Collabstr | Branded Content: 9 Ways to Get it Right (Plus Examples)
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Branded Content: 9 Ways to Get it Right (Plus Examples)

Today’s customers can decide what they want to view or buy online. One of the choices is using ad blockers to prevent intrusive and annoying advertisements from popping up on their devices. Recent stats seem to agree with this, as 42.7% of global Internet users between 16 and 64 years old use ad blockers once a month. And 27% of Internet users in the U.S. also block ads (via Backlinko).

As a result, smart companies leverage branded content to engage their audiences organically. It’s a cost-effective content marketing strategy compared to traditional advertisements. In this definitive guide, Collabstr walks you through everything you need to know about branded content and how to do it right. So continue digging deeper!

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What is Branded Content?

Branded content is content that a business creates on its own or in partnership with a paid creator or publisher to raise brand awareness. Its primary goal is to promote your company while providing value to your target audience. 

To shed more light, here are a few aspects to note about branded content:

Examples of Branded Content 

According to a Nielsen report, companies that distributed their branded content through a publisher saw a 50% jump in brand lift than those that did without. It pays to collaborate with creators to advance your business' growth. Have a look at the branded content examples below to spark your imagination.

#1: Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts is a coffee and donut chain that competes with household names like Starbucks for younger audiences. Because of its robust influencer marketing strategies, it has a gigantic presence on Tik Tok, with 3 million followers and 21.3 million likes.

To target this market segment, the company partnered with Charlie D’Amelio. She is a mega-influencer on Tik Tok with over 140 million followers and a lover of Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts co-created content with her to promote a drink named after her: Charli. The branded content featured the influencer ordering the beverage, with fans able to buy the drink at any store. 

In addition, Dunkin’ Donuts ran a contest under the hashtag “Charli X Dunkin,” which allowed followers to recreate iconic Charli and Dunkin moments. They shared these images on their feeds, and, following the launch of Charli, cold brew sales increased by 45%, and app downloads rose by 57%.

#2: Birkenstock: “Ugly for a Reason” 

Birkenstock is a German shoe manufacturer that is well-known for its brand of sandals and shoes that align with the shape of the wearer’s feet. It launched a paid worldwide campaign that said feet are “Ugly for a Reason” as a documentary series. It focused on the history of feet and roped in experts to give talks on their evolution.

To drive its brand awareness, it engaged The New York Times’s T Brand Studio to produce the content play. The film ran across the company’s channels and on Also, the publisher linked Berkenstock’s products in print and online to grow its sales.

#3: Netflix: “ Women Inmates”

Netflix collaborated with the New York Times to create branded content on women inmates that relates to its show, “Orange is the New Black.” T Brand Studio, an in-house department for content creation at the New York Times, made the interactive story together with its editor, Melanie Deziel.

Importance of Branded Content

Increase the reach of your brand

Working with an influencer to produce and share your branded content can put your business in front of countless people. Take the example of Dunkin' Donuts, which reached millions of young people because it collaborated with a famous creator. 

Gets more attention and increases sales

Influencer marketing can create a ton of brand awareness, leading to skyrocketing revenue. For this reason, the growth of marketing through influencers is on an upward trend, with brands planning to spend over $4 billion in 2023. And Fashion Nova is one of the top companies that spent a whopping $40 million on content creators in 2022.

Engaging content drives social media engagement

The beauty of branded content is that you can share your story across multiple channels in several formats to improve engagement and double conversion rates. As a result, you can gain more followers and increases sales opportunities on social media

Branded Content vs. Non-Branded Content

Branded content vs. non-branded content

Knowing the difference between branded and non-branded content ensures you get everything right. Note the following issues.

Non-Affiliate UGC (User-Generated Content) 

UGC is content that your customers or followers create without your direct involvement. Testimonials, product reviews, and social media posts are examples of user content. You don’t produce or sponsor this content.

News and Journalism

Independent journalism and the news media create news and journalistic articles. This type of content isn’t branded content since you have no say in its production and distribution. While journalists may mention your brand, that doesn’t mean it’s branded content.

Entertainment content

As the name suggests, entertainment content is strictly for amusement. So TV shows, music, and movies don’t fall under branded content, even though your firm can feature in them.

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Develop Compelling Branded Content

This is where the rubber meets the road. To ensure you ace your influencer marketing strategy, we have outlined 9 super easy steps. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Make sure it reflects your brand’s message and values

Example of brand values


It’s easy for people to forget your content since there are many things that compete for their attention. To keep your branded content fresh in their minds, ensure it showcases your core message and values. Branded values refer to standards you follow and uphold to realize your mission and vision.

For example, American Express's guiding principle is “Provide the world’s best customer experience every day” under these brand values

From these values, it’s crystal clear that the card company zeroes in on offering unmatched customer service. Ensure your branded content reflects your guiding beliefs or philosophy, and they must be consistent across your platforms.

Dig deeper into your mission and vision statements to identify and define your brand values.

Step 2: Find the right partner

Now that your brand values are clear as day, look for the right influencer to collaborate with in content creation and publishing. An influencer marketing platform can save you loads of time in finding the ideal person. Thankfully, Collabstr is a marketplace to scout and hire content creators to drive your campaign.

You can search for your perfect influencer by age, gender, budget, social media platform, number of followers, interests, and more. Head to the homepage to see how it works.

