What do you know about sponsored content? What are your thoughts on the benefits of sponsored content for B2B businesses? Do you think that sponsored content is a valuable marketing tool?
As a business-to-business (B2B) marketer, you may wonder if sponsored content is worth the investment. After all, traditional advertising can be expensive, and its success is not always guaranteed. So why would you want to add another marketing expense to your budget?
In this post, we look at the definition of sponsored content and how it differs from other advertising. We will also see its benefits and a practical strategy to start your sponsored content campaigns if you decide it’s the right move for your business.
What is Sponsored Content
Sponsored content is a form of advertising where the sponsor pays the publisher (usually a website) to publish content that promotes the sponsor’s products or services. The advertiser typically creates the content, but you can also repurpose it from other sources.
Sponsored content can be articles, blog posts, videos, or social media posts. It’s often presented as regular editorial content, but the sponsor pays for it.
The main difference between sponsored content and other forms of advertising is that sponsored content is less intrusive and more informative. Unlike traditional ads, sponsored content is usually designed to blend with the rest of the site’s content. So, it tends to build trust and credibility with potential customers more effectively.
What are the Benefits of Sponsored Content
When you publish sponsored content, you can expect to reach a much wider audience than you would through your organic social media posts. Your sponsored content will be seen by people who don’t already follow your brand, which can help you to attract new leads and customers.
Sponsored content tends to be more engaging than other forms of advertising, such as banner ads. The reason is simple: sponsored content is more targeted and personal. It speaks directly to the reader and often comes from a source the reader trusts. Sponsored content generally provides useful information or entertainment rather than just trying to sell a product.
Improved Brand Awareness
Sponsored content helps to improve brand awareness by associating your company with a relevant topic or trend. When your content appears on a popular website, it helps to increase your brand’s visibility and name recognition. For example, if a fashion brand sponsors an article on the latest trends, its audience is likely to see the article and learn about the brand. Similarly, if a tech company partners with a popular blog about gadgets, it can gain exposure to a tech-savvy audience.
With the right approach, sponsored content marketing can result in significantly more website traffic than non-sponsored posts. It is likely because readers trust sponsored content more than traditional advertising. So, it is more shared and linked to than other types of content, effectively attracting new visitors to your website.
Higher Conversion Rates
Sponsored content has been shown to convert browsers into buyers at a higher rate than traditional marketing methods. As sponsored content provides valuable information, it helps potential customers make informed buying decisions. In addition, sponsored content comes from a trusted source, further building confidence, and credibility.
Sponsored advertising content can help improve your website’s SEO. When your articles are published on high-quality websites, they can help to build your brand’s authority and increase your search engine rankings.
Clearly, you can reap many benefits by using sponsored content to promote your business.
Types of sponsored content
Sponsored articles are a form of native advertising whereby an advertiser pays to have their content published on a publisher’s site. Sponsored articles are typically clearly labeled as such (which may as “Sponsored by ZYX Company”), and they often aim to promote a product or service while providing valuable information to the reader.
Although a sponsored article is a bit like a commercial, it must be well-written. It should have a clear voice and style that fits with the publication it appears in. If the sponsored article is too obviously an advertisement, readers will tune it out. Their attention will be piqued if it looks and feels like something they would normally read on the site.
It is also relevant to the publication’s audience. It should offer something of value to readers, whether it’s information, entertainment, or both. A sponsored article that’s nothing more than a sales pitch is likely to be ignored, no matter how well-written.
Sponsored blogs are usually written by professional copywriters or bloggers who are paid to write positive reviews or articles about the sponsor’s products or services. While some sponsored blogs may be transparent about their relationship with the sponsor, others may try to hide this information to appear more objective.
How to spot a sponsored blog?
Sponsored blogs often have positive reviews of the sponsor’s products or services and have more advertisements. It could be in banner ads, sidebar ads, embedded videos, or sponsorships.
A sponsored video usually features a product or service placement within the video content itself. The sponsor may also be featured in voice-over or on-screen as part of the video. In some cases, the sponsor may be the exclusive focus of the video.
Sponsored videos can take many forms, depending on the goals of the sponsor and the style of the video content.
For example, a sponsored product placement in a cooking show could feature the sponsor’s kitchen appliances in use by the host. Or, a travel vlog could feature the sponsor’s travel gear as part of the host’s packing list. Generally speaking, a sponsored video should feel organic and natural rather than like an advertisement. The goal is to create an enjoyable viewing experience that “just happens to” feature a particular product or service.
Sponsored webinars are online seminars that feature a presenter who discusses a particular topic. The webinar sponsor may be featured prominently before and after the presentation. The host may mention their products or services during the event.
Sponsoring a webinar allows you to reach a target audience of potential customers interested in learning about topics related to your business. It is a great way to get your product or service in front of potential customers who are already interested in your offer. And, because webinars are typically recorded, your sponsored content will stay available long after the event.
Social Media Posts
You’re scrolling through your Facebook feed when you see a post from your favorite clothing brand. The product looks great, and you’re tempted to click on the link. But wait – is this a sponsored post?
Sponsored social media posts are paid advertisements that appear on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Generally, sponsored posts look just like any other content on a platform, except they will have a label that says “Sponsored” or “Advertisement.” Whether it’s a post about someone’s new skincare routine or a cooking tutorial using a particular brand of spices, sponsored display ads are all around us.
Social media is a very effective platform for businesses to reach their target audiences. And, because people are already used to seeing a mix of content on social media (including ads), sponsored posts can be effective. What’s more, the right social media platform allows businesses to target their ads very specifically. For example, Facebook allows businesses to target ads by location, age, gender, interests, and more. So, businesses can ensure their sponsored content is only seen by people who are likely to be interested in it.
