A Lazy Marketer’s Guide To Brand Content

What do you know about branded content? If that caused a pause — don’t worry — you probably know more than you think.  But to be clear, let’s clearly define the term, branded content.

By definition branded content is,

A form of advertising, which uses content generation to promote a brand. It finds use in film, video games, music, the internet, events, installations and television. – Wikipedia

However, developing and distributing branded content across various web and mobile outlets is no cakewalk for marketers.  But with proper know-how, the process can be accomplished without it becoming a Herculean effort.  So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at how even the laziest of marketers can go about creating branded content that resonates with your target audience.

1. Use a trending hashtag

A trending hashtag is usually a “catchphrase” that is being heavily shared in real-time.  Being such, there is a likely chance that hundreds and thousands of members of your target audience will be closely following these trending topics.  So, why not make the most of it?

If you’re too lazy to search for trending hashtags on social media, try using Hashtag Tracking Tools and save yourself the hassle.  However, it’s worth mentioning that trending hashtags can change before you even have time to spell H-A-S-H-T-A-G.  Due to the frequency of changes, it’s best to stay on your toes and build a regular routine of searching for the trending hashtags in real-time.

Though, don’t go overboard and spam topics throughout your social network — careful to watch for ‘hashtag hijacking’ as well.  Try using using hashtags that are pertinent to your business/industry.  Try using a few of these tips to learn proper hashtag etiquette.

2. Let no idea go to waste

As digital marketers, we all share the common goal of being able to always produce brilliant ideas.  But not all ideas get the green light, and at the end of the day you  probably only use a handful of concepts you develop for brands.  In other cases, some of our ideas may never see the light of the day.

For instance, Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaign.  While the hashtag may sound ridiculous at first, it was actually a hit in engaging with the brand’s target audience. Brand loyalists, and other social media users  began Photoshopping images and strategically placing Red Bull cans throughout their photos.


Another great example is that of Heineken, Brazil. The company requested that their followers like their Facebook page. For each like, the company promised to inflate one balloon with the goal of ultimately filling their office. The brand’s ‘One Like, One Balloon’ campaign went viral, and within no time the company gained thousands of new fans/followers — and an office full of balloons!

The point we are trying to make though is – never underestimate the power of any idea. 

3. Go behind the scenes

Audiences love gaining access to behind the scenes footage.  It gives them an opportunity to gain more information about organizations and their work culture.  Inviting audiences  to get a look behind the lens is a great way to accomplish a lot with a little.

Food chain Chipotle uses social media to post the most delectable images.  Additionally, they post videos showcasing their freshly prepared ingredients. While the videos may seem simple in their conception, they align perfectly with Chiptole’s motto of serving ‘food with integrity’.

4. Ask for feedback

If you have a looming deadline on the horizon for a marketing campaign, a quick and easy way to get your creative juices flowing is – asking your target audience for feedback.

Social media is the best place to directly connect with your audience.  Your organization can pose questions or ask them to share their opinions; a similar alternative is conducting a survey.  Newsletters and marketing collateral such as interactive quizzes are a fun way to grab their attention and actively engage them.

Taking a cue from Buzzfeed’s interactive quizzes, you can see that some of these quizzes link to the brands’ landing page — Twitter operates similarly with the Twitter polls feature. Users can direct specific or general questions to their audience, much like the following:

  • What dessert would you prefer to eat on Halloween?

  • Where would you like to go for a vacation next?

  • How good are you at playing Pokémon GO?

  • Who are you supporting in this the upcoming Presidential elections?

Quick tip: Get your target audience to respond faster by creating straightforward questions with simple answers choices. Also, make sure that you craft an attention-grabbing headline — or description — that will help them provide the feedback.

5. Re-purpose your followers content

If your brand has followers who regularly tag your organization in their photos (using hashtags), it builds great rapport between brand loyalists if you re-purpose this content to your brands webpage. Reposting your followers’ photos promotes reciprocity and is a great gesture of appreciation.

Bonus: You will receive plenty of interesting user-generated content sans the sweat!

6. Tie-ups will not let you down

Brands are collaborating more frequently these days to create unique branded content. For instance, Go Pro recently released a featurette which included characters from the upcoming movie, The Secret Life of Pets. It featured notable characters wearing Go Pro cameras while providing the audience their point-of-view.

7. Create a parody

When nothing else works, trust in humor to do the trick! By creating a parody of your brand, you essentially become in-sync with pop culture trends by placing an objective lens on your brand — Who better than your own organization to write comedic material about, yourself.

For example, Game of Thrones created political parody which allows the audience to vote for their favorite character(s).  In the same way, you too can create a parody of your brand or take a humorous approach, and share it among your viewers. Just make sure that it is in good taste and tickles the funny bone.

Everyday is not the same — irrespective of your profession — and on some days you may have a harder time finding the creative spark that lead you to your profession in the first place. Others are not quite as fruitful and stimulating. Nonetheless, using these tips for branded content can help you out of a creative rut — or if you’re feeling lazy — and still want to come up with amazing content every-time.