What Makes a Branded Content Story Successful?

What makes a branded content story truly engaging for users? How do you attract more views, taps, and offer redemptions…and what great ideas can you steal from our most popular stories to help your own promotion be more successful?

Keen Footwear Sprints to the Top

In September 2018, KEEN Footwear provided Chinook Book with a branded content story focusing on ideas for outdoor adventures. The piece was entitled 5 Escapes Near the City and highlighted their 15% off promotion. The story was delivered to all Portland Chinook Book app users via our in-app news feed, website home page content slider, monthly email newsletter, and multiple social media cross-promotions.

The piece generated over 23,000 story views and 1,300 clicks, placing it in the top three branded content stories for all Chinook Book market regions.

What Worked

This piece succeeded by focusing on the core values of sustainability and adventure that appeal to our users and by framing the story as an inspiring list of ideas anyone could use, whether they purchase something from Keen or not. By offering a clear and engaging benefit (learn cool hiking spots!) that was relevant to their values and the season, Keen offered clear value to the reader before asking anything from them. Once the reader has been inspired by the ideas presented in the article, they were invited to make use of Keen Footwear to enhance their experience, and the story ended with a clear call to action tied to an in-app offer.

Finally, KEEN clearly articulated what they stand for and the values they share with their customers:

“Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, family-owned brand that’s on a mission to improve lives, inspire outside adventure, and create original and versatile footwear for trail, travel, work, and around town. Stop by to find the right fit and a recommended place to hike or play around Portland.”

Success by the Numbers

In the past four months, KEEN’s branded content piece yielded over 23,498 brand impressions via:

  • 6,692 app feed views

  • 706 app feed taps (10.55% CTR)

  • 5,388 people reached on Facebook

  • 286 engagements on Facebook (5.3% CTR)

  • 208 impressions on Twitter

  • 1,125 website views

  • 10,293 email opens

  • 198 email clicks (1.9% CTR)

  • 86 total redemptions during month of content launch

  • 30% increase in redemptions compared to the same month the previous year


How to Make This Work for You

The “listicle” (list + article) format, as used by KEEN, works by inspiring immediate action. By combining the brevity of a list with the informativeness of an article, a listicle packs a lot of information into a quick and easy to read format.

Here are a few ideas for “listicle” articles that might work for your business goals:

  • 7 Ways to Make Your Summer Travel Plans More Sustainable

  • 5 Gluten-Free Desserts You Can Make at Home

  • 8 Ways to Decompress Your Stress

  • 6 Neighborhood Bike Rides to Take This Spring

  • Top 10 Reasons to Buy Consignment Clothing

Ready to put branded content to work for you? Tap the button below to get the details on adding branded content to your Chinook Book promotion plan for this year. Our in-house content strategist can support you throughout the creative process to ensure your story works well for your goals or can even write the story for an additional fee.