Sponsored content advertising is a top marketing strategy in 2020 for a good reason; it drives results. In fact, most marketing professionals agree that branded content is more effective than other forms of traditional advertising. This content marketing strategy is one of the quickest and useful methods to engage potential customers, build credibility, and create a funnel of qualified inbound leads.
There are various types of sponsored content you can create and many different channels to advertise sponsored content on. In this article, we will review the most effective channels for sponsored content. First, let’s look at what sponsored content is and what types of branded content you should consider creating.
What is Sponsored Content?
Sponsored content is