forget-branded-content

Content marketing is, undoubtedly, one of the most important buzzwords among crucial concepts of modern promotional activities. Unfortunately, content marketing isn’t always applied to maximum effect.

A good illustration is a recent study by software company Prezi: 8 out of 10 people forget about branded content in no more than 3 days after interacting with it, with a considerable share not remembering a single thing about it.

8 out of 10 people forget branded content in no more than 3 daysClick To Tweet

This means that all the efforts of those who did market research, planned, and prepared this content were for naught – usually at considerable expense to the company in question.

The reason is obvious: people are under the never-ending barrage of content.

Four news outlets combined alone publish 1,192 stories every day.

Meanwhile, on WordPress powered blogs alone, 79 million posts go out every month; that’s over 2.5 million blog posts a day.

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WordPress Activity, accessed July 27, 2017.

This information overload causes people to develop defense mechanisms – in other words, ignore content that doesn’t seem like it is going to be of any use to them. Worse, many readers are too used to advertising and automatically filter branded content out, considering it to be worthless by definition.

All this shows that if you want to make your content memorable, you better don't produce branded content. You have to look for its alternatives and professionals experienced at creating them.

1. Unexpected Content

One of the best ways to make the reader or viewer remember your content is to show them something completely unexpected or outright shocking.

You can learn a lot by taking a look at Japanese advertising tradition: while often eschewing branded content almost completely, it instead concentrates not on functionality but on the story, imagery and, yes, memorability. The advertised brand is often mentioned only obliquely and without trying to point out the immediate advantages of choosing it – instead the viewer is treated to a fascinating and often bizarre flow of plot and imagery.

As a result, even mundane and innocuous things like cup noodles or candies make for easily recognizable and unusual content that is often more interesting than shows that it intersperses.

2. New And Interesting Information

In most cases, it is immediately obvious if the content you are reading is nothing more than an addition to a brand that it is promoting. Even if it contains some useful and usable information, in the reader’s perception it will always remain tainted by the proximity of the promoted brand.

At the same time, one of the most powerful reasons why people keep remembering content long after they’ve seen it is new and useful information it gives them.

So, a winning strategy is to attract new people with content imparting some new information that is likely to be interesting to your target audience – for example, some tips that don’t directly touch upon the use of your product or service but deal with the same general area of application.

It may be a good idea to use the services of professionals specializing in the creation of memorable non-branded content that will send out the necessary message in a fascinating way with infographics, images, or animation.

3. Stories

Human brains are hardwired to perceive, remember and like stories.

Give audience an interesting narrative, and the audience will follow you.

That is why “human interest” pages have been in all kinds of publications for decades without showing any signs of abating: when we read about personal experiences we always remember things better than when we deal with abstract situations.

So, tell your audience a story that doesn’t advertise your product or service – or, in fact, that has nothing to do with it but is interesting, illustrative and fascinating in its own right.

4. Value

Ultimately, the Internet is a place where people go to find answers or to entertain themselves.

If you can provide those answers, teach them useful tips and tricks, educate them – they will be grateful and single you out from hundreds of websites that do nothing but rehash the same content you can find everywhere else.

5. Consistency

You may use unexpected content for promotion, but you cannot afford to be inconsistent.

If you use peculiar and seemingly random imagery, at least be consistent about it and make your readers and viewers look forward to something unexpected from you every time you post something new. There are many other ways to play this card: post with regular frequency, maintain stable quality, etc.

Conclusion

We live in the era of information overload. Consumers are jaded and overfed with all kinds of content calling for their attention. With each passing year, the competition for their attention is growing more intense – and under these conditions, you cannot afford to simply do what everybody else does. Bigger and richer companies with greater budgets are going to beat you – unless you make sure you use innovative and unhackneyed methods first.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com