Inserting a brand into a piece of content or creating content that promotes a brand subtly is what content marketing is all about.
Now there’s a new association to oversee this form of marketing in South Africa. The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) has officially launched, holding its inaugural event at which speakers discussed this form of advertising, its benefits, how marketers should go about approaching it, and what the role of BCMA will be.
The association is chaired by Launch Factory’s managing director, Spero Patricios, who explained that the association has been in South Africa for about a year, was brought into the country by Sheila McGillivray of One Lady & A Tribe, and is part of a worldwide body.
“We really want to disseminate information, not just to agencies and the people involved in the industry, but because content has become so large and talks to individuals, we want to disseminate the world of branded content to people exposed to content today,” he added.
Asked why branded content marketing was so important today, Patricios responded: “Consumers’ habits have changed so much. Technology has allowed people not to be interrupted so they can consume media as they want. What brands have cottoned on to, is to become what the consumers are looking at, create content that’s really engaging, rather than being interruptive, which people are becoming tired of.”
Patricios also discussed the trends happening in the branded content marketing space and the challenges it faces.
Members of the committee include:
- Sheila McGillivray – One Lady & A Tribe
- Kristin Louw – Spark Media
- Wayne Bishop – PHD Network
- Mike Sharman – Retroviral
- Odette Schwegler – Blink Pictures
- Lynn Joffe – Creatrix
- Elena Protulis – Proel Consulting
- Jenna Murray-Smith – Red Cherry
- Jarred Trembath – Mediacom
Presentations were given in front of a packed auditorium at Vega School in Randburg by Spero Patricios, Wayne Bishop, Mike Sharman, and MTN’s chief operations officer, Enzo Scarcella.
Lynn Joffe, CEO of specialist mother-tongue storytelling agency Creatrix, said there was huge confusion in the industry as to what exactly branded content is. “There are so many acronyms out there: PSA’s, EE, SBBC, CSI – but it all boils down to a good story that engages people in both digital and analogue spaces.”
Branded content, according to Joffe, is “an expression of relevant, resonant communication designed to embed emotive brand values in a way that entertains and educates an audience”.
And she added: “Think of branded content as the sun, with the various platforms as the planets that orbit the central concept. Taking the metaphor further, the heliosphere in which this all thrives is storytelling.”
Here are some pictures from the event:
Michael Bratt is a multimedia journalist at Wag the Dog, publishers of The Media Online and The Media. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelBratt8