When creating branded content, please make it useful.

Whenever we are pitching projects here at Toast and as most of them are a form of branded content these days (television, web, transmedia), I always make sure we place front and forward how this content will be useful to consumers and audiences.

The quality of the brand integration and the alignment of this brand with the content are key in keeping this usefulness at its best.

Oh, and let me make one point clear: being useful can mean “being informative,” but it can also be “being quality entertainment.”

Useful content is shared. It is talked about, and it creates a positive spin for the brand that was integrated into it.

But remember. As Tom Fishburne puts it in this week’s article: “Consumers can see many forms of «branded content» a mile away, and it’s only a matter of time before they learn to tune it out as readily as other forms of advertising.”

And there is a lot of bad branded content being created at the moment. Fishburne mentions another article (also worth reading if you have the time) that gives the reason for it: it lacks strategy, focus and accountability.

When these three factors are considered and aimed at creating useful content, you then get quality branded content.

Take some time to read Fishburne’s article (he is also the one who draws these great cartoons you see at the top of this email), but I also strongly recommend Joe Pulizzi’s that he mentions and quotes.