Branded content is one of the new trends in the media world, and it’s a great symbiotic relationship for brands to consider. Partnering with a blog for sponsored posts opens up creative new ways for a business to get on potential customers’ radars.
Like any other type of marketing, launching a branded content initiative requires some planning and forethought. Not only is the message of your sponsored post important, but so is where you share it. You’ll need to think about what blogs are the best matches for your company, in terms of industry, readership, and voice.
We’ve covered why this type of marketing material is successful and how your company can assemble a strong team of branded content bloggers. Now we have some examples of brands that have put all the pieces together and created killer strategies for the new media marketing form. Each company has taken a different approach to executing branded content on blogs, which shows just how unique and clever a business can be in leveraging the trend.
The tequila brand has made a very clever move for branded content by using sponsored posts to promote its Patrón Secret Dining Society. The underground supper club travels to different cities each month, featuring the creations of well-known chefs and bartenders. People who join the exclusive club have the chance to win an invitation to this free dinner, assuming they can also complete the scavenger hunt required to find the secret location.
These traveling meals would surely be a great success on their own, but Patrón goes the extra mile in getting the word out and attracting new members for the Social Club. Prior to the selection of the guests for any given dinner, the company ensures that sponsored posts about the event run in several local culture and food websites. This guarantees that the people most likely to appreciate the event are aware of its existence and can choose to get involved. By linking sponsored posts to a specific event series rather than just to the brand in general, Patrón both builds buzz and gets the company name in front of its desired audience.
Computer company Lenovo has a branded content strategy that is most notable for its scope. The brand has paid to have its wares promoted on countless websites, from the blog behemoth Buzzfeed to much smaller, local operations.
All of these branded content posts have the same introductory text marking them as sponsored material with a note that any opinions voiced are strictly those of the author. Clearly Lenovo has put in the time and money to have a standard practice with branded content that makes it easy to forge these marketing partnerships. It also allows the company to pursue a blitzkrieg approach to get its name in front of a growing audience.
Another smart move for these Lenovo posts is that the brand frequently uses them to offer discounts. For example, it has regular sponsored posts on the National Association of Professional Women blog. Most of those posts involve deals on Lenovo laptops and electronics. The focus on discounts mean the company doesn’t need to worry as much about trying to make an advertisement blend in with the other content on the site.
One of the common concerns about branded content in a blog is that once readers see that a post has been sponsored by an outside source, they will dismiss it as simply an ad. One easy solution to making these product mentions more acceptable is to actually offer useful information in these posts as well.
PayPal has a partnership with Mashable that demonstrates this idea. The posts it provides sound just like headlines that a regular Mashable staffer could have written, such as tips for making safe online purchases, or an infographic sharing mobile shopping statistics. It’s clear in the article’s presentation and in the body text that PayPal is the author of the piece, but there is still useful and interesting information in those posts.
Have you seen a company with a killer branded content strategy? Let us know in the comments!