When well executed, branded video entertainment can subtly reinforce your company’s story in the consumer’s mind by generating emotional brand engagement, opening a dialogue, creating intrigue and inviting the consumer into a conversation.
What is branded video entertainment?
Branded video entertainment, often also called video marketing, branded entertainment, branded video content, et cetera, is like advertising in that it is typically narrative-driven and educational, and used to promote a product or service, support a cause, or represent a company. It is unlike advertising in that it is not usually “in your face” or overtly promotional. Essentially, branded video entertainment keeps the paying company in the background; they don’t sell, and most don’t mention the brand at all but instead strengthen a company’s message through storytelling and emotionally connecting with their audience.
Amazon – Fitness Tracker
Why is branded video entertainment growing?
Over the past years, the idea of using video content as a complement to a company’s marketing strategy has skyrocketed in popularity. In 2017, Cisco reported that 74 percent of all internet content utilized video. That shouldn’t shock the marketing world, especially with the rise in streaming services on mobile tablets and phones, rising YouTube popularity, and continued infatuation with social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
What are the differences between branded video entertainment and ads?
As advertising fixates on a company logo in the first 30 seconds of an ad, branded video entertainment rarely reveals a company’s logo until the end. Advertising also provides a list of facts about a product, is shorter and typically formatted for TV, often too salesy, and seems to disrupt a user’s experience rather than connect and engage.
So, it’s not surprising that today’s user is much more in tune with video entertainment than long-form editorial or conventional advertising. Think YouTube. Although it seems like it’s been around forever, YouTube was actually born in 2005 and sold to Google in 2007 for $1.65 billion. That’s a serious achievement. Its growth is mostly due to the fact that it reaches people across user lines who may not normally be exposed to a company’s brand or message. Add in the flexibility of combining both audio and video into one message, and it’s easy to see why more and more companies are turning to YouTube as well as other social media channels to tell their story and engage with their audiences.
Amazon – Wearable Cameras
Premium online video streaming services such as Netflix – which doesn’t run ads – have actually helped boost the online video marketplace. Onlookers hint at the “Netflix Effect” (along with Amazon Video, Fandor and others) as a growing force behind branded video entertainment, as audiences’ expectations for ad-free services are making it harder to get people’s attention with ads. In response, in the next several years, “advertisers are expected to spend more than $10 million annually for their brand’s digital and mobile video, a 53 percent increase from 2016.”
What are the best practices for creating engaging branded video entertainment?
Branded video entertainment is putting the squeeze on traditional advertisers, which continue to face rising competition for marketing dollars and user attention. Even so, the video phenomenon is growing and not predicted to end anytime soon. But not all video content is created equal, and there are some things to keep in mind before spending real money on high-quality video.
Use creative storytelling with your brand as the star.
Creative storytelling begins with knowing your audience and understanding their needs and desires. When you know how best to speak to your customer or client, the rest of your story will fall into place. Take for instance Amazon, which knows their customer inside and out. They may use a comedic approach or show human values and experiences in their brand videos to punch up the engagement meter. But whatever they do, funny or serious, they speak to and engage with their target audience, and they do it very well. Of course, not all companies are giants or have the resources that brands such as Amazon, Coca-cola or Nike have in their hip pocket. But video production is far more accessible than ever before, and the high success rate of branded video entertainment far outweighs the cost involved.
Amazon – Gesture Control
Make your branded video feel as authentic as possible.
Genuinely authentic branded video entertainment typically relies on two things: consistency and quality. Without consistency, your message can be perceived as unpredictable and often erratic. Without quality, your targeted audience loses interest, and you lose long-term retention. As long as you have both, however, you will have an audience who trusts you to provide content they’ll crave. Consistency and quality are crucial for authentic videos, and authentic videos are vital for success because consumers desire to resonate with stories on a personal level.
Another way to make your video appear as authentic as possible is by capitalizing on favorable online ratings and reviews. People want to hear input from other people, not just from brands and companies. A passionate plea from someone with similar tastes can resonate with many buyers and authenticate your brand.
Don’t use a CTA; those are for ads.
Because your targeted audience is already searching for you and your brand online, there is little need to hit them over the head with a hard sell call to action (CTA). Popular with traditional ads and promotions, CTAs are usually clicked on out of boredom to escape the rest of the video message, especially if placed at the beginning. If placed in the middle, your audience may miss important information shown later. If a CTA is imperative, include one at the end of your video to avoid viewers prematurely abandoning a video.
Instead of a CTA, which many viewers already expect but try to avoid, work on strengthening your SEO (search engine optimization), which should be an integral part of your marketing efforts already. After all, video content and SEO should work together to make your brand more visible and give your video more authority on Google.
Branded video entertainment continues to be a powerful marketing initiative because of its ability to seize and retain the attention of your target audience. Undoubtedly, it is here to stay. When you’re looking for a company with a proven record of producing, directing and editing award-winning video content, look no further than REP Interactive. Our world-class videos speak for themselves, and our ongoing success speaks to the relationships we build with each of our customers.