The Ultimate Guide to Sponsored Content
Often you see phrases like “ powered by”, “ sponsored by”, “Partnered with” or “Affiliated with”, which are all used for sponsored content. Any brand spends its money to present some content in front of its target audience, that’s how sponsored content works. You can tell people more about what you do with it since it’s descriptive of what you do and feels appropriate for the context.
Sponsored content has been around for decades But before its use as a print publication. After the invitation of online marketing, print publication has transformed into the web, where it is named “sponsored content”. Now we can see sponsored content on social media platforms, mostly on Instagram. Here is our guide on the ultimate guide to sponsored content.
What is Sponsored Content?
Sponsored content refers to a type of paid advertising that can be published through any form of content like infographics, short videos, or any social media posts. Through a sponsor, you can create and publish content on behalf of any website or influencers where you can promote your brand in front of your audience in exchange for paying for it. You can refer to sponsored content as an advertisement or publication, both offer the same value to your audiences or readers but the effects are beyond promoting any products or services.
Various Formats of Sponsored Content
There are various formats available for sponsored content. But what you will choose depends on the budget, resources, and objectives. Here are some common ways of sponsored content:
- Social Media Posts
- Podcast Episodes
- Blog Posts
How Do You Differentiate Sponsored Content?
To identify sponsored content, you need to look for each clue in front of your eyes. When we talk about video-sponsored content, we see that sponsored content, a disclosure is always included in the content. For example, when a YouTube influencer promotes a brand, we will see a paid promotion message in the top left corner of the video. A famous YouTube channel, Better Ideas publishes sponsored video content collaborating with different brands.
For the written content, many digital news portals like the Wall Street Journal, The NY Times, The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and more upload sponsored partnerships on their pages along with the name of the brand that paid for it. Sometimes with sponsored content, you can see a small paragraph indicating the paid partnership.
Difference Between Sponsored Content and Native Advertising
Most people often get confused between sponsored content and other native advertisements. To clarify the concept of both, here are some points that will help you to understand the difference between sponsored content and native advertisements.
First of all, you need to know what a native advertisement is, an advertisement, which is mainly used for promoting your brand or products or services. The content of the advertisement matches the website it is displayed on. It can be shown on search engine result pages( SERPs) when someone searches for it or pops up on your audience’s social media platforms. There are several types of native advertising including in-feed social media ads, email newsletter ads, recommended content at the end of articles, sponsored search results, and promoted products on e-commerce marketplaces. Native ads are mainly used for promoting or selling products but sponsored content is not directly used for promoting products. Publishers typically publish native ads by offering a slot, but they must use more promotional efforts for sponsored content while referencing the advertised brand directly.
Top 5 Benefits of Sponsored Content
With the right strategy and goals, sponsored content can offer a wide range of benefits. In this section of this article, we are going to discuss the top 5 benefits of sponsored content which are mentioned below:
1. Increase User Engagement and Reach:
If you start paying for sponsored content, you will get more user engagement and reach your target audience. Still, many people use traditional media like radio and television for paid advertising. But after the invention of digital media, people are more into spending time online instead of watching TV. Additionally, television commercials have limited airtime. But when you pay for sponsored content, you will get many opportunities to increase engagement and reach through various social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more.
2. Enhance Brand Awareness:
Sponsored content gives brands a chance to enhance brand awareness by reaching their message to their target audience in order to engage users with the brands. With the help of sponsored content, businesses get the opportunity to communicate directly with their target audiences which helps to build trust or you say trustworthiness between the brand and their potential customers. Many brands announce their product launching dates, upcoming products, and new events through sponsored content. It creates a hype or a buzz about the brand.
3. Lead Generation:
By leveraging sponsored content, brands can generate more leads from their potential customers who are interested in what they offer. Many times these kinds of leads turn into real customers who will purchase from your brand.
4. Better Performance:
Sponsored content is a popular strategy for advertisers in the food, drink, family, and pet industries. According to experts, click-through rates of sponsored content are approximately 8.8 times higher than traditional display ads.
When it comes to traditional media like radio and television, ad rates are higher than effectiveness based on the market size. Instead, you can use sponsored content which is more cost-effective and provides a similar effect if it is done in the right way.
