What Is a “Brandformance” Marketing Strategy?

It can be really easy to separate brand marketing from performance marketing, but we’re here to challenge that classic dichotomy. “Brandformance” is, as you might guess, the marriage of branding and performance-driven marketing.

This strategy takes the best aspects of marketing that drill down on strong brand identity but also concentrates on driving measurable results and performance from the same initiatives.

In this post, we’re going to look at brandformance a little bit closer and the way it can adjust our perspectives to be a little less black and white when it comes to marketing strategies (whether it be branding-focused or performance-focused).

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

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What Is Brandformance?

Brandformance, a term originally coined by Gary V, basically revolves around understanding and using social media algorithms to amplify content that over-indexes:

Over-indexing occurs when a post performs significantly better than average — indicating a higher level of engagement and interest from the audience. This situation signals to the algorithm that the content is valuable, prompting it to show the post to more users.

Naturally, the question that follows is, “How can this be used to your advantage?” Excellent question. Here are the ways we’ve been tackling our over-indexed content:

  • Identify High-Performing Posts: Analyze your social media metrics to find posts that exceed average engagement metrics like views, likes and comments.
  • Understand Why Your Posts Over-Index: Investigate why these posts are performing better. Factors could include the topic, the format, the visuals or even the timing of the post.
  • Repurpose Successful Elements: Use the insights gained from over-indexing posts to create more content with similar themes or formats, or turn these posts into targeted advertisements.

As you can see, over-indexed content leverages the strengths of branding — such as visibility and user engagement — along with the goal-oriented nature of performance marketing, which focuses on specific actions like conversions and sales.

And that is where brandformance truly manifests.

Brandformance considers the effectiveness of content across different platforms from analyzing which pieces perform best in terms of engagement and then repurposing them to drive specific business objectives.

The Brandformance Strategy in Action

Let’s walk through an example of brandformance at work.

A company might produce a series of marketing videos or podcasts, noticing that certain clips achieve significantly higher engagement than others. These high-performing snippets are then repurposed across various platforms like Instagram Reels, TikTok, or YouTube Shorts.

The key here is not just random distribution, but a strategic placement backed by data-driven insights drawn from the content that performed the best.

Graphic showing that Brandformance is a combo of branding and performance marketing

The relationship begins with content that personifies the brand first. After that is when the “formance” (as in “brand-formance”) comes into the picture by assessing the efficacy of branded content and how to capitalize on it for more growth.

Here’s the approach we use:

  • Initial Content Creation: A company records a podcast or video series.
  • Engagement Analysis: Certain segments garner unusually high views or interactions.
  • Strategic Repurposing: These segments are then transformed into shorter clips and shared on social media platforms aimed at even greater engagement.
  • Conversion Optimization: The high-engagement clips include calls-to-action, such as signing up for an email list or downloading a free marketing plan.

This strategy effectively turns every piece of content into an opportunity to both strengthen the brand and achieve tangible performance metrics.

Why You Should Apply Brandformance To Your Content Marketing

Brandformance is all about taking the best of the best content your brand puts out and putting it absolutely everywhere under the sun as long as it stays its momentum.

Here are the key considerations for adjusting your mindset to a blended approach versus solely branding or performance marketing:

  • Organic Social Interaction: Using content that has already proven successful on social platforms increases the likelihood of continued engagement.
  • Targeted Exposure: By focusing on high-performing content, businesses can more efficiently use their marketing budgets to target audiences that are more likely to convert.
  • Direct Calls-to-Action: Incorporating CTAs into popular content can directly increase conversion rates, as the audience is already engaged.
  • Recycling Content: By reusing high-performing content, companies can maintain a consistent output without constantly needing new creative ideas.
  • Constant Content Optimization: Continuously analyzing which content performs best allows marketers to refine their strategies in real time, adapting to audience preferences and behaviors.

In practice, many businesses have started to adopt the brandformance model. They initially focus on creating quality content that resonates with their audience. Through analytical tools, they identify which pieces of content perform the best and repurpose these into various formats across different channels, each time with a strategic performance goal in mind.

In using real-life examples, like a digital marketing firm successfully increasing its email list sign-ups through targeted video clips from webinars, brandformance can be seen as a versatile and effective strategy.

The Future of Brandformance in Modern Marketing Strategies

It’s possible this is just a flash in the pan, but the premise behind brandformance is a tale as old as time. It’s about honing in on the messaging that resonates best with your audience and then simply doing more of it.

Businesses that can effectively merge these two aspects will not only enhance their market presence but also see a significant improvement in their marketing ROI.

How will your brand transition to a more brandformance-centric mindset? Is it currently more brand-focused and could benefit from a bit more calculated repurposing of its content? Or is it currently so focused on the stats, that it’s losing sight of it’s own personality?

In the end, we think it takes a bit of both to strike the perfect balance between formulaic repetition and openness to trying new ideas within your content to see what truly sings.

If you’re ready to level up your brand’s marketing strategy, Single Grain’s marketing and branding experts can help!👇

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For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.

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