Commercials are Dead. Long Live TV.
The Era of Branded Content is Here.
Here‘s a statistic. YouTube reaches more 18+ year-olds during prime-time viewing hours than any cable TV network (Hubspot).
Over the years we’ve switched from t.v. channels to streaming apps, but one thing hasn’t changed. Commercials suck. 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional marketing (Forbes). People skip ads, ignore commercials, put up ad blockers, and still companies insist on throwing ad after expensive ad at their unwilling audience. And the hate for commercials grows stronger.
But people love television. (Psychology Today) Why? The stories pull them in. By creating story based content that people love and connect with, then putting it on the platforms they already engage with, businesses can interact with customers in a way that provides real value.
Video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text combined (Forbes), but to increase impact, people need a goal oriented content strategy, with well thought out stories and characters that captivate and keep audiences.
Imagine building a community of customers that seek you out on social media rather than stumbling on your posts in the scroll. Imagine them sharing your content with their friends, craving your products, and asking for you by name. What do you remember more, the last commercial you watched or the last episode of your favorite show? Which one did you enjoy more?
Getting Started With Killer Content
There’s a sea of template videos out there. In fact, more video is uploaded in thirty days than major t.v. networks created in thirty years. (Inc.) To stand out, remember these three tips:
- Focus on Format. There are hundreds of educational series, but Adam Ruins Everything stands out for its unique structure. Before beginning a project ask yourself, “what does my audience need and how do I present it in a way they’ve never seen before?”.
- Shape the Story. Before marketing, before money, before words, there was story. You can learn everything you need from Mario. (Fast Company) Creating a hero that people can identify with, stakes that your audience relates to, and a theme that’s relevant and consistent with your brand, you’ll give your customers content they really want, rather than something else they’ll settle for.
- Brand in the Background. Do. Not. Be. That. Guy. The point of creating branded content is to entertain your audience and bring them to where you are. This could be a series incorporating guests who can view and buy your product in the room, or a short film that draws people to your social media and website, with your products (not your logo) used by the characters. Your brand should be shown only when it is natural for the story and the characters, or you’ll end up looking like this.