As more and more content is created, and mobile devices give us more and more ways to enjoy that content, one of the keys for brands to differentiate themselves is to use a wider variety of types of content. Not only will different types of content appeal to different people, potentially increasing your overall level of engagement, but types of content that your customers aren’t already seeing a hundred times a day are more likely to cut through the noise and actually get attention. Not every type of content is going to be right for every brand, but we’ve compiled a few ideas of things you may not yet be using that could set your branded content apart from the competition.
1. Social Video
Creating longer form, edited videos for something like YouTube or Vimeo can be time and labor intensive and, quite frankly, just not worth it for many brands, but social video can give you some of the benefits of video in a much quicker and easier format. Using platforms like Vine, Instagram, and Tout, social video is designed to be short snippets of unedited, organic video, shared as is directly from your mobile device. It’s very nearly easy as snapping a picture, but gives you the chance to communicate a lot more to your followers and potential customers.
Ignore the clichés about Tumblr being the home of socially awkward teenagers, it’s a fantastic platform for sharing casual, mixed media content with a wide audience. Half-blog, half-social media, Tumblr’s key strength is in its ability to work with photos, video, audio, and text together pretty seamlessly and its tagging and search systems, which allow users to find content about any topic they’re interested in without needing to know exactly which user’s feed to look at. While you may not be inclined to go to quite the same amazing design and production depths, check out the Capitol Couture Hunger Games tie-in Tumblr created by Lionsgate to interact with fans and help promote the films. Beautiful, vaguely creepy (in just the right way for the story), and definitely unique.
The downside of Snapchat is that any content shared is only visible to people who have signed up for the service and downloaded the app, unlike the previous options where you can always link to the same content on other social media channels, making it the best fit for brands like Taco Bell whose customers likely already use the app. The upside, however, is that any messages you send to your followers is sent directly to them (often with a push notification depending on their settings), so the likelihood of someone actually noticing your content is a lot higher than if it’s just mixed into the stew of their daily social media feed on one of the standard, most popular platforms.
Podcasts are far from new, and they’re far from uncommon, but they are underused in the branded content arena. Using simple software and a good quality (but not prohibitively expensive) microphone, you can create a good quality podcast that your customers could listen to in the car on their morning commute, at the gym, on their lunchtime walk — all of those places where they wouldn’t be reading but could still be consuming content. Just remember to not turn it into it a half hour long sales pitch. How off-putting!
Expanding your branded content beyond text and photos doesn’t have to involve tons of time or other resources, and we hope the options above give you an idea of some new, creative things to add into your branded content mix. Have any great examples of less typical branded content? Share with us in the comments!