To answer that delicate, but still crucial, question about the quality of Brand Content, I’ve focused on three experts’ opinions : Daniel Bô, Founder of QualiQuanti Institute ; Stacy Minero, Head of Twitter Content Planning ; & Michael Brook, Editor-In-Chief of MediaBlaze webzine.
Daniel Bô : “Brands have to create strategic brand content ” (read the french extract of the book Strategic Brand Content)
Daniel Bô wrote a third book dealing with Brand Content. This time, he highlights the importance of the strategic aspect of Brand Content. “Strategic” because it’s better to think of a long-term Brand Content strategy than to work on one shot campaigns. There must be a continuity between all brand contents. Every content has to be linked to each other so that it builds a consistent brand content library.
Earlier, in Thomas Jamet’s book The New challenges of Brand Content, Daniel Bô also underlined the influence of the function of the content. To him, there are three kind of content : instructive, useful and fun. With an instructive content, the brand shows its expertise ; with a useful one, the brand helps its audience out ; and with a fun content, the brand entertains. So one of the first question brands have to think of before creating a great content is : “what function the content has to fulfil to please my audience ?”.
Daniel Bô gives two other fundamental advices in Thomas Jamet’s Book. He says that the audience has to feel there is a close relationship between the content and the brand. The content has to be consistent with the brand culture.
Stacy Minero : “It’s pretty clear that content marketing isn’t going anywhere—it’s only becoming a more powerful asset to brands of all sizes.”
Stacy Minero, lists 10 trends shaping the future of Brand Content for AdWeek. According to her, Content Marketing is going to be more and more live, participative, customized, social and data-driven.
In this opinion page, Stacy Minero mentions the fact that lots of Content Marketing companies partners with tech companies, whether they are specialized in social analytics or in paid media optimization for instance. The combination of the editorial expertise with the technical one is a perfect mix to improve the efficiency of Brand Content.
She brings another important thing up. She thinks that the 30 seconds spot isn’t more successful than longer videos anymore. She points out that “on Twitter, users consume and share videos as short as six seconds and as long as 10 minutes”. This makes sense after all ! We need to consider content more importantly than the form it takes (as long as it respects all the readability rules).
Michael Brook : “What makes a great Brand Content ? Well, firstly Brands needs to start thinking like publishers”
Michael Brook also made a recent list of ten principles to follow to create good brand content. To me, Michael Brooke deals with the basics of Brand Content but it’s still important to keep them in mind that’s why I wanted to share his article. He reminds us the following key rules : the content needs to be fresh, planned, consistent with the brand tone, diversified (especially the form), and trustworthy.
The last aspect, “trustworthy”, is really key to guarantee the brand legitimacy. There is so many content available that one way to make the difference is to be honest with the audience. This is a difficult thing to do for brands because their first goal is to sell products but I think it’s really important to give priority to the audience (like publishers would or should do) over the sells, at least regarding brand content.
In his list, Michael Brook also mentions the importance of social media, influencers and analytics to measure and improve. Everybody agrees on that. Brands need to focus on smart way to spread their content and they must analyze their actions to improve.
Long story short, a great Brand Content is relevant, engaging and “audience-centric”. KPIs and analytics tools already are and will be more and more useful to increase the impact of Brand Content.