30
Jul
2012
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Attention Brands! You Are Now An Online Publisher

Integrating content into your digital strategy may require a shift in thinking; luxury brands are now online publishers. The most successfully engaging sites understand the benefits of adopting a more creative approach and putting branded content at the heart of their digital strategy.

So what’s so great about branded content anyway and what are the benefits?

Bridging the gap between advertising and entertainment, branded content gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you understand your customer’s world, as well as being a key factor in encouraging repeat site visits.

Get the content right, as retailer Reiss recently discovered, and you stand to see major, tangible (i.e. financial) benefits. Reporting an 84% rise in like-for-like online sales Reiss bosses said the figure was partly attributable to an increased emphasis on keeping content fresh with regular weekly updates.

Other luxury brands using branded content to great effect are Tiffany with their  What Makes Love True site dedicated to all things romantic, Louis Vuitton’s Journeys and of course Dunhill’s Day 8.

Presenting carefully curated content representing the world as seen through the Dunhill eye, the brand has been careful to place the emphasis on quality, compelling content encompassing a variety of media. Significantly, Dunhill made the decision not to feature ads or product placement on Day 8, describing it as ‘talking about others’ creativity, not its own’.

Use Branded Content to Give Yourself a Leading Edge

With so many brands online jostling for attention, thoughtfully created and targeted content can help carve out your niche and brand position. If you’re a smaller brand it can help you to punch above your weight. Cycling clothing brand Rapha uses great short films and travel guides to strike a balance between education and entertainment.

Google and Cannes Lions recognise the importance of Branded Content

In the not-too-distant future the power of great content is set to rise yet further as a result of Google’s recent announcement that plans are afoot to clamp down on overly optimised sites. In a bid to make the SEO playing field more balanced, Google is currently developing sophisticated filtering methods to ensure that sites with quality content are given preference in search results.

It’s not just Google rewarding branded content either, last month the Cannes Lions International Festival introduced the new Branded Content and Entertainment category. Intended to reward creative, original content that ‘engages consumers via relevant content platforms rather than traditional advertising methods’.

All of which adds up to another reason why brands need to consider how to make content work for them; after all – no matter that you’re selling, it’s worth remembering you’re always selling ideas. Whether it’s the lure of a particular lifestyle or the promise of a solution there’s always plenty to say.

The Future of Luxury Says – Great Branded Content:

  • Demonstrates your expertise and inspires trust
  • Clarifies your brand values and speaks to your target audience
  • Builds your audience by being great to share
  • Re-engages customers who didn’t buy the first time round
  • Increases search result visibility

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