Branded content is becoming an increasingly important part of online marketing strategies. The idea of sharing digital content is not new, but it did not start to explode as an online marketing strategy until 2012, when social media started to become truly mainstream. Many brand owners still struggle with the idea of using digital content to market their brands, especially if they serve a relatively narrow niche. However, there are several major brands that have achieved success with content campaigns in surprising ways.

Differentiate Yourself from Your Competitors

One particularly noteworthy brand that makes effective use of digital content marketing is Colgate. The toothpaste maker produced a large and comprehensive website full of videos and interactive health guides, with information provided by well-known experts and academics. The website combined both social and brand engagement features and valuable information that helped to make the Colgate brand name become synonymous with trust in many households.

Another company that uses digital content to great effect is Toshiba. The company teamed up with Intel to run a web series called "The Power Inside" which promotes Toshiba-branded products and entices young content consumers to share and engage with their brands. Toshiba had found that younger consumers are becoming increasingly blind to traditional forms of advertising, but providing free rich media content with strong social media links has worked well for them.

Reaching a Local Audience

While the most prominent branded content campaigns are ones that run on a global scale, it is possible to produce highly targeted local content. The challenge here is to work out what sort of content local consumers are interested in, and to find ways to deliver that content efficiently.

In theory, you have a good knowledge of your local community, and you should be able to use that knowledge to produce digital content that consumers will be interested in. Working with local celebrities or writing about local sporting events are popular marketing tactics, but there are many other ways to build goodwill with consumers.

For a digital content marketing strategy to be truly effective, it should include several phases. A single article, e-book or video release may cause a small spike in consumer interest, but the impact will not be a lasting one. A consistent programme involving regular scheduled releases will encourage consumers to engage with your brand in the long term, providing a bigger impact on your bottom line.

Digital Content in the Mobile Age

Successful content marketers cater to as many different channels as possible. Mobile search volume is expected to exceed desktop search volume by the end of 2017, and many of those mobile search queries will be localised queries. Producing informative, bite-sized content for people looking for "sports shops in Sussex" or other similar queries is a good way to grow your audience. Mobile users have short attention spans simply because of the nature of their devices and the circumstances under which they consume content. By considering the small screen size and slow connection speed of mobile devices when you create your content, you will greatly improve the usability of your website.