How to Get Started with Sponsored Content
With sponsored content, you will be able to develop your marketing strategy. But before going for the result, you have to make a plan on how to create proper sponsored content. Here are some tips on how to get started with sponsored content which is mentioned below:
- Identify a Goal for Your Sponsored Content
- Research Your Target Audience
- Identify the Right Content Type
- Choose the Right Publisher
- Create a Sponsored Content
- Track Down Your Result
1. Identify a Goal for Your Sponsored Content :
Sponsored content is one of the essential forms of content marketing which is mainly focused on creating effective content to attract more audience to your site. To create sponsored content, the first step is to identify the goal. There are some options through which you can set your goal for your sponsored content such as building an online reputation, driving more website traffic, increasing brand awareness, boosting more leads and sales, and generating authority backlinks.
Once you identify your goal, it will help you to choose the right content type for your sponsored content. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then you need to create content through articles, blogs or social media posts which will help you to reach out to your target audience.
2. Research Your Target Audience :
Identifying the target audience is just like you have found the key to creating your sponsored content. To identify your target audience, you need to ask yourself some questions such as How would you describe their demographics?
Is there a problem they are facing? Is there anything they would like to learn more about?
To research your target audience, you can use Google Analytics where you can find various information about your target audience such as gender, interest, age and more. You can also explore plenty of data through Twitter Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights. On the other hand, you can ask visitors directly through surveys or meetings. Also, you can look into your competitor’s pages to get knowledge of your target audience.
3. Identify the Right Content Type :
For choosing the right content type for your sponsored content, you need to set your goal first. For example, if you want to drive more organic traffic, you need to choose long forms of content like articles to attract more target audiences. Search engine Algorithms always prefer in-depth content rather than short forms of content. According to HubSpot research, long forms of content drive more organic traffic to your website. But don’t make yourself tie up with one content type. Like if you only post blogs as sponsored content, your audience might like to watch videos or infographics. So, Once you identify your goal, try to use various other formats for your sponsored content.
4. Choose the Right Publisher :
After identifying the right content type for sponsored content, it is time to choose the right publishers, companies or influencers. Here are some tips to choose the right one for distributing your sponsored content:
While identifying the right publisher, choose a publisher with the same audience base as yours. For example, if you have a business in clothes, then you have to find publishers with various fashion platforms or magazines. Find a publisher that fits your budget. The cost of your content will depend on factors such as reach, demographics, format and engagement.
Once you choose the right publisher for your sponsored content, you need to send them the documents which will consist of information about your business and your target audience. You can also ask social media influencers for sponsored content.
5. Create a Sponsored Content :
More often, publishers or creators want to create sponsored content for your website according to their choice. If you want to create sponsored content by yourself, then keep the following points in mind:
- Provide your value or important information about your target audience or your business to the publisher, to whom you choose to distribute your sponsored content. Don’t make your content too promotional, it might get rejected by publishers or your target audience might be too interested to look into your content further.
- To make your content exciting or interesting, try to use images, infographics, or videos that will help you to increase user engagement to your website.
- Many publications follow different guidelines on which content they can publish and which they can’t accept. Make sure your content maintains this guideline to get the acceptance from the publication house.
- To get noticed by your target audience, you need to have strong visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs) and this can be only possible by optimizing your sponsored content with SEO to improve the rankings of your website on search engine result pages (SERPs).
6. Track Down Your Result :
The result you accept to see after publishing your sponsored content only depends on the content and platforms you choose. For example, if you choose social media platforms for your sponsored content then, it will give you immediate results like more traffic and more user engagement. But these results can be dropped off after any publishers or content creators publish a new post.
It is true that sponsored articles take more time to get noticed by your target audience but when your target audience starts to look for your content, it will gain more organic traffic in the long term. To track down your results, use Google Analytics to measure your results.
Example of Sponsored Content
When you are about to choose a sponsored content type, you need to keep two things in mind: where your user engagement is higher, and your social media content strategy. Here are some sponsored content examples which are mentioned below:
1. BuzzFeed Listicle and Spotify:
Spotify sponsored content about 15 Bands That Probably Wouldn’t Exist Without Led Zeppelin on Buzzfeed. People find content on this sponsored content very interesting and many listeners use Calls to Action (CTAs) in order to listen to the music of the artists on Spotify.
2. Snapchats and Taco Balls :
The Taco Balls filter is very famous on Snapchat. We all see the filter that represents Cinco de Mayo their food. It was entertaining for users and the message of Taco Balls had successfully reached out to their target audience.
Your brand’s credibility can be enhanced by sponsored content that reaches your audience non-invasively. Incorporate sponsored content into your marketing strategy by following the steps outlined here. We hope this article on the ultimate guide to sponsored content will help to understand it better. If you want to read more articles on trending topics, then keep your eye on our blog page.