One of the key fundamentals with Branded Content is to put the needs of the audience first. Content is about engagement, and the audience actively engages in this content. Its the stuff that people choose to spend time with, they have taken the time and effort to go and watch it, read or engage BY CHOICE, so make it resonate with them.
To do this, brands must take themselves out of the equation and focus on thoroughly understanding their target audience, what matters most to them and what they aren’t getting from other brands. Then you need to figure out how to create and deliver content to your audience that matters.
One brand that does it very well is American Express, they clearly understand their target audience and provide them with valuable content they are eager to consume and of course share:
American Express – Open Forum
Open Forum is a Branded Content hub that is geared towards business owners & entrepreneurs. It is so refreshing that rather than pushing products and credit card applications, it focuses on providing high-quality content targeted at addressing the needs of small business owners. The platform is full of free ideas, helpful business advice and expert answers to questions from readers & you don’t have to be a member to gain access to the information. To top it all the site facilitates networking events and makes it easy for members to connect with one another both on and offline.
In my opinion, this is a perfect example of “audience first” content from a brand that understands Branded Content, well done American Express.