What’s the point of branded content?

In this new world of marketing, content is the currency we use to pay for eyeballs. Well, that’s not entirely true. Let’s try this again.

In marketing — especially digital tactics — content is a major part in promoting your company and attracting customers. Content allows business to solve customer problems without engaging in typical “you pay us, we produce something for you” fashion, which, for the most part, facilitates better relationships between potential customers and the business that can solve their problems.

Online Marketing

Ask most marketing professionals and they’ll tell you content marketing is about showing your stuff.

Want to be seen as a thought leader? Write in-depth thoughts about your industry.
Want to showcase case studies? Do the work, then share the story.
Want to celebrate your clients? Interview them and publish their tales.

While many companies are content in sharing their message passively, meaning the content they produce is aimed at their customers but likely wrapped in their company’s logo, many companies have taken more of an advertising route by creating content about their product/service that does nothing more than highlight its features.

Some may call this branded content. Some may think this is a happy medium between helpful content and advertising.

Those some people are wrong.

Mashable recently published an article titled 5 Reasons Your Branded Content Is Failing. In it, they detailed why branded content may not be working, with reasons such as “You Haven’t Developed a Voice” and “You’re not Using Your Content to its Full Potential”. Besides being bad advice, none of those five reasons make any mention of the most important part of content creation and its marketing.

Want a hint? It’s in the comments of the Mashable article linked above. We’ll wait.

Okay, back?

It’s context, and your audience both is and will provide context.

Content marketing is about solving problems, not selling yourself.

Are you creating advertisements or helpful content?