No matter what kind of product or service you’re making, you’re a content company.
You don’t have to be in Hollywood or New York; you don’t have to be involved in TV or movies. If you have a website and use video, you’re a content company.
If you haven’t yet, it’s time to join in the new reality of branded entertainment online. Brands both big and small can use online video to engage their audiences, provide information, and create tighter bonds with customers.
Flying High with Red Bull
To get more info on branded entertainment, we spoke to an expert: David Mason, AOL’s content solutions chief. For a look at what brands can do with online video, Mason points to the lifestyle content created by Red Bull. The videos aren’t created to pitch the beverage, just to be entertaining.
Brand content can be either entertaining or informative. In either case, the goal is to build a connection with customers.
It’s Not Advertising
As you think about creating branded entertainment, don’t confuse it with standard commercials. Create content that your customers will want to watch, something that appeals to their interests. It’s not a 30-second pitch for your product.
Shape the Right Image
It’s possible to damage a brand with poor branded video, says Mason. He especially dislikes the video home tours created by some real estate agents. Poor quality videos can reflect badly on the larger company, he says. Even small companies need to keep production quality in mind when shooting. Luckily, it’s now easier and more affordable to create attractive video than ever before.
Smaller Companies Have a Place, Too
By putting high-quality video online, Mason says, small players can stand up next to the major players in their industry. While branded video can be entertaining or informative, Mason says that informative works best for smaller companies. If you have a small company, keep away from lifestyle content and instead create a mini-documentary that shows off your company and your assets.
Skip the Cheese
If you decide to go the mini-documentary route, remove any cheesy product pitches. Respect your audience and show them what you do. Keep all videos to one minute in length, Mason advises. People don’t want to watch longer clips. Interviews with the owner or customers often work well. Be creative. If you have the funds, work with an outside agency.