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How to Build Credibility, Sales with Branded Content

by Toby Tabaczynski

published on 2016-09-23 06:43:00



Content is king – but only on the right throne. In the digital age, both the vehicle in which your advertising messages appear and the advertising messages themselves must interest, inform or entertain today’s media-saturated consumers.

Have you ever heard marketing professionals talk about “engaging” an audience or an “engaged audience”? Or “sticky” websites and “sticky” content? They’re referring to strong content’s ability to attract an audience, hold its attention, move it to action and keep it coming back. That’s every bit as difficult as it sounds, especially in today’s continuously fragmenting media landscape.



Get them when they’re most engaged

American consumers lead busy, time-compressed lives. What’s more, they’re highly skilled at avoiding advertising and marketing messages they regard as intrusive or a waste of time. Annoy them once too often and they may even hold a grudge. What’s an advertiser to do? One of the best answers can be found in a unique form of advertising known as branded content (or native advertising).

With seamless integration

The term branded content covers a variety of advertising methods, but all share a common characteristic: They create an engaging marketing message and seamlessly integrate it into content that consumers are already seeking. Presenting your advertising in the style and context of the surrounding content allows it to reach audiences at their most receptive. It also makes it far less likely that they will regard your message as an intrusion.

Inspire action

Branded content can take many forms, such as an article, a blog post, a video, a photo gallery, an infographic or an interactive online piece. Branded content can boost brand affinity by inspiring, informing, entertaining and interacting with your target audience. At its best, it can generate social media sharing, expanding the scope of your messaging and creating positive word-of-mouth. So it’s no surprise that consumers who engage with branded content report 53 percent higher purchase intent than those encountering traditional ads. [1]

From a credible source

Another plus? Branded content benefits from the credibility of the medium in which it appears. If, for example, an advertiser’s branded content appears in a Michigan.com publication, it is undergirded by the integrity of a trusted, highly regarded source of local news and information.

Branded content appearing in a Michigan.com publication also benefits from consumers’ faith in the USA TODAY Network, one of America’s most respected sources of national and international news. Remember, when it comes to branded content, the messenger is as important as the message. If appearing in a particular advertising vehicle will not enhance your brand and your message, avoid it.

Reach the right audience

As with any form of advertising, reaching the right audience on the right platforms at the right time is essential to the success of branded content. After all, if content is king, placement is queen. 

We have the ability to put your brand’s message in front of as many as 9,000,000 local consumers across our integrated solutions. But sheer reach doesn’t guarantee results, so we’ll work to ensure your message gets in front of the right audience by optimizing across eight different factors, including demographic, geographic, time of day and contextual placement to name a few.

Tips for picking the right partner

The bottom line? An organization asking you to consider them as branded content resource must be able to:
  • Be capable of researching and targeting the audience you want. 
  • Have the ability to reach that audience wherever it may be, including mobile capabilities. 
  • Be able to create quality content, on their behalf and yours. 
  • Lend credibility to your brand and your message.
  • Provide data verifying the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.
We’re here to help

Would you like to learn more about the many forms of branded content, from traditional print to interactive digital? We’d love to talk to you about these and many other ways we can help you grow your business. For more information, click here or call 313-223-3203.


Sources: Sharethrough, IPG Media Lab