Consider the influencer’s reach and niche when selecting a content creator. Reach describes the number of followers and engagement levels. You would want to partner with someone who has a highly-engaged audience. 

An influencer with a reasonable number of followers helps your brand reach a wider audience. On the other hand, a niche market enables you to target a specific group of followers with interests that align with your brand.

Also, pay attention to the following factors: 

Relevance means choosing an influencer who closely resembles your brand’s values and interests. Look at whether their followers match your campaign goals. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts chose Charli d'Ameilo because of the right fit between its objectives and its audience.

Content-based discovery occurs when potential customers find your content on the web, on social media sites, or anywhere else online. So pick an influencer who creates captivating content with high-engagement levels to ensure your branded content receives a ton of interactions.

Again, Collabstr can come in handy in helping you find creators who produce appealing and attention-grabbing content.

Influencer marketing works perfectly if you adopt the principle of matchmaking. In this case, you want to find out who your audience like, considers inspirational, or looks at as an industry expert. With that in mind, you can work with influencers you know your audience will respond well to. 

Checking the content creator’s past partnerships with brands can give you an idea about whether their audience meets your needs.

Step 3: Set objectives and goals

Branded content metrics

Determine the KPIs to help you measure your branded content campaign. Take note of the 6 influencer marketing goals below:

Check for reach, impressions, engagement, and views to see if your branded content is gaining traction. This is especially important if you’re launching a new product or service.

A brand campaign aims to differentiate your products or company from your competitors. As a result, branded content emphasizing your values can make you stand out from the crowd. Customers can identify your business with particular beliefs or cultures.

Positioning describes the distinct place your product or service occupies in your sector in relation to your competitors' brands. For instance, Apple’s brand positioning focuses on three features: design, innovation, and customer experience. These aspects empower the company to keep a robust sense of identity and stay ahead of other firms. 

Working with notable influencers who have made a name for themselves can enable you to position your brand in your industry.

Generating and driving traffic to your website is also vital because it can improve your reputation and positioning. The more engagement, shares, and likes your branded content has, the more traffic you can generate for your website. For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts garnered over 4 million followers and over 2 million likes due to its partnership with a popular influencer.

Monitoring your conversion rates can let you know whether your influencer marketing activities are paying off. Try some of the strategies below to double your sales as you work with a content creator.

Brand loyalty ensures you have a consistent number of customers who buy your products. They stick with you during good and bad times. You can enhance brand loyalty by creating a referral program, encouraging customer feedback, setting up a customer loyalty program, etc.

Step 4: Use tools

Branding tools are platforms, software applications, or marketing techniques that build and refine your reputation and visibility. You can also use them to improve engagement on social media, tell your brand story through visuals, or run email marketing campaigns. 

For instance, Collabstr can help you get your brand name out there, with the help of influencers. Besides helping you find the right influencers, Collabstr makes it a breeze to manage your relationship with any content creators you want to partner with. It offers you a free influencer contract template to spell out the terms and conditions of the agreement and your expectations. It also lists your payments and invoices so you can monitor your budget. 


Step 5: Understand your audience

Want to ace your influencer marketing? Go beyond evaluating the pain concerns and demographics of your audience. Successful marketing taps into your customers' emotional experiences. You need to understand the science of emotions to unlock your brand’s power throughout the buyer’s experience.

Analyze social media polls and analytics, market research results, and surveys to better understand your potential customers. Identify their most pressing social concerns and their preferred communication channels. Create branded content that satisfies these felt needs, such as affection, security, recognition, growth needs, etc. 

Step 6: Competitive research

Competitor analysis involves digging deeper into your competing brand’s strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and market gaps. The findings can empower you to differentiate your company and produce unique content that sets you apart. Several online tools are available to execute this task.

Step 7: Collaborating with Influencers

Influencers can speed up your brand’s growth since they can showcase your product or service in front of a large audience. That’s why Collabstr is a great influencer marketing platform to connect you with verified and credible content creators. 

The beauty of Collabstr is that you can get creators who fit your budget, and your payment is released after your work is completed. Don’t take our word for it. Try it out today!

Step 8: Create compelling branded content

engaging branded content

Branded content harnesses the power of storytelling to hook audiences and keep them asking for more. Because influencers know their subjects inside out and what their followers want, they can help you create appealing content. They can tell your brand story with genuineness and credibility, leading to high engagement levels.

Ensure you maintain openness and authenticity when producing branded content. It helps you build trust with your followers and long-term relationships.

Step 9: Assess your results

As your influencer marketing campaign progresses, evaluate its performance to see what’s working and what isn’t. Check for engagement metrics, such as comments, likes, and shares. These numbers show the level of interest in your branded content.

Also, monitor statistics like conversions, reach, and impressions. Conversions look at the percentage of people who took a particular action, such as signing up for your newsletter. Reach refers to individuals who see a content creator’s post, while impressions describe the number of times a post is viewed.

Change Gear in Your Branded Content by Working with Influencers

Branded content works perfectly through emotions, stories, and collaborations. It doesn’t ask your audience to buy anything but aims to offer better value for them. It also cuts through ad fatigue by creating authentic and captivating content to deepen customer loyalty and strengthen brand credibility.

An influencer marketing channel can scale up your branded content. Collabstr is a marketplace with numberless influencers who can let you rock your campaign goals. You can search for the ideal content creator by age, interests, social media platform, budget, followers, niche, gender, and more. Sign up for a free account now to get started!

Written by Collabstr

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