Engaging content is the key to successful brand advertising campaigns.
Except for the world's largest brands, it seems like many companies have given up on the opportunities that brand advertising brings.
Marketing teams shell out a bunch of money for boring display ads and feel OK about mediocre engagement rates. Advertising teams keep using the same old formula hoping for better click rates, and yet, nothing changes.
In order for ads to succeed, they need to be engaging. In a world where technology changes every minute of the day, marketers must strive to adapt ads for the consumer. Draw your audience in with more than just an offer, logo, and a link.
After all, people don't share ads. They share content.
The Goal of Brand Advertising
The goal of any brand advertising campaign is to engage people with your brand and have them remember you, or better yet, share your brand with others.
Making the effort to distribute content that's deemed valuable by your audience isn't easy, but one of the best ways to make it relevant is by incorporating content into your ad units. Brand advertising works extremely well when it's built on relevant content. Campaigns that focus on creating the best, most interesting content are more successful than any other type of online advertising.
Seeing a company's logo stand alone is a great reminder of that company's name, image, and what it stands for, but it doesn't really offer anything to the viewer.
A brand ad with the company logo and a piece of useful content is engaging on a much higher level. Imagine browsing online and seeing a Coca-Cola banner ad with the brand's logo. Great. Now what?
In a recent report, eMarketer defined several factors that help brands create great content marketing. Best practices include creating value, telling a story, choosing the right channel, and building traffic. But perhaps the key for generating great content is for brand marketers to put themselves in their customers' shoes.
"Think like a consumer. You know, would I pin this? Would I 'like' this? Would I comment on it?" said Emily Schildt, director of digital communications at yogurt maker Chobani.
Take the Form of What People Care About
In a recent Ad Age article, Jason Del Rey discussed native advertising and how "web readers, viewers and social-network users are more likely to respond positively to marketing tactics that don't look like advertising and instead take the form of the rest of the content on a website or platform." The big key to creating content is to make sure that what you create is useful, interesting, or actually helpful. Vagueness and over-generalizations are a waste, and don't help you relate to your audience.
People want precise information, numbers that mean something, and real-life examples - things that are tangible. Cut out the clichés and summary overviews, and instead add engaging content to your ads.
Here are two ways to add relevant content to your brand ads:
No matter how engaging you think your ads look, you always have to keep what your audience wants at the top of your strategy. No one is going to take a screen shot of your banner ad and email it to a friend.
But people do share funny pictures, engaging stories, and entertaining videos. So try finding ways to incorporate this type of content into your online advertising and you'll see a jump in engagement.
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Aubrey is the director of marketing programs at Salted Stone, a digital marketing agency in Southern California. She specializes in brand strategy and inbound marketing, working with emerging tech companies and B2B providers to identify their voice and create revenue-driving content plans.
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