A sponsored podcast is a bit like a radio show, except it’s distributed online instead of over the airwaves. Podcasts are usually audio-only, although some do include video.
Podcast listeners are often highly engaged and strongly interested in the topics covered in their favorite shows. So they are more likely to remember your brand and discuss it with friends and family. Sponsoring a podcast also helps build trust with potential customers. When you align your business with a trusted source of information, you can create a positive association in the listeners’ minds. Moreover, it is a clever move to connect with influencers in your industry. Supporting a popular show can develop relationships with influencers who can help to promote your business to a wider audience.
Ebooks are digital books that people can download and read on their computers, tablets, or phones. And, yes – you can sponsor them. Ebooks are a great option for businesses that want to provide valuable content to their target audiences. For example, if you sell products for home cooks, you could sponsor an ebook with recipes and cooking tips.
Ebooks offer a few key benefits for businesses:
- They allow you to demonstrate your expertise in a particular subject area because they are often very focused on a specific topic and provide an in-depth look at it.
- They provide an opportunity to build trust with potential customers. When you offer valuable information for free, people are more likely to recognize your brand and consider doing business with you in the future.
- Ebooks can be a great way to generate leads. You can add a call-to-action at the end of your ebook to encourage readers to sign up for your email list or visit your website.
As you can see, there are many different types of sponsored content. And each one offers its unique benefits. Next, we’ll learn the best practices for creating sponsored content.
Tips for Creating Effective and Successful Sponsored Content
Know your audience.
Before creating any kind of content – sponsored or otherwise – it’s imperative to understand your target audience clearly. Whom are you trying to reach? What are their interests? When and where do they consume content?
Establish clear goals.
As with any marketing effort, your sponsored content should support your business goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your content? Are you Expanding your reach? Deepening your customer relationship? Improving your operational efficiency? Innovating new products or services? You must establish clear goals before creating sponsored content to stay on track and measure your success later.
Be strategic about the platform.
Not all platforms are suitable for your business or your goals. So, selecting the platform(s) that will work best for you is important.
Consider the following factors when choosing a platform:
- Think about where your target audience will most likely spend their time online. If they’re on LinkedIn, then that’s a good place to start. If they’re active on Twitter or Facebook, you might also consider sponsoring content on those social media platforms.
- Look at the type of content that performs well on each platform. For example, if you have an article or white paper that would be a good fit, LinkedIn-sponsored content is a good option. Meanwhile, shorter, more visual content tends to perform best on Twitter.
- Consider your budget and what you hope to achieve with your sponsored content. If you have a limited budget, you might want to focus your efforts on one platform rather than spreading your content too thin. And if you’re looking to generate leads or drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to ensure the platform you choose offers robust tracking and reporting capabilities.
Create valuable content.
The whole point of sponsored content is to create something people want to consume. So, your content must be first-rate and provides value to your target audience.
Don’t forget; that you’re not just competing with other sponsored content for attention – you’re also competing with all the other content on the internet. So, make sure your content is worth reading, watching, or listening to.
Valuable content contains these qualities:
- well-researched: make sure your facts are correct
- clear and concise: get to the point quickly
- engaging in style and visuals: keep people’s attention from start to finish
- unique: offer a new perspective on a familiar topic
- actionable: provide information people can use right away
- easy to share: make it easy for people to share your content with their friends and followers
- brief and on-brand: stay true to your brand voice
Work with influencers.
As we mentioned before, one of the benefits of sponsored content is the ability to connect with influencers in your industry. When you sponsor content from an influencer, you can tap into their audience and expand your reach.
When working with influencers, confirm that their values align with your brand. You don’t want their audience to be confused about who you are or what you do. Also, be clear about your goals for the partnership and what you expect from the influencer. And don’t forget to have a contract in place that spells out all the details of the arrangement.
Check out the competition.
Before you create your own sponsored content, take some time to research what your competitors are doing. See what’s working well for them and what isn’t. Then, you can adapt their successful strategies for your own business.
Of course, you also want to avoid making the same mistakes they did. So, pay close attention to their content and look for any areas that need improvement.
Measure results and optimize accordingly.
As with any marketing initiative, you need to measure the results of your sponsored content and adjust your strategy accordingly. Which pieces of content performed best? Why do you think that is? How can you replicate that success in the future?
You should also track any changes in key metrics, such as website traffic or conversion rates. It will help you determine whether your sponsored content is having the desired effect on your business.
If you do not see the desired outcome, be bold to experiment. Try different types of content, various distribution channels, or different influencers. The key is to keep testing until you find a formula that works for your business.
Now that you know what sponsored content is and how it can benefit your business, it’s time to start creating your own! Remember that sponsored content should always be relevant to your audience and offer value; otherwise, you risk turning them off.
When used correctly, sponsored content can be a powerful tool to help you achieve your business goals. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Here are other questions about sponsored content that we have not covered in the article.
While sponsored content and ads may appear similar at first glance, there are major differences between the two that marketers should be aware of.
Sponsored content is a piece of online content created in partnership between a brand and a publisher. The goal of a sponsored ad is to promote the brand’s products or services in a non-intrusive and authentic way. This type of content aims to provide value to the reader rather than simply selling them on a product.
In contrast, an ad is a paid piece of online advertising that promotes a product or service more directly. Ads are usually less expensive than sponsored content, but they also tend to be less effective since they are less relevant to the reader.
There are many different types of sponsored content, but some common examples include blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, and infographics.
The cost of sponsored content will vary depending on the publisher, the type of content, the length of the piece, and other factors. In general, though, businesses can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $750 for a single piece of sponsored content.
Yes. Native ads are advertisements incorporated Into the design and flow of the content on a website or app. Unlike traditional banner ads, which are often obtrusive and disrupt the user experience, native ads are non-disruptive and seamless.