How to Use Branded Content to Drive Interest in Your Business
As Chronogram Media’s branded content editor, I spend a lot of my time thinking about how branded content (AKA sponsored digital and print articles) can achieve the goals of our local advertising partners.
When I drill down past all the details, most advertisers want the same thing: to increase interest in their business.
You see, that little spark of interest has a lot of power.
It can lead to a visit to your website or physical location, which can lead to an initial sale, then hopefully repeat business and long-term loyalty from local residents and visitors alike.
But with all the advertising and marketing options available to drive that interest, why should you make the investment in branded content?
Simply put: Because people read it.
“Why Is that,” you may wonder?
Branded content articles are designed to look and read like editorial content. It doesn’t feel like a direct sales pitch. This means more people are likely to read about your business, make an authentic connection with something they read, and remember your business fondly the next time they need something you offer.
Okay, so now you’re on board with why branded content works. But making the decision to invest in the creation of custom branded content is just the start.
Here’s the nuts and bolts of how you can actually use a branded article to drive interest in your business.
1. Get Editorial-Style Coverage When You Need It
Just as you do with display advertising, you can purchase and schedule branded content when you have a specific event, program, or other sales or marketing initiative that you want to get the word out about.
Coverage of your business when you need it is one of the most common ways advertisers use branded content to increase customer interest.
By commissioning content in one of our publications—Chronogram, Upstate House, Upstater, Rural Intelligence, or Chronogram’s Explore—you secure editorial-style coverage timed to your sales and marketing cycle. You’ll work with an editor (that’s me!) who is experienced at telling stories that readers want to click on, and who will help guide you to a topic for an article that is the perfect fit for your marketing needs.
Unlike display advertising, where you have just a few words to convey your message, the article-length size of a branded content piece allows you to get much more in depth on the topic of your choosing. What’s more—you have final sign-off on the custom content we create for you, so you get to fine-tune the messaging just like with your other advertising materials.
2. Establish Your Business as Trustworthy and Authoritative
Our locally based branded content writers are experienced in transforming the expertise behind your products and services into an engaging article that Hudson Valley residents and visitors want to read. Here’s a few ideas for topics that help communicate your business’s position of authority:
- Tell your business’s origin story
- Show the people behind your business through the stories of your founders, employees, and customers
- Explain what makes your offerings truly distinctive, high-quality, and worthy of people’s attention
Connecting with readers through a custom-written native article makes your business more relatable. As one of our native content partners, Glenn’s Sheds owner Glenn Nystrup has said, when people contact him to discuss his product, they act as if they already know him because they received information about his business from our publications that resonated with them.
3. Send Traffic to Your Website Long-Term
Branded content is a great way to send traffic to your website in the immediate days after the article publishes. But that’s just the start of its usefulness.
Our branded content articles live permanently on our publications’ websites, and they continue to send traffic to your website for months and years to come. (Interested in learning more about how native content can deliver long-term results? I’ve got a case study for you over here.)
When potential customers search for your business online, our native content shows up in search results, reinforcing your brand’s messaging and trustworthiness.
Most customers conduct some amount of research about a business before making a purchase, and native content provides a long-lasting foundation for your brand’s search engine optimization strategy (SEO). That’s one of the reasons why native content that is “evergreen” (or continually relevant and accurate about your business regardless of time of year) is so powerful. It has the potential to generate interest in your business long after the content’s initial publication date.
Now you now the basics of how to use branded content to drive interest in your business. Want to know how you can extend the reach of your branded content after its initial publication? Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where I’ll cover strategies to will keep your native content working for you for months and years to come!
If you’re interested in learning more about custom branded content, email [email protected] to start the conversation. Want more marketing tips just for small businesses in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and Berkshires? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, The Art of Business!