The concept of branded content isn’t new; even as the pervasiveness of the digital lifestyle has given rise to the social consumer to provide brands with new channels of access, delivery formats, and greater self-initiated reach. Some familiar examples of branded content include :
- The monthly mini-mag from your local health system featuring health tips and service spotlights/success stories
- The magalog from your daughter’s favorite clothing store that shows how to pair pieces for a super-awesome wardrobe
- The quarterly newsletter from your investment company discussing savings ideas and ways to cut expenses
- Recipes inside packaging or soup labels
The underlying premise is that brands using these branded content tactics are an authority in their space, and as such, have important, useful information to share with you (sell to you), their valued customer. I say most of it is still self-serving, recycled and expected hogwash that does little for my trust factor. Indeed, there are exceptions.
For the most part, though, there’s so much poorly disguised “help” being thrown at us consumers that branded content is really starting to sound like noise. Dare I say, in an effort to drive awareness, revenue, and even entangle the customer, many brands are just trying to distract us with semi-shiny objects rather than deliver content or insights of any substance.