Branded Content on Social Media: Help Brands to Stay Healthy

Branded Content on Social Media: Help Brands to Stay Healthy

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5143-0.ch005
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Social media platforms have become a powerful marketing tool for brands in order to reach new audiences and engage with them. Creative content is a vital part of social media marketing strategies, as innovative content can attract more users and improve brand health. In this chapter, the channels and creative strategies that are being utilized by marketers in social media are explored, and brand health, which is how the brand is evaluated by consumers, is examined. Brand health is an indicator for brand equity in the long run, and as such, the impact of social media marketing on it should be considered by managers.
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Social media marketing has been utilized by managers to achieve different goals such as promotion, branding and customer relationship management (Ashley & Tuten, 2014). Branding has got the most attention out of these goals, as 86% of marketers deem social media platforms as crucial tools in their branding efforts (eMarketer, 2013; Stelzner, 2013). Social media campaigns can help brands to establish an ongoing relationship with their customers, which can make them more involved with the brands. These campaigns can also provide marketer, with information and feedback on how to improve the brand (Murdough, 2009). Interactions with the brands could create lasting thoughts and memorable experiences for the consumers that will affect their relationship with the brand (Keller, 2009). Managers often choose several different branding activities in social media platforms. They can use paid advertising, interact with users as a brand persona and publish firm-created content (content marketing) (Tuten & Solomon, 2013). Social media marketing might be integrated into the one of the marketing campaigns of the firm, become an ongoing channel by itself, or utilized by a series of micro campaigns with the goal of creating exposure for the firm in the digital world (Ashley & Tuten, 2014).

While social media platforms are now widely used by marketers in their marketing strategies, they are far from being fully utilized, as marketers are still in the dark as to how they should use firm-created contents to engage customers psychologically. This engagement is dependent on several factors such as motivations, needs and objectives and its rules are defined by customers themselves (Keller, 2009). Psychological engagement is crucial since consumers are now active participants in marketing efforts of the brands (Schmitt, 2012).

Depending on user engagement, “normative and informational influences may either work for or against the brand” (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Customers want to generate a positive image for themselves and as such, they carefully choose the brands that they want to interact with on social media (Schau & Gilly, 2003). Brand choices of consumers can help them achieve a positive self-meaning, which can affect other activities such as their purchase behavior (Burke & Reitzes, 1991). Consumers want a productive relationship with the brands, so if they feel this relationship is one-sided, brand image will suffer as a result (Huang & Mitchell, 2014; Schmitt, 2012). Marketers should be advised on how their brand messages can have a positive effect on brand engagement, loyalty and equity.

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