What is branded video content?

In this post we’ll look at the main benefits that come from branded video content and some operational tips for creating them!

Marketing Team
Content Marketing What is branded video content?

Table of Contents

What is branded video content? 

The answer is simple, but let’s be careful to eliminate any confusion right away. 

Branded video content is very different from brand videos, despite the similar-sounding names. In fact, these two types of content are, in some ways, opposites. 

Brand videos are focused on the narrative of the brand itself, its mission, its vision. In branded video content, on the other hand, the brand is on the sidelines, in some cases even disappearing (of course, this is only on the surface). 

The fact is, brand videos and branded video content share the same priorities.  

Which ones? Brand awareness (which, to put it very briefly, is about brand recognition) and especially the sharing of a value system and imagery that a company wants to communicate with its customers. In short, these two types of content arrive at the same goal by taking two different paths. 

But let’s proceed in order. First of all, we’ll start with definitions, and then we’ll look at the main benefits that come from branded video content and some operational tips for creating them. 

Branded video content – a definition and some data on their effectiveness

Branded video content is part of the broader field of content marketing and takes the form of videos that are sponsored or created by a brand, which, however, do not directly promote the brand itself. 

They promote values that are the same values the brand embraces and wants to communicate to its audience. They do not aim directly at conversions or sales of a product or service, but seek to offer added value to viewers, aiming for empathy with the target audience, a sense of belonging, and advocacy

There are many types of branded video content. They can range from big budget, full-fledged film production (think “The Lego Movie,” from 2014) to videos focusing on cooking recipes, health or fitness-related advice, and so on. 

The audience perceives this type of video marketing, and this content, as useful, entertaining, or emotionally engaging, or, better yet, all three. This points to the tremendous effectiveness of this content. But let’s allow the data to speak for us: 

  • Branded content records 22 times the engagement rate of regular ads (source: forbes.com);
  • After viewing a piece of branded content, people are 14% more likely to search for other content from the same company (source: adweek.com);
  • 75% of marketers incorporate branded content into their campaigns (source: contentmarketinginstitute.com);
  • Today, more than 1 in 4 Internet users (27.5%) use systems to block ads; of course, this does not affect branded video content (source: insiderintelligence.com);
  • 58% of millennials say they are willing to watch advertising content involving influencers unless as it is “authentic” and “entertaining” (source: forbes.com);
  • Branded content videos record 62% more positive reactions from viewers than traditional video marketing campaigns (source: adage.com)

In short, the numbers could not be more clear. When it comes to branded video content, it’s about pushing – in a sense – below the surface of your brand, and it’s about not falling into the trap of wanting to sell “anything and everything right away.”  

The benefits of all this? That’s what we’ll focus on in the next section.

What are the benefits of Branded video content?

What are the benefits of branded content? In other words, why do audiences like branded video content so much? Let’s look at it as succinctly as possible, isolating 5 key points. 

1) Non-invasiveness.  

Branded video content, by definition, does not interrupt online browsing or, for example, it does not interrupt you from viewing another piece of content on YouTube. It is content that you choose to view and enjoy because it is not directly perceived as a marketing communication. Given the fact that we are constantly bombarded by stimuli online, this is greatly appreciated by users. 

2) Emotional connection. 

High quality branded video content always hinges on effective storytelling: whether it is quasi-film or more “crafted” (mind you, immediacy is always something that is achieved through good design!). 

Effective storytelling is the kind of storytelling that is able to trigger an emotional connection with the recipient. How important is this?  Here’s some data on that: for 82% of consumers, brands that are able to elicit an emotional reaction with their messages are the ones that most entice brand loyalty. 

3) Engagement.  

This point is closely related to the one above and to what we have said so far, more generally. Amidst the noise of online messages, consumers risk being deafened.

With branded video content, on the other hand, it’s the consumers themselves who choose: and, in return, they receive entertainment, and fun, useful information. 

4) Authenticity. 

Authenticity is the real reason why branded video content works so well. Being authentic means not treating your customers as numbers from which to squeeze other numbers (those of sales). It means seeing them as individuals who can share the company’s values and the imagery created around them. 

Of course, the optics that are triggered in this way are perfectly win-win, a true virtuous circle: the brand offers value to its audience; in this way, it improves its reputation and advocacy; as a result, it becomes more attractive. And so on. 

The final step: turn your audience into your first testimonials. And here we come to the fifth and final point. 

5) Ease of sharing. 

Who feels like sharing a direct and aggressive promotional video advertising, for example, a discount on a product? 

Very few people, we are told. Conversely, a beautiful and/or useful video is something that we will gladly share with friends, family, colleagues. 

If we think about the vast and important ecosystem of social networks (in which we all participate), we can see why this ease of sharing branded video content is an absolutely decisive point. 

Tips for production  

Choosing from the wide variety of tips and best practices for producing branded video content, we have selected five key points.

1) Set your goals precisely. 

This is good advice for any kind of marketing strategy: always start from the end; that is, have in mind the goals you want to achieve from the very beginning. Also, make sure that these goals are measurable, to understand whether they have been achieved and, if so, how to course-correct.  

In the case of branded video content, all of this is even more important and delicate: because it’s the very representation of the brand’s values, its status, associations at the level of imagery and perception, that is at stake. 

Failure to pay the utmost attention to all this at the outset risks failure. 

2) Have a clear idea of the audience. 

The effectiveness, the involvement, the emotional grip of any message always depends on the target audience. And that’s why it is imperative, before producing branded video content, to have as broad and “high-definition” a snapshot of your audience as possible. 

How to do it? By analyzing and interpreting so-called Big Data, the digital traces we all constantly leave behind. From these traces, companies can get a very clear idea of the target audience and— as a result—produce content that is increasingly tailored and increasingly effective.

3) Adopt an omnichannel perspective. 

We have become accustomed to viewing videos from the most diverse devices.  

The need for brands, therefore, is very clear: design and produce your videos in omnichannel mode. 

Please note: the primary role, in this regard, should always be given to the mobile side, because the smartphone is the primary tool through which we view videos.

It’s not just a matter of devices. 

Above all, it’s a matter of optimizing your videos according to the platforms on which they are distributed. It’s one thing to produce a video for the company website; it’s another thing to produce a video that you will use in your email campaigns; and it’s yet another matter to create a video for YouTube or a dedicated app. Finally, don’t forget the fundamental playing field of social media, each platform with its own technical rules and best practices.  

4) Rely on professionals. 

Even if quality is your first objective, not every company has the internal resources, time, or expertise to produce videos. Here, our advice is very simple: rely on professionals and companies that specialize in this type of content.  

5) What about the call to action? 

Finally, a delicate point: the call to action. In general, a good call to action is one that does not abruptly interrupt the narrative flow of a video; it must be inserted at the right point and in a consistent manner.

As for branded video content, it is good to consider whether to include the call to action at all.  Remember what we said at the beginning? 

This is not about selling directly. But about aiming for recognition, empathy with the public, advocacy. The moment of conversion will happen later, naturally. It’s best not to rush things: it risks being counterproductive. 

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