Branded Content Done Right

5 Tips For Solid Campaigns

5 Ways To Make Great Branded Content In 2022

Succeeding in the branded content space isn’t easy. It takes the right idea and a proper rollout/amplification strategy. But, there are simple steps that can be taken to improve a campaign’s chances.

1. Stop Treating It Like A Long-Form Commercial

A web series is not just an extended commercial. It’s a chance to engage people and tell a story related to the brand. It can even incorporate the product in an overt way! But, the entertainment has to come first. The goal is to inspire or educate or just plain excite people in the same way movies or books do. Then, if there’s a way to tie in either the product or the category, even better!

A quick example of this would be if Turtle Wax decided to do a web series about how Americans’ love for their cars has evolved over the last century. That’s pretty cool and large swaths of the country might be interested in that. It would make sense for car wax in general to be an organic part of that story. What wouldn’t be good is if Turtle Wax decided to make car wax the lens through which the story was told. Like, you know, a history of people expressing their passion for their cars by waxing them. That’s an infomercial.

2. Be Current

The year is 2022. Not 2021. Or 1993.

What worked in the past may not make sense for the present. Even last year, the idea of incorporating an NFT into a branded content campaign would have been met with a resounding “huh?” But now, having a purchase-able aspect to a new web series seems like an obvious extension, in terms of both buzz and also the consumer experience. Of course, that’s just a tactical example. Cultural factors shift quickly, too. Nobody wants to be the brand called out for not being able to read the room.

3. Watch Your Tone

Funny is good. It’s fun to make. But it’s not right for every brand story. You have to consider two things when creating branded content: staying true to your brand values AND appealing to people in a way that’s relevant. Could United Healthcare create a series of horror videos and call it branded content? Sure. Should they though? Similarly, a company like Mountain Dew might not be the best brand to bring you a hard-hitting docuseries about crime in America.

4. It’s More Than Video

The most prevalent form of branded content right now is video, which makes sense given the prominence of social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook/Instagram. They’re all video-based. But, the brand opportunities are endless: podcasts, blogs, articles, books, music, art and more. With such a crowded video space, it might even be smarter to try other forms of media in 2022.

5. Have A Plan Before Launch

How and where will the content be deployed? How will it be amplified? The right idea is essential, but even the best content won’t matter if only a fraction of the potential audience for it sees it. It’s not enough to say “we’ll put it on all the social platforms.” That’s a recipe for a lackluster launch. Instead, consider partnering with influencers in the category space, entertainment or production companies, and even other brands. Every campaign is different: some require a splash and some might benefit from a longer rollout.