Real stories 
are worth gold

Bart Gresnigt


JULY 2020

Recently, branded content gained popularity, and it is increasingly used as a proven marketing tool. It is often a regular part of the media mix. Time for a recap!


Branded content is a form of content, where a brand message is woven into a piece of content (text, audio or video) from the publisher. The content adds extra value to the brand message in the form of information or entertainment. Unlike ads, branded content does not focus on the commercial message. For example, the consumer experiences the commercial message more subtle, and it will be appreciated better. With branded content, the art is to find the balance between an effective commercial message in combination with valuable content for the recipient.


For good branded content you need three basic ingredients:

  • The content is qualitative

  • The content responds to needs

  • The content takes the reader along a story, without getting straight to the point


To successfully deploy branded content, it is very important that content is authentic, honest, and that it matches the tone-of-voice of the platform, the environment where the content is placed. Readers should feel that content does not deviate too much from editorial content, and provides just as much news value or entertainment. In addition, the content must really contribute. For example, it must contain useful information, inspire or enthuse.

Customer needs

When the recipient benefits from the content, they will absorb it more quickly. So take a good look at what the target group finds interesting, important, funny or inspiring, and then come up with a creative link with your brand. A good example of someone who knows a lot about this is Robert Cialdini. In his famous book “Influence” he talks about the influence of reciprocity. When you give something useful away, chances are that you can also ask for something in return. Scientific research has also shown that branded content that adds value for the recipient, positively influences the brand attitude (the feeling someone has with or towards a brand).


But, how do you do that? Getting to the point too quickly is killing. The consumer is flawlessly aware when content is not useful at all, but a brand that wants something from them. A push strategy with a clear call-to-action does not work with branded content, the condition is a clear pull strategy with a no-obligation call-to-action. It is difficult for many marketers with hard sales targets to let go of this. After all, you want value for the invested marketing budget. You want to grow your brand, and not distribute content without obligation. Understandable! But if, on the other hand, you consistently and continuously deliver value through good content, in the long term the consumer will feel more and more connected to the brand. A “friend of the brand”, so to speak, and that is the valuable result of a good branded content campaign!

An example: A good example is ING, they consistently share valuable content about allowance, so they claim the subject of allowance as an authority, so to speak. That is also how the muesli brand Quaker does it. They consistently advise consumers about a healthy breakfast. This is how they claim this theme and show their expertise. The Recap: In short, take advantage of this successful marketing tool, but do it right. Make branded content as authentic as possible, and match it to the style of the platform. So let the publisher advise you. Process the commercial message in a subtle, subordinate way. Make sure you provide value that meets the needs of your target audience. Dare to let the commercial focus celebrate, and trust the long-term effect of the use of branded content.  


Thanks to years of experience, we know exactly how to transform your message into real stories with a golden fringe. A strong example of this is the campaign of insurance company Monuta. In this campaign, the sensitive subject of “death and insurance” was placed in valuable content expressions in which parents really recognized themselves. They felt connected to the subjects and therefore connected to the brand. What is your story? FamilyBlend is happy to show you how we transform this into a successful branded content campaign. Let’s talk!

The power of branded content arises when a consumer has a positive association between a subject and the brand.

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