’t always result in love. If done in a way where the brand is not fully integrated into the content, it can feel misleading or spammy to the audience. So, how then does a brand not only get noticed, liked and shared but also fall mutually, madly in love with their target audience?
Strategic, Branded, New Media Content.
These days, it’s not enough of a thrill factor for people to just like a brand’s Facebook page or to see them engage on Twitter. Social media’s evolution has caused consumers to expect more. Consumers want entertainment, information, infotainment, eduformation… whatever you want to call it… they want the experience that can only come as a result of strategic creativity.
Consumers want the story that they can identify with, combined with the solution to their problem that is revealed in the story. This solution will just happen to be sprinkled with some form of brand magic. It can be something that the brand offers integrated into the story or a message that is sponsored by the brand with discrete name placement. Whatever it is, it can’t be overt unless that is part of the punch line. At the same time, there has to be some form of a call to action in a branded content piece. Or does there?
It’s not just the big media companies like Forbes and the Huffington Post that are jumping on this brand wagon, bloggers and new media producers are as well. Some companies are developing brand ambassador programs as a way to dive deeper into branded new media content generation while others like American Express are developing their own platforms to control their message.
Some consumers may feel that with branded content, journalistic boundaries are getting blurred. Does it make content any less valuable if the creator is being paid by an advertiser? Would you, as a new media content creator have a moral dilemma if a brand asked you to produce content designed to spotlight their brand? Would it make your message any less potent or valuable?
As someone who for the past six years has been creating content (that gets shared across multiple social platforms) consistently, I see the evolution to branded new media content as a welcome “love connection” for consumers and brands. Do you?
Let’s discuss in the comments!