<img src="https://analytics.humanautomation.ai/ha-analytics.php?idsite=6&amp;rec=1" style="border:0;" alt="">

Inspiring Branded Content: Examples to Shape Your Strategy

Does your team have SMART marketing goals in place? Do you have insight into your marketing ROI to maximize spend? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!

Advertising. It’s all about selling, right?

Well, yes. But it’s not always about selling something.

Take branded content, for instance. Branded content blends marketing with entertainment to highlight your brand rather than any particular product. You’re not selling a thing—you’re selling a feeling. An idea.

Specifically, you’re promoting your brand in a way that resonates with your intended audience, using creativity and authenticity to drive clicks and conversions.

Creating that connection can be easier said than done. However, with the right inspiration, you can wow your customers and build an empire. And today, we’re highlighting some successful branded content examples to fire up your creative engines.

Table of Contents

The Power of Branded Content

An Abridged Masterclass on Branded Content

Crafting Your Own Branded Content

The Power of Branded Content

These days, advertising can feel “in your face.” Today’s digital landscape is oversaturated with product ads vying for your attention and influencers pushing their latest sponsored post.

Branded content is different. It stands out because, on the surface, you’re not selling anything. Instead, you’re telling something—a story.

You let shoppers in by opening up and telling your brand’s story or talking about something that matters to you. And once they’re in, they’ll start buying.

Branded content is, at its core, a form of relationship marketing. After all, the goal is to build a deeper connection with the consumer, which ultimately enhances brand perception and increases customer loyalty.

And it works because shoppers crave that kind of content. Customers want to know who your brand is and what you stand for. Some 82% of consumers want to support businesses that share their values. In that sense, branded content can help you make more sales.

An Abridged Masterclass on Branded Content

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But branded content really is that powerful.

And don’t take our word for it. Some of the biggest, most successful companies have used branded content with superb results.

Most branded content falls under one of four categories:

  • Emotional
  • Educational
  • Entertaining
  • Community-Building

Below are a few examples of branded content from brands that hit the nail on the head.

Strategy 1: The Emotional Connection

Emotion may be the most powerful selling tool there is. When you can appeal to your audience’s hearts (rather than their minds), you can make your mark. It’s why companies are so keen to play to our nostalgia—and why charities look to elicit empathetic reactions with photos of sad puppies. Emotion sells.

One brand that capitalized on the power of emotion is Cetaphil. Their 2024 Super Bowl campaign employed branded content that tugged at our heartstrings. It featured a young Taylor Swift fan bonding with her father over football—and vice versa.

If you missed the last ten seconds of the ad, you’d have no idea what it was for. Is it selling TVs? Sports jerseys? Parenting advice? The only mention of Cetaphil’s skincare products (aside from the name at the end) is when the young girl puts on moisturizer.

In this campaign, Cetaphil effortlessly shows the emotions of a father-daughter relationship. After the video, we’re left with a warm feeling—not a message to buy more stuff. That’s what it’s all about.

Strategy 2: The Educational Piece

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with appealing to your customer’s mind.

In fact, educational branded content allows you to position your brand as an authority in your industry. It shows that you’re worth buying from—because you have insights that no one else does.

For a successful example of educational content done right, look no further than Slumberkins, a stuffed animal company with a focus on the therapeutic.

True to their company mission statement of supporting children as they grow, the Slumberkins blog isn’t just a place to sell products—it’s a tool for people raising kids. Their informative blog has sections dedicated to caregivers and educators who may need help talking to kids about their emotions.

In this way, the brand impresses its knowledge on shoppers who find them through Google, making a case for why their products are worth purchasing.

Strategy 3: The Entertainment Strategy

It doesn’t all have to be serious, either. Sometimes, branded content can just be fun

And is there any example of entertainment marketing more relevant than Red Bull? The energy drink company has cornered the market on high-adrenaline advertisements.

From the excitement of Crashed Ice’s downhill skating to Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking skydive from space, Red Bull is constantly attaching its name to thrilling experiences.

These stunts don’t advertise energy drinks directly. Instead, they entertain Red Bull’s exact audience, tying the drink to fun and exhilaration. Now, everyone knows to associate Red Bull with adrenaline—and that’s exactly what they want.

Strategy 4: The Community-Focused Initiative

Finally, there’s the community approach to branded content. When brands use their platforms to bring people together or fight for an important cause, they can ignite brand interest that turns shoppers into lifelong fans.

Athleisure brand Lululemon does a phenomenal job of connecting like-minded people. Their brick-and-mortar stores set up run clubs, free yoga sessions and more. Initiatives like these build brand loyalty by making each location a destination, not just a shop.

Another clothing brand that fits the bill is Patagonia. The outdoor wear retailer approaches community marketing through the lens of activism; the brand is constantly fighting for the environment. These campaigns don’t sell a product—they show potential buyers who Patagonia is. And that’s infinitely more valuable.

Strategy 5: Leverage Influencers

Sometimes your branded content will deliver the most impact when delivered by someone else, as your audience might trust and connect with a person more than a company.

But while leveraging influencers could be its own strategy, it’s probably best used in addition to the first four listed. That’s because the others enable you to develop a brand identity that stands on its own. Then, you rely on a network of influencers to validate that your brand is what you say it is when they communicate with their audience.

Telling your audience you “walk the walk” can quickly end up sounding all talk if it comes from just you. The proof comes from external confirmation.

Crafting Your Own Branded Content: Key Takeaways

If you’re sold on branded content, don’t rush away to start a campaign yet. Before you go, take a peek at these four branded content tips.

1. Know Your Audience

To make content that resonates, you need to know your audience’s:

  • Interests
  • Preferences
  • Challenges

You may find it helpful to create a buyer persona to understand who you’re selling to. From there, you can create branded content that appeals to your ideal shopper.

2. Aim for Authenticity

If knowing your audience is important, knowing yourself is essential. The only way you can deliver an authentic message is to know who you are. And authenticity is the key to selling your brand to whoever’s buying.

An excellent place to start is to create a brand handbook. You can always, always, rely on your content style guide and brand voice. These documents are your North Stars of authenticity; they’ll guide you well in ensuring your brand stays true to itself—and to loyal customers who have already developed a relationship with it.

3. Lean on Visual Storytelling

Humans (AKA your audience) are visual creatures. We love a good photo or video; they capture our attention and imagination.

With that in mind, center your branded content around media like:

  • Videos
  • Animations
  • Pictures
  • Infographics
  • Sketches

Visually-driven branded content lets you tell compelling brand stories in a flash, so use it to your advantage.

4. Combine Creativity with Strategy

No matter how visually beautiful your art is or how compelling your narrative is, it must fit into your overarching brand strategy.

As you approach branded content, be sure to think through your company goals. Does your content help you reach your goal of more sales, impressions or loyal customers? If the answer is no, head back to the drawing board.

Tell Your Brand’s Story with Human

However you look at it, branded content is ultimately about storytelling. By making content that blends creativity and authenticity, you can engage your audience while strengthening your brand’s identity.

Whatever your story is, Human can help you tell it. Our ecommerce marketing services will identify your unique story, share it with the world and convert your one-time customers into loyal fans. From content creation to overall strategy, we’ll get your ecommerce business where it needs to be.

Talk to us today to learn more!

Topics: Ecommerce Marketing | Branding