“I was fascinated to read that three quarters of global consumers feel that branded content is lacking in quality (new study from Social@Ogilvy and Survey Monkey, released at Cannes Lions 2014). As a passionate ambassador for quality branded content, my immediate reaction was to think that, surely these results couldn’t be accurate, but of course, they absolutely highlight the naked truth about content!
The reality is that, right now, the world and his next-door neighbour are creating content. And the greater the number of individuals - and more crucially advertisers – who are creating content, the more uncomfortable those who aren’t already doing it are feeling. Result? A collective compulsion to go forth and create content… loads of it, and not all of it relevant, useful, thought-provoking or of decent quality.
For branded content to inspire any kind of action it needs a point-of-view, one that is passionate and authentic. The survey affirmed that funny and informative content is king – and that’s just my point. The reader should walk away from engaging with that content feeling moved to act on it (whether that action means sharing the content, or walking into a store and making a purchase).
Great branded content is like any other great content – it requires some degree of storytelling and, let’s face it, not everyone can spin a great story. Brands are at risk of losing audiences if they don’t get it right. So, my advice would be simply to give it up and leave it to those who are great at it – editors who know their audiences inside and out. Not only do they know how to craft a good story, the best ones have spent years understanding their audiences and knowing exactly how they like to consume content.
Branded content created in the right way by the right people works. Not every piece of content will be universally loved, but that’s alright – it doesn’t need to be. There’s so much content out there that marketers should never feel the need to please everyone when they embark on a branded content campaign. All that matters is that the content speaks to the desired audience in their language about something that genuinely matters to them.”
By Carla Faria, UK Solutions Director, Say Media