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What is branded content? Branded content is the practice of marketing via the creation of content that is funded or outright produced by an advertiser.

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Branded content is paid content that is delivered outside of the traditional means of advertising, utilizing a method of controlling storytelling. Branded content usually incorporates multimedia formats, such as audio and video, to take an immersive approach to branding to create a more emotional experience for the consumer. Branded content focuses on the reaction from the consumers and establishing a sense of trust, rather than focusing on the monetary brand profit. 

Branded content makes the advertising experience more entertaining and memorable for the audience. According to a recent study by Turner Ignite and Realeyes, compared to 30-second ads, viewers are more likely to consider the featured brand when they make a purchase. 

Brand content can also be referred to as sponsored content. This can be seen as product placement in web series or industry-specific content through mediums like e-books and infographics. 

Why is branded content important? 

According to a USC Annenberg survey, 74.5% of communication professionals say branded content is a must in their campaigns.

Branded content videos generate a higher level of KPIs, such as affinity, purchase intent, and recommendation intent, for the brand as well as create a more emotional response from the audience. This will then bring in emotion-based metrics as the campaign progresses, which will help with further campaign research and consumer understanding. 

Media clutter is one of the biggest problems of our current digital age; there’s just too much information to process and consume. Branded content is important when breaking through the wall of ad-blocking technology, such as the option to skip ads when watching videos on YouTube or choosing which type of ads you want to see on Google. 

Understanding branded content 

Nielsen surveys and research determined that a brand’s effectiveness is positively driven by the format and environment the message is delivered in. Knowing how and when to use branded content is important in strengthening your marketing strategy. The research found that branded content can help with consumer brand recall compared to pre-roll advertising. Nielsen found that branded content generated an average of 86% brand recall among viewers compared to 65% from pre-roll ads. It was also proven that consumers respond better to captivating content than traditional forms of advertising. The content produced must be entertaining yet also relatable to the consumer. 

It was also found that partnering with a publisher can drive ad impact. Marketers who partnered with publishers to distribute branded content saw a high brand lift, about 50% higher, than those who published content organically. Partnering with publishers allows for the already loyal consumers of the publication to trust the branded content being featured.  

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