Branded Content

Branded Content

Notes from The Future of Branded Content

It’s been the foundation of so many social media campaigns I’ve run over the last 18 months, it has also been my prediction for 2010. Claudia Sagripanti (VentureOne) and AIMIA recently held a great forum looking at the future of branded content – not only in digital, but in other key mediums such as paid and free television.

The image above is one I took for CBS Interactive in 2008 and I thought was a great example of branded content – imagine what this would be like at Festivals.

Overall, the three top outtakes were:

  • TCO: Content & Context: planning for specifications, optimising outputs, and touch points.
  • 5 Gum: Facebook Advertising was key to the success of the Facebook Fan Page
  • Peta Pynta: Engagement is a sense of personal relevance
  • Steven Noble: On measurement: you need to be able to articulate why you chose or use these metrics

Below are some of my key outtakes.  My favourite is actually around defining engagement.

Clive Burcham

What I learned from Clive Burcham, head chief at The Conscious Organisation (where my digital bro Julian is also):

  • Brands need to be as interesting, and daring as they want their customers to be.
  • Great branded content
    • Needs to engage with people, needs to bring joy
    • Needs to entertain people
    • We over think things: don’t think outside the box.. think like there is no box
    • Great idea isn’t enough – it’s about delivery (digital is a form to deliver)
    • The path to success: isn’t about spend
  • Fail fast, learn quick do it again
  • The Rules of Engagement:
  1. Audience first
  2. Product stories need people stories
  3. Social idea: activation of the idea (gets 2 people talking online/offline)
  4. Content & Context: planning for specifications, optimising outputs, and touch points.
  5. Entertain and Involve: involve communities
  6. Distribution: earned, owned, bought
    • Influcners: Bloggers, ambassadors, editors
    • Brand Channels: Website, portfolio of social, databases, at event/Partners: digital, tv, sponsors, other
    • Paid: PureProfile etc
    • Paid: push
      • Sony:
        • Bloggers were from publishers?
  7. Consumption
    • If you want people to do something you have to make it easier for them to do it than for them not to do it.
    • Easy for interaction, remove barriers for entry
    • Make it shareable
  8. Success: what does success look like
    • How do we measure
  9. Gaff: will anyone care about it

5Gum – branded case study

Really loved this case study – both hearing from the brand and the agency (Nick Tubb, Digital Strategy, Clemenger), gave a really good over view.

  • TV used as the key channel to launch 5
  • Maximise frequency through digital extension
  • Develop a destination/platform for ongoing conversation
  • Play where the people are
  • It’s important to have a strong destination while being where your audience is
  • User journey must be consistent
  • Engage the community through the commission and aggregation of relevant content
  • Content plan:
  • We use different types of content across our communications, the best way to categroise them is the role the brand plays in each:
  • Authored – brand TVCs
  • Curated – commissioned artwork
  • Co-created – consumer remixes
  • Aggregated – 3rd party content
  • Relationships with content producers is key
  • Facilitating co-creation (with tools etc) was a big learning curve
  • Promo: it’s easy to fall into the “let’s do a promo trap” – need to think harder.
  • So how are we going to be different this year?
  • 2009 set a foundation, we have an active audience and a robust platform
  • 2010 is the year that we can begin to really engage the audience
  • Expect larger scale participation based ideas
  • Expect a different approach to commissioned artists
  • Above all, expect 5 to be different
  • 3 Key Groups: Creators, critics and crowds
  • “Facebook Advertising was key to the success of the Facebook Fan Page”
  • ROI was based on Market Share

Peter Pynta, Director of Sales and Marketing, Neuro-Insight

This guy, is mega-smart. Really enjoyed hearing a more scientific view on marketing, advertising and engagement. He even gives a great definition of engagement.

  • Commercials and content require context – driven by the ‘global’ and ‘rational’ state of the brand. Regarding messages.
  • Macro vs Micro experiences
  • Context is everything – the power of association (Peter Pynta, Neuro-Insight)
  • The medium is the message: allows for story-telling.
  • The power of content? [Disagree here - Isn’t it the power of opinion – TopGear have an established audience, it’s their expertise that they demonstrate that allows the to develop influence with their community.]
  • Content/context can augment a brand and suppress the competition.
  • It’s a non-linear approach, rather than reach & frequency
  • Engagement is a sense of personal relevance. The higher the engagement the more open the doorway to memory is.
  • Measurement:how do you bridge one channel to another (e.g. tv to online – online video predicted at 2015)

Steven Noble

Ever since meeting Steven in 2006, I’ve been continually impressed and inspired by his approach to marketing and digital media – in fact, in my opinion he’s one of the first people to understand social from a business context and a community context (that is driving social media to meet business outcomes and understanding technology is just an enabler).

  • Framework: is generally circumstantial
    • Engagement can be measured in a variety of ways:
      • Involvement: how many views, time spent etc.
      • Interaction: comments, etc.
      • Intimacy: Emotional reaction (sentiment)
      • Influence: did you talk about it, did you forward a page to a friend
  • You need to be able to articulate why you chose or use these metrics
  • Engagement is like love: we all know its there, we just define it different
  • Not about time on site:
    • Personal relevance = engagement
    • Not about being there all time, it’s about picking the moment (i.e. when engagement is highest and hence memory is at the highest)
  • Our goal is to increase ‘brand consideration’ or ‘purchase’ with the target demographic – obvious business impact that you can credibly target
  • Engagement will increase depending on the marketing mix for the particular content (i.e. signage mixed with broadcast etc.)

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.