Discover how branded content can spark social change and how companies are using their influence to make a positive impact on society.
How Branded Content Acts as a Catalyst for Social Change
It’s impossible now to imagine a world without the internet. It has become such a central part of our lives, from the way we conduct business, to how we learn, and even what we choose to do with our free time. We used to receive information and the news through one-way channels such as radio, television and newspapers. But the internet has given us the ability to engage with information in a completely different way, making it possible for us to communicate with others and access news from around the world in an instant.
Amid this transformation, a powerful phenomenon has emerged — branded content. Once relegated to advertising, branded content has now evolved into a vehicle for driving social change. This article explores how the fusion of branded content and social change is reshaping the way companies communicate, engage, and inspire action.
What is branded content?
Branded content is a strategic marketing technique that weaves a brand’s message into valuable, relevant, and engaging narratives in a way that transcends conventional advertising. It blends storytelling and promotion, taking various forms like blogs, videos, or social media posts.
Unlike traditional ads, branded content delivers intrinsic value, fostering audience engagement, trust, and loyalty. We are in an age where authenticity is everything, and branded content stands as a powerful tool to connect with audiences in a more meaningful way. Ultimately, the aim of branded content is to create genuine connections that extend beyond immediate sales.
The power of storytelling
At the heart of branded content lies the art of storytelling. Narratives, when skillfully crafted, have the power to captivate audiences, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts and minds. By weaving stories around social issues, brands can ignite empathy and understanding among consumers.
Through stories, brands can spotlight individuals whose lives have been impacted by various challenges, inviting consumers to connect on a personal level. For instance, campaigns spotlighting stories of resilience in the face of adversity can stimulate conversations about pressing social matters.
Branded Content as an Advocacy Tool
Brands are no longer confined to traditional product-driven narratives. They are leveraging their influence to champion social causes. Branded content campaigns now serve as platforms for advocacy, enabling companies to raise their voices for positive change.
By dedicating their resources to create content that educates, inspires, and provokes action, brands are aligning their values with societal betterment. Campaigns that promote eco-friendly practices, mental health awareness, and diversity exemplify this trend, forging a path towards impactful change.
Fostering Dialogue and Awareness
Brands are now creating content that sparks conversations about critical issues, encouraging their audiences to contribute their thoughts, experiences, and solutions. In doing so, these campaigns amplify the collective voice and propel important conversations into the spotlight.
A good example of this is when popular snack brand Walkers created a branded content campaign to raise awareness for mental health, titled ‘It’s good to share’. Now, you might be asking: ‘What do crisps have to do with mental health? Well, this is the genius of branded content. It is about finding creative ways to align your brand with a particular topic to find a link that feels natural.
Walker’s mental health campaign is set around Christmas time, and follows a character who is mixing and mingling with family. Behind him is an animation used to convey how he is actually feeling inside – anxious, nervous and low. Christmas, in particular, is a time when people feel added pressure to be happy, despite what they might be experiencing. The social pressure of having to pretend to be OK during this time can make many people who are struggling with their mental health feel even more anxious.
Walkers used the simple idea that crisps are great for sharing to help seamlessly weave in their brand message, reinforcing the importance of opening up in times of stress or adversity.
Collaborations and Partnerships
One of the most powerful strategies in leveraging branded content for social change is through collaborations. In fact, many brands are starting to forge partnerships with nonprofit organizations, charities, and social initiatives to magnify their impact. This collaborative approach combines the storytelling prowess of brands with the boots-on-the-ground expertise of social change organizations. The synergy produced by such partnerships can galvanize audiences and generate substantial contributions to the causes at hand.
As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for leveraging branded content for social change can expand as well. Virtual reality, interactive storytelling, and immersive experiences hold the potential to elevate audience engagement and emotional connection. The integration of emerging technologies can further bridge the gap between brands and their audiences, fostering a deeper understanding of complex societal challenges.
Branded content has broken down barriers to conversations on topics that might have previously been deemed uncomfortable or ignored. Social media platforms, with their wide reach and accessibility, provide the perfect arenas for these discussions. Video production agencies like Perspective Pictures help brands capture this message and find their voice, from outlining the social impact that they’re trying to make to developing branded content that will help make this a reality.
By harnessing the art of storytelling, brands are fueling dialogue, fostering awareness, and inspiring action around vital societal issues. Through partnerships, authenticity, and a commitment to long-term change, brands are poised to lead us into a future where business and social betterment intertwine seamlessly.
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