In a time where almost everyone puts out content, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. A lot of businesses, including those in the fitness industry, end up producing very similar content to keep up with the latest content trends. However, an excellent way to avoid blending into the saturated market is to create branded content that appeals to the emotions of your audience. This type can help you distinguish your business from competitors in the fitness industry and build brand authority.
In this article, you’ll learn five tips to create compelling branded content for your business.
First, though, let’s discuss what branded content is.
What Is Branded Content?
Branded content involves creating content directly linked to a brand, in this case, your fitness business. It usually features the brand’s logo and follows its branding style.
It is important to note that, unlike traditional advertising, branded content is not focused on directly selling a business’s products or services. Instead, it focuses on the values of the company and its intangible qualities. It aims to create an emotional response and connect with the target audience on a deeper level.
Check out the example below:
Branded content can take many forms, like articles, infographics, and social media posts.
Through consistent, high-quality, valuable content, consumers come to respect your business as a source of useful information. This is especially important in the fitness industry, where knowledge is your currency.
The bottom line is, don’t just get a business license. Employ your staff, and procure fitness equipment. Craft strategies on how to create and disseminate branded content, too. This way, you can quickly connect with your audience, generate leads, and turn them into your customers.
How to Create Powerful Branded Content for Your Fitness Brand
Now that we’ve established what branded content is, let’s go through important tips to help you create it:
1. Determine Your Goals
You must determine your content goals before starting a branded content campaign. After all, you want to ensure your branded content helps you achieve those goals in the first place.
As discussed above, the main goals of branded content are to provide added value for your audience, build more meaningful relationships with customers, and boost brand authority.
However, depending on the current state of your business, some branded content goals may be more important than others. For example, a fitness brand may have high brand authority but lacks audience interaction. In that case, the business should use branded content to improve customer engagement and build stronger customer relationships.
It is also important to consider the business’s long-term goals, like those in the screenshot above, before engaging in a branded content campaign.
2. Pick the Right Tone
You need to pick the right tone for your branded content. Your tone ultimately depends on the type of personality you want to be known for. Do you want to be a quirky brand or a serious one?
Either way, branded content should always use an approachable tone. You create branded content to spark conversations and build a sense of community. The only way you can do this is by using a tone that makes users feel comfortable sharing their opinions. In the fitness industry, in particular, it is therefore essential to write or speak as if you are offering advice to a friend.
Check out the example below. Notice the use of words like «your.»
This example also shows how you can use humor. On top of that, you could add some questions to encourage viewers to get involved in the conversation.
However, the principles of your business mustn’t be discarded in your attempts to initiate conversation among your audience. Telling your brand’s story and showcasing the business’s intangible elements is still an important part of branded content. So, strike the right balance between entertaining and maintaining a consistent message to build trust with your audience.
3. Choose the Appropriate Content Format
With the appropriate tone identified, the next step is to choose the correct content format. As it depends on the values of each business, branded content is a very open concept.
Videos, however, are one of the most popular forms of branded content. This is because video content offers a lot of freedom. You can combine audio, visuals, and written content in a video. This makes creating an immersive experience for the audience easier, entertaining them and providing valuable information.
Here’s an example of branded video content from 24 Hour Fitness:
Branded content podcasts are another helpful format. The longer form of podcasts–with an average running time of 36 minutes—allows you to showcase your knowledge quickly.
Finally, while written content is not the most commonly used format for branded content, there is a place for it in the fitness industry. Like podcasting, blog posts and articles allow you to expand further on topics. After all, people involved and interested in fitness are always looking for new information to give them an edge.
4. Create Valuable and Entertaining Branded Content
Once you’ve chosen your format, it’s time to start creating some content. As mentioned above, branded content should provide added value for the user. As a general concept, value is subjective. After all, what may be valuable for one may not be helpful for the other.
However, since you’re a fitness brand, value is, in a way, fixed. Fitness buffs are always looking for ways to promote a healthy lifestyle. So, valuable content, in this case, could mean content that provides the audience with fitness tips. For example, a powerlifting gym could write a blog post on improving form for a deadlift.
Content like this is standard, so make sure to set your content apart by doing thorough research, and providing a fresh perspective. Check out the example below from Stronger by Science, which offers fitness training. It’s a screenshot from an article called «How to Deadlift.»
The article is different since it delves into the topic in great detail instead of just providing general tips that have been given a thousand times before. Notice the discussion on the role of each bone and muscle in the deadlift movement. This is an excellent example of going the extra mile to provide real value for your audience.
That’s not to say your branded content must always be serious. You can also provide value through entertainment.
For example, you could announce a one-minute push-up challenge, as shown in the video by NEXT Workout below.
The video provides value, too, since you encourage your viewers to work out. This is something your audience wants in the first place. It provides value by entertaining them, too. Challenges, after all, are always fun to do.
To encourage your viewers to participate, you could get your gym staff to do the challenge first. Then share their attempts through social media posts. Urge your followers to send in their entries.
A weekly podcast is another good option. Depending on your business type, you could speak about a different fitness topic each week. To make it more interactive, get listeners to send questions and answer their queries.
5. Collaborate with Other Brands
You can collaborate with other brands to create branded content, too. But don’t just collaborate with the first one you see. You have to make sure the brand you choose shares your same values.
Just think about it. As a fitness brand, partnering with a chocolate company wouldn’t make sense since your values don’t align. You want people to stay healthy, which means you also encourage them to avoid food many consider to be unhealthy (like chocolate). The chocolate company, meanwhile, will want to emphasize just keeping people’s palates happy. It wouldn’t really matter to the company if you worked out or not.
All that said, you’d probably be better off partnering with a company that sells bicycles, for example. The bottom line is, if your values and principles match up, any content you produce together feels natural.
Collaborating with influencers is another great idea, especially in the fitness industry where influencers have a huge following. After all, these people can also engage with your content and become your leads. They can even turn into your paying customers. The right influencer can give them the social proof they need about your brand.
For instance, BeFiT, a training company, partnered with fitness influencer Scott Herman for a series of workout videos on the company’s YouTube channel:
It was a win-win situation for both Scott and BeFiT. BeFit leveraged the influencer’s over two million YouTube subscribers. Scott, meanwhile, got to tap BeFiT’s over three million subscribers.
So, don’t be afraid to contact other companies or influencers. Just emphasize in your proposal that you’ll both benefit from the collaboration. Don’t forget to include your digital business card so they can easily get in touch with you.
Branded content can be beneficial for your fitness brand. It can help you generate leads and conversions, improve your brand authority, and, ultimately, help you stand out as a brand.
You learned tips you should follow to create branded content. Determine your goals and set the right tone to match your brand. Choose an appropriate content format to get your message across, too. When creating content, aim to provide value and entertain your audience. Reach out to other suitable brands and influencers for collaboration as well.
If you follow these tips, you’ll reap the benefits of branded content. Good luck!
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer
Austin Andrukaitis is the CEO of ChamberofCommerce.com. He’s an experienced digital marketing strategist with many years of experience creating successful online campaigns. Austin’s approach to developing, optimizing, and delivering web-based technologies has helped businesses achieve higher profit, enhance productivity, and position organizations for accelerated sustained growth.