It’s a noisy world and many consumers have learned to switch off from overt advertising. That’s why many companies have embraced branded content.

What is branded content?

Brands can team up with a content provider, such as a TV show, to develop a segment or article that features the brand. Unlike traditional advertising, branded content sits right inside the TV show itself, so viewers are unlikely to switch off. Programs like The Home Team, Better Homes & Gardens TV and The Block have done this to great effect, integrating home and lifestyle brands and retailers into their storylines.

Aren’t there other ways to get covered on TV?

You can use traditional public relations techniques to get television coverage for your brand. Opportunities to do so are getting harder to come by and your product needs to be genuinely outstanding to be successful.

Is branded content expensive?

Less expensive than traditional advertising, and less time-consuming and resource-hungry than creating your own content in-house, branded content represents a happy medium. The sponsor pays a fee while the production company writes the script and films the content. Different sponsorship tiers create opportunities for brands that may not have considered TV as part of their marketing budget before.

What’s the value of branded content?

Content marketing is a great way for brands looking to get cut through. It provides a platform for your brand to tell a story in a believable and authentic way: the hard-sell message of traditional advertising is replaced by a case study that shows the product in action. Essentially, instead of telling your audience how good your product is, you can show them.

On a more tactical level, the return on investment can be high. When the story runs on the TV show, you can leverage it through social media channels, place it on your own website, and send it to your customers. This amplifies the value of your initial investment.

For many shows, reruns and ‘encores’ mean it doesn’t just air once. Instead, it might air once on a Tuesday night in primetime, then again on Saturday afternoon, then again on the broadcaster’s additional channels, and even potentially on pay TV.

This can deliver a higher return on investment than a specific flight of advertisements.

So why aren’t more companies doing it?

Great question! Unfortunately, lots of traditional media buying agencies aren’t presenting these options to their clients, or their clients aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities. Often this is because they just don’t understand what a valuable opportunity branded content can provide.

Branded content works differently from traditional advertising in the following ways:

          the sponsor does not get final approval over the segment; it’s an editorial approach where the producers get the final say. This is a benefit, because it means the content will definitely fit with the rest of the show and resonate with the viewers

          your product may not be overtly promoted and there will not be a prominent logo shown on screen. This increases the credibility of your product being used on the show, because it doesn’t look like a paid-for promotion

          there is no specific time guaranteed for when the story will air; it will air as a natural part of the program.

Sponsors can work closely with producers to outline key messages and to demonstrate the product to its best advantage.

How can my company get involved in branded content?

PR companies are proving to be a useful conduit between the TV programs that offer branded content and the companies that want to explore branded content. Write Away has great relationships, and a lot of experience working with producers and researchers to get our clients’ stories and products on the air. We understand the massive value of great content and how to convey that to an audience subtly, not to mention how to leverage it to ensure you get the most value for the investment.

If you’d like to know more, contact us on +61 2 9978 1400 or email mail@writeaway.com.au