Brand content is everywhere. Yet, only few of us really know its meaning and the best tips to get the most out of it. Nevertheless, brand content represents a huge opportunity for brands. Find out how to develop your brand content strategy to develop your notoriety and brand image.
Brand content is often mistaken for content marketing. But in reality, they are two very different things. There are 4 notable differences between brand content and content marketing.
Brand content is often based on storytelling and storyliving
Brand content includes storytelling to captivate the prospect and/or the customer, and help them project themselves into the brand. The immersive experience appeals to people’s senses and emotions. Thanks to it, brands manage to easily create viral content regardless of the platform used.
Content marketing is based on a product
Unlike brand content, whose primary goal is to forget about the business aspect, content marketing relies on product qualities to turn prospects into customers, and increase sales. Unlike blunt advertising on television, content marketing subtly sets the product up as the answer to a need.
Brand content delivers faster results
Brand content stimulates customer/prospect engagement, and generates content’s "social contagion" much more easily. It inspires confidence faster because it does not ask customers for their hard earned cash. On the contrary, content marketing takes longer to sip into customers’ mindsets. It generates more mistrust and is less helpful to stand out from the competition.
Broadcast channels are different
Brand content and content marketing can coexist on the same platforms such as YouTube, tahe brand's blog… However, brand content, which is less “aggressive”, offers more flexibility and can even be broadcasted on massive distribution platforms. It is much better accepted by the various publishers and platforms.
Best practices to create a brand content strategy
Creating a brand content strategy cannot be improvised. Find out how to create an effective and impactful strategy.
Determine a clear goal
As with any communication campaign, the first step is to set goals. Unlike Google Ads campaigns, where ROI is easily measured, a brand content strategy’s goals are less obvious and less tangible. For example, these objectives can be:
- To establish your brand’s position and expertise in its market
- To obtain better visibility
- To bypass ad blocking
- To value prospects and customers
- To create customer loyalty
Define your target customer (buyer persona)
The definition of a target (large and core target) is essential to adapt your message. You need to understand who your prospects and customers are in order to get their attention through brand content. To do so, draw inspiration from your daily experience (for example by reading customer or after-sales feedback), and content that already works with your targets. You can also consider creating a survey or a poll.
Establish a content strategy
The objectives are clear and the targets well defined. Now you can begin to develop your strategy. To define its main axes, start by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, and ask yourself the right questions:
- What are your qualities and how will others perceive them?
- What are your convictions on the topic discussed?
- How could your prospects support you?
The brand content strategy should reflect your goals, and your actions should also be in coordination with them. In fact, brand content can be risky. Unfortunately, many brands have suffered from the effects of an unexpected “bad buzz”. So, before posting content, ask yourself what image you are going to send back to the market, and if it is debatable. Some sectors offer more freedom of expression than others.
Create an editorial charter
An editorial charter’s purpose is to guarantee uniqueness in terms of content, in the tone used, as well as in the values to be conveyed and SEO requirements. An editorial charter must be based on 8 aspects:
- Brand identity: brand style? Quality level?
- The editorial line or, in other words, the angle of communication used for all content
- Communication purposes: what message do you want to convey?
- Writing style: tone of voice, technicality of the vocabulary, terms to be avoided
- Tree structure and content categorization to facilitate accessibility to readers
- SEO strategy: keywords to use, internet user's intent
- Editorial structure: content breakdown, maximum/minimum number of words, paragraphs’ organization, text header
- Images and other media: which media to publish and how?
Choose the right broadcast channel
The choice of distribution channel is highly strategic. Which one is best suited to your target? Which one is relevant enough to convey your values and reach your target customers? Fortunately, there are many distribution channels, which can be used simultaneously:
- Blog posts (and/or guest blogging)
- Photos (Instagram, Flickr...)
- Videos (Youtube, social networks...)
- Streaming platform
Your content may be different depending on the channels chosen in order to adapt to users’ behaviors and habits. For example, on Instagram the video format must be short and use the social media’s codes (vertical format, etc.). On the contrary, YouTube videos can be longer and more educational (horizontal format, etc.).
Establish an editorial calendar
The penultimate step before setting up your brand content strategy is to develop your editorial calendar. You need to set key dates for your posts so that you can plan them, and mobilize the necessary resources at the right time.
Several ticketing or planning tools can be used, such as Trello, Google Sheet, Jira, Airtable or a traditional whiteboard!
Your editorial calendar should take into account:
- Planned publication dates
- Platforms used for each type of content
- Production periods and deadlines
- Promotional periods for your content
Brand Content by Evian
Evian prints QR codes on its bottles. They encourage visitors to visit the website www.pure.evian.com where there are testimonials, educational games, and videos devoted to environmental protection/sustainable development, etc. Their brand content 2.0 strategy is helping to improve the image of plastic bottled water.
Oasis and its crazy fruits
In France, Oasis is certainly the brand that has extended its brand content universe the most in recent years. How to stand out in this very competitive fruit drinks sector, while keeping the strengths of its product: fruit juices, spring water, fun? Oasis imagined fruity characters staged in unseen ways at the time. Their brand content’s strength is strongly linked to the commercials’ scripting. Beyond these colorful characters, Oasis has penetrated the collective spirit of its target (15–25-year-old people) with famous phrases such as “on va tous mûriiiiir!” (here it’s a play on words between “mûrir” which means “to mature/age”, and “mourir” which means “to die”). Thus, these unique characters have gained sympathy from the audience, who almost considers each commercial as a series’ new episode.
Redbull and sports performance
Redbull is an energy drink, not necessarily healthy but which still has developed its notoriety thanks to sports performances! In October 2012, parachutist Felix Baumgartner performed for Redbull and did a free fall from the stratosphere broadcast live across the world. An unprecedented feat that seemed pretty crazy. This world record was an opportunity for Redbull to generate media coverage that is hardly ever reached. In total, no less than 8,000 TV reports in 60 countries were shot, 2,000 tweets per second right before the big jump, and 8 million viewers on YouTube. On Google, 41 million pages have registered the keyword “Redbull Stratos”. This is an atypical but totally impactful brand content strategy! Today, the brand is linked and associated with all the sports records and striking sporting demonstrations.
Therefore, there are as many brand content strategies as there are brands in the world. This communication mode can be considered by all types of brands, from small businesses to large multinationals, and this is what makes it strong.