Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital Content Decisions: Brand Value vs. User Value

Bottom Shape

Krista Neher

Aug 09 2022

Brand Value and User Value 

The key to digital content is finding the right mix of brand and user value. Brand value means that the content is strategically created to build the brand. User value means that it is interesting to the consumer.

Missing Brand Value

If a post is really interesting to people but the brand is minimized or not present, it isn’t meeting your business objectives. So while people may like it, it won’t ultimately grow your business.

A great example of this is Taco Bell. Many years ago Taco Bell launched an ad campaign that people loved featuring a Chihuahua that said “Yo Quiero Taco Bell.” The campaign was so popular that sales of Chihuahuas went up and Taco Bell sold stuffed dogs. But sales were flat, because the dog, while cute, didn’t make people want to eat Taco Bell. When Taco Bell switched back to product-focused commercials its sales rebounded.

Missing User Value

At the same time, if your post isn’t interesting to people it won’t have a big impact in digital. People quickly scroll through content on digital channels and eye-tracking studies show that we are great at avoiding ads that aren’t of interest. Brands need to earn attention by creating content that is valuable to people.

Brand lift studies from Facebook show that content that isn’t interesting to people can have little impact on branding. If your ad is boring people scroll by so quickly it barely makes an impression, and it becomes more expensive as Facebook doesn’t want to show ads that people don’t like. On websites as well, people will leave quickly if they don’t find value from your site.

Balance Brand Value and User Value

Marketers sometimes feel that these objectives are at odds with each other – that if digital content has branding in it, it won’t be interesting to people. This is not the case, and in fact, neither Google nor Facebook has studies that suggest this. The most effective posts for brands integrate the branding in a natural way.

When you evaluate your content on any digital channel evaluate it against these two concepts.

Balancing Your Brand and User Value 

The digital marketing tools you choose usually help to give some thought to your digital marketing content strategy.

What content can you share that is interesting to your target audience and make them more likely to buy from you? When starting to think about your digital marketing content, it’s helpful to consider what makes great content and where you want to be.

Let’s talk about the 20/60/20 digital marketing formula for balancing brand and user value – 20% to promote yourself, 60% helpful to the audience AND self-promoting, and the other 20% just helpful to the audience

The best content should aim at being both interesting to your audience and promotional for your business. You may have some digital marketing content that is purely promotional and some that is less but highly relevant to your audience.

The aim of creating digital content should be to move each piece as close to the center as possible. Even if you have a purely promotional message, ask yourself, how I can make it interesting to someone?

What stats or surprise facts are there around it? What makes it sharable?


Holidays and events are great examples of topics that people are interested in. Brands create content around them, but many brands struggle with making the holiday relevant for their brand.

Instead of just posting “Happy Whatever Day” – think about how it relates to or connects with your business in a meaningful way. That is interesting to your audience. This will take your content from mediocre to thumb-stopping.

If you want to learn more about Brand & User Value, you can check our All Access Pass monthly subscription to access our course library. 


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