What is Branded Content?

(First in a series on Branded Content)

Branded content. It’s definitely a buzzword.  However, this isn't just a passing trend – it’s here to stay, and for good reason – branded content converts.

More than just industry jargon or a generational fad, branded content is the most effective way to attract new audiences, inspire your customers, improve your brand’s reputation, and drive sales. Although your audience may initially see your branded content as entertainment, the end results for your brand are measureable and quantifiable.

Improved customer loyalty, increased brand affinity, better brand recognition, and an enhanced sales funnel are just some of the results of developing a good branded content strategy.

46080096_m.jpgThink of it as playing the long-game with your marketing strategy.

So, what exactly is branded content?

Well, it could be any number of things, but at its core branded content can be defined as content that serves your viewer and brings value to their life, beyond the products or services you sell.

Branded content can also be referred to as branded entertainment, as it is often a longer-form video that is more similar to a film than a traditional TV ad spot. Any way you slice it, the main goal of good branded content is to enrich and improve the lives of your audience.

Why branded content should be a part of your marketing strategy

The ways that we watch and consume video content are changing. Nowadays, consumers peruse your Instagram or Facebook account instead of your website to determine whether or not they will buy from you. Having great branded content for your social platforms is key to racking up conversions.

Consumers are savvier than ever, and they can tell when they are being sold to. They can now fast-forward through your commercials with their DVR or binge their favorite shows via subscription streaming sites. This means fewer 30 second TV spots and instead a focus on cinematic branded content to air alongside streamed television and DVR programs.

The smart approach is to engage your audience through work that inspires, educates, entertains, or involves. Branded content can do all of this and more.

Need some more reasons to develop a branded content strategy?  Branded content is also:

  • A great compliment to your in-store or point-of-sale marketing.
  • A known tool that can be used to upsell your product.
  • Something that easily goes viral.
  • Something your audience will actually want to watch. (Unlike a commercial, it is not an interruption of the story they are already watching. It is the story.)

(This is part one in a series on Branded Content. In future posts, we'll provide some examples, case studies, and education on how you can get started with branded content for your organization.)



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.