Marketers and online users tire from the conventional promotional methods available online.
Things are also not looking good on the social media front as well, especially at Facebook which has inhibited organic reach for business pages drastically. Using conventional paid media such as banner ads is also becoming less effective as consumers simply ignore them.
There has been growing interest in creating content – videos, podcasts or case studies that look as if journalists wrote them and are an organic content piece without any pretext of selling.
This is where sponsored content comes in.
What is Sponsored Content and Why Does it Matter?
To understand what the sponsored content definition is, you will have to understand what native advertising is.
According to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), native advertising is when marketers use content to look exactly like the publisher’s page content. This is so the viewer struggle to distinguish the difference between organic and paid content.
Sponsored content is also know as in-feed native advertising. This is when the content shares the look and feel of the website and has a “sponsored” disclaimer on the website.
This helps your business in two fundamental ways. First, the content will enjoy the audience and reputation of the publisher. Second, it will be remarkably similar to everything else on the platform. For instance: Facebook Sponsored posts. They appear just like regular content, making them more acceptable to the users.
Native advertising vs. Sponsored Content
As stated earlier, sponsored content is indeed a type of native advertising; however, there is one difference that separates both of them.
Native ads or advertising is promotional and try to convince the user rather than informing them. While it will look like a regular content piece (video or an article), it will feature a strong call-to-action and will favour the brand and its products and services.
On the other hand, sponsored content is not promotional in nature nor does it show a bias in favour of the brand. The strategy behind the sponsored content is to share information with the customers and showcase the brand as a thought leader.
What is Branded Content?
In the world of content marketing, there are now many new words flying around and one of these is “branded content”. So, what is branded content?
When a brand decides to create content to reach out to their customers, they are technically becoming publishers. This leads them to create platforms for themselves where they can share content that is relevant, inspiring and educational for their target audiences.
In a nutshell, branded content is when brands create content for themselves and publish it on their platforms.
What Does Sponsored Content Look Like?
Great examples of sponsored content are all over the internet. One of the best examples would be that of Narcos web page, Cocaineconomics. In collaboration with the Wall Street Journal, the page offers incredible insight along with video clippings from the highly praised series.
So How Do I Use Sponsored Content for my Business?
To use sponsored content for your business, you need to consider the following three things:
1. Where is your target audience consuming content the most?
This is the most important consideration as you want to use a platform where your target audience has the highest representation. For instance, you have created content with a local influencer and now want to promote it. The question you should be thinking right now is whether you should use the influencer’s Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook account. It all depends where your audience is, and that is where your content should go.
2. What type of content do you want to create?
Secondly, you have to consider what you want to create. If you are a B2B brand, the best thing to do is create and distribute an article to the top blog or news site of your industry. For instance, if you are a FinTech that wants to share information on how well you can help your customers in foreign transactions, you can publish content on TechCrunch so that it looks native to the site and gets the exposure you want!
3. Which publisher or creator do you want to work with?
Since sponsored content comes from someone else, the creators, it is important you figure this out for online success. Check out what their online presence is like and how dominant their social media reach is. Also, ask the creators whether they can share data regarding the reach and engagement they can offer.
Online content marketing is growing every day because customers are more aware of sponsored ads and promotions. With branded and sponsored content, marketers can easily reach out to customers. They can also create leads for their business in their long run without the feel of conventional promotional ads.
Are you looking to add sponsored or branded content into your content marketing strategy? Book a free consultation with Edkent Media to see how we can get you the visibility you need.
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