The Heuristics of High Quality Branded Content | For The C-Suite

Palesssi - have you heard of them?

Maybe not.

However, they are the vehicle Payless created to get fashion influencers to pay $600 for a $20 Payless shoe.

Don’t believe me. Check this video out.

Consumers know that branded content is an ad but it feels smarter and fresher at scale.

Like I said previously, over 80% of Millennials who spend $200B annually like branded content.

Check out this 1 comment from the video above from an average youtube community member.

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Branded Content grows the value of every media dollar spent through creating organic conversation pieces

Payless tapped into the 3 heuristics of high-quality branded content to create a blockbuster piece of media that effectively trolled the fashion world. 

I want to teach every reader of our blog the 3 things you need to remember to manage for when investing in high-quality branded content across every distribution channel.  

For this blog post I am utilizing Micheal Solomon’s heuristics and applying them to branded content.

Thanks Micheal for the inspiration.

Now, let me introduce the 3 heuristics of high quality branded content.

1. Authentic messaging is at the core of every campaign.

The Palessi execution worked for Payless because authentically Payless is a purveyor of quality shoes at cheap prices. For branded content to work at scale, the brand must be authentic to its purpose. This is because when the internet discovers who you really are; they will share it.

Great brand marketers who invest in branded content inject their heritage into their content authentically so social media only amplifies an authentic message.  

2. Publisher partners must be quality relationships. 

Especially for Branded Content, you are the company you keep.

For brands that partner with publishers on branded content, these brands must make sure that the publisher authentically represents them and their interests at the same time. When this happens effectively, consumers give you their focused attention in ways you can never imagine. Brands will literally see consumers become brand champions when branded content is authenticity executed in excellence at scale.

Cold As Balls is an excellent example of this because old spice is a master of branded content.  Cold As Balls grows the value of every media dollar invested by Old Spice in their Cold As Balls Franchise because the show becomes a conversation piece.

The video above generated over 3.1 Million Views in less than 48 hours!

This is 3.1 Million eyeballs of focused attention on the Old Spice brand.

I believe P&G’s active investment in branded content such as Cold As Balls has helped to grow a positive brand affinity amongst Millennials.

CNBC reports, “[In October 2018, P&G has reported] sales of $16.69 billion were slightly more that $16.65 billion a year ago and ahead of the $16.46 billion expected by analysts. [P&G] reported organic sales growth, which strips out the impact of currency and other adjustments, of 4 percent, better than expectations for an increase of 1.6 percent and fueled by growth in its beauty division. The company owns major brands in this category like Pantene shampoo and Old Spice deodorant” (CNBC, 2018).

P&G maintains its profit outlook in 2019 because it knows that it is investing effectively in the media that brings them closer to their target customers than ever before.

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Clear Branding

Focused Attention from target audience is what great branded content delivers.

3. Leverage brand history authentically.

Branded Content takes into account the history of the brand and publisher to create authentic moments with consumers at scale.

History matters.

Nike is the king of leveraging history to forge a new path for an increase in sales through their consistent investments in branded content. Check out this Instagram post from Lebron James for Nike’s Jordan brand. As someone who has children, the video makes you root for Lebron because he is building a legacy for his family while pushing the Nike brand into the future at the same time. 

Remember what I said about clear branding as the essence of branded content.

1 Million Likes for Nike on a video featuring Lebron’s son with the Jordan brand clearly displayed.

These type of consistent investments in branded content positions Nike’s Jordan brand well as it prepares itself to retake its top spot from Adidas.

In closing , you now know the 3 heuristics of high-quality branded content.

Now, apply them.

With Branded Content, you can increase revenues for your brand.

Branded Content is the media investment that brings brands closer to its target consumer than ever before
— Elkanah Reed | Founder | Eleven Digital, Inc.
Elkanah Reed