Here is a cool article I found at Content Marketing Institute on the branding of content:
Online video’s growth as a marketing tool is playing out in a few different ways. Beyond the standard product and how-to videos (which can be dry and comes into play fairly far down the sales funnel) and more traditional online video ads, new & creative formats are exploding. Most interesting to me – as they open up vast possibilities – are user generated content and branded native content (in various forms). User generated videos can help a marketer proliferate a brand quickly and at a low (or no) cost, but they give up control on messaging, brand positioning, and consistency of format; it’s a risky play. Branded video content takes a considerable amount of effort to produce and is expensive, but it is effective in building brand affinity in a deliberate and controlled way – important to keep today’s younger audiences from getting cynical about a brand.
This article discusses the challenges of creating the right video content for today’s consumer:
Focusing in on branded content – there are so many ways to get creative with this medium to entertain audiences while generating demand and branding at the same time. Marketers must cut through the noise and compete with so many forms of “see it now” media; they must meet the wants & desires of today’s over-stimulated consumer. I find fascinating how many different approaches are being made to solve the “must-see” content challenge. There’s long-form video, super short-form video (Vine), quasi-journalistic pieces, and the web celebrity supported user-generated content. Entire production companies – online content studios – are dedicated to this medium and it is an emerging business model.
This piece is helpful in understanding the role that online content studios are playing in brand-building for marketers.
Content studios are trying different strategies and business models – not only in generating real value for clients (brands, retailers, distributors and publishers), but also for monetizing their product. As such, we are starting to see some valuation being assigned to these powerful content generators, based on their content as well as they use it to generate revenue and profit. This places increasing importance on the role they are playing in digital marketing, branding, and selling, as the article below points out.
Cases in point: Maker Studios was bought by Disney last year for $1B, as the entertainment giant realized it needed to fill a strategic gap in providing well-produced branding-ready digital content. Secondly, online multi-channel network StyleHaul was just purchased by RTL Group for $200MM, due to the rapid growth of StyleHaul’s content network of thousands of fashion-oriented channels, and their unique brand-friendly business model which increased their profitability. Below are articles outlining the strategic thinking for these deals.
Video content - particularly branded content – will continue to grow and be subject to innovation for the foreseeable future. It’s tremendously exciting to follow and challenging to imagine which direction the trends will forge into the future. As an online marketer, it is imperative to understand the creativity that can be brought to this space, and how it can impact consumer behavior as well as attitudes towards shopping and brands. It seems to me that we are still in the early innings of this game, and anything can happen.