How to create great branded content

With the last year changing the way we work, marketers now need to meet customer expectations and create authentic and interesting branded videos that not only get the content noticed but retain attention, spotlight the brand, gratify its viewers and lead to action.

Viktor Underwood, CEO at Quickchannel, explores how a good video marketing strategy, as well as great content, can enhance brand identity

Video continues to be one of the most popular promotion tools, with a staggering 86% of businesses using video content and 93% of marketing professionals stating that it's a vital part of their strategy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the multiple benefits that come with a video marketing strategy, such as stronger visibility on social feeds, increased user engagement, as well as the ability to provide a more personable way to reach audiences. 

However, in a world where ever more importance is being placed on identity and authenticity, the need to personalise video content becomes a priority. Despite their growing marketability in the past year, live stream events can still feel quite anonymous, mostly due to the limited set of predefined templates users can choose from on the more widely available, free-to-use streaming platforms. This presents a challenge as far as brand identity is concerned – after all, a company wouldn’t invest in a blank stand at a trade show, with no logos or distinctive visual designs that allow a brand to stand out from the competition. The same principle should apply to video content.

Authenticity and shareability

There is also a credibility angle that cannot be overlooked. People want the reassurance that the content they’re consuming comes from a trusted source, which is why brand identifiers (logos, consistent formats, recurring features, etc) should always be factored in to video content, whether it’s being produced by enterprises, small start-ups, non-profit organisations or even the public sector. 

By swapping overly-salesy content for branded video, marketing professionals are in a better position to show authenticity. This offers brands a way to prove they are passionate and knowledgeable enough to appeal to consumers. Videos about real people and real experiences resonate well with audiences as they interpret them as credible and relevant viewing.

Inclusive, relatable content helps bring the viewer into the experience, unlike that of one-way storytelling, which can alienate them. To make content feel inclusive, marketing professionals need to show their audience something they can also enjoy with friends or peers, making it something they are likely to share.

Outside of a particularly timely promotional video, people don’t usually share videos where the brand takes the spotlight. However, branded videos can flip the dynamic and provide viewers with a reason to share the content. This is especially true when it comes to social media, with 76% of users saying they would share a branded video with their friends if it was entertaining.

Engaging and emotive

With substantial amounts of content now available and all competing for viewers’ time and attention, the first step in creating a successful branded video is ensuring people notice it.

Informative, intriguing and funny branded videos generate the most interest, with underlying humour playing an essential part in helping to keep the audience entertained and engaged. Interesting content also evokes a strong sense of enjoyment, engagement and relevance, ensuring it holds the viewers’ attention and keeps them coming back.

Emotive branded videos work well for companies focused on positive change. Essentially, if your brand has a passion for positivity, that passion can create a powerful emotive video. While some may associate emotive videos with sad or negative messages, they can also elicit happiness and excitement that endear audiences to your message. 

The right emotion for any emotive branded video content will depend on its story. It must be selected carefully, as videos can create a lasting impression – for better or worse.

The rise of marketing videos

Distinctive, more personable visual styles can prove to be an effective strategy for enhancing brand engagement. We’re now seeing marketing videos that are professionally produced to replicate that amateurish, shaky-cam feel that we come across in user clips uploaded online because they feel more authentic and relatable. The more the look and feel of your branded content stands out, the longer it will be embedded in the collective mind’s subconscious.

These videos enhance the experience rather than disrupting it, ensuring that brands are less likely to annoy viewers and add value to conversations. And while including videos in marketing strategies is not new, the quality and messages that come with them are much more heavily scrutinised than they have been before. 

Best practices for branded content depend on the brand’s category and objectives, so it is only by testing the content’s effectiveness that marketing professionals can truly uncover ways to improve its performance and gauge its potential in an ever-evolving world.