How to Get Started with Branded Content

(Fourth in a series on Branded Content)

Crafting your branded content plan may seem challenging, but we promise that once you sit down and begin thinking about all the ways you can inspire, educate, entertain, and involve your audience it will begin to feel a lot more like storytelling than strategy. The success of your campaign is only limited by your own creativity! However, like any good writing project or story assignment, branded content has its own framework.

84529910_m.jpgHere are some tips to get you asking the right questions and getting started in the right direction.

Step 1. – Define Your Audience on a Deeper Level
You may know your audience, but do you also know what they most ardently desire? What are they inspired by on a deeper level? What are their goals, hopes, dreams, fears? Who are their heroes? Who do they want to be? Conversely, who do they not want to be? What kind of books, movies, podcasts, and artists do they like? What are they obsessive about? What are they passionate about pursuing? What do they want in their life? Once you’ve identified some of these deeper motivations and values, you can start to think about how your brand fits in with their lifestyle on a more emotional, story-driven level. 

Step 2 – Define Your Current Need and Desired Response
Now that you have identified some emotional facts and trends about your audience, it’s time to take stock of where your business is at and what your desired outcome is. Perhaps you have just launched a new and innovative product that your R&D team has put a substantial investment into bringing to market, but your audience may need additional information on how to use it. Or perhaps you are a company that’s poised for epic growth in your retail locations and you are looking to attract the right employees to join your team. Or maybe you sell a luxury product for a premium price and would like to craft something that reinforces why your product is worth the investment. Whatever the current need and call to action is, when you define this one sentence, you can be sure that the ideas your team will come up with will remain focused on serving the needs of your marketing strategy. 

Step 3 – Define Your Angle and Tone
Now that you know some key emotional facts about your audience as well as your desired end result from a marketing perspective, you need to decide what your angle and tone will be. For example, will you aim to inspire, entertain, educate, or involve your audience? Will it feel gritty? Hopeful? Humorous? Uplifting? Stylish? A combination of these? Knowing the angle you will take to captivate your audience, as well as the feeling you hope to evoke, will help your creative team or outside agency support your vision with the details and ideas necessary to bring it to life.

Step 3 – Combine Your Insights From the Steps Above and Ideate, Ideate, Ideate.
Now that you know what emotionally motivates your audience, the end goal you are hoping to achieve, the way in which you will captivate them, and the tone you will take, you can begin to combine all of your insights to brainstorm your project.

Step 4 – Call on the Right Experts and Bring on the Right People to Complete Your Project
When it comes to video production, having the right talent on your team is key. Do you need to hire a location scout to find that perfect park for your character to practice hoops in? Maybe you need a stylist or small art department to source props and wardrobe. A team of editors will be key, and so will producers, gaffers, DP’s, and talent. Do you need to look to an agency, a team of specialists, or freelancers? The only wrong way to build out your team would be to assume you didn’t need one. If you’ve got specific video needs, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call. From assistance with editing and shooting, to offering a full suite of creative services, we can partner with you at any level to ensure you get the results you need.

Last Words
We hope this series has given you a crash course on content marketing that will help your team build out your strategies. Remember, just like people, every brand has a story to tell. We wish you the best of luck in finding, crafting, and sharing yours. If you’ve got any burning questions or queries, feel free to leave them in the comments section below! And if you’re interested in our other ideas about video production or branded entertainment, we’d love it if you dropped us a line.



Tim has been in the media production industry since his days as a U.S. Navy shipboard news anchor in the 1980s. Tim has a BA in Visual Communication from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He has been President of Mastcom since 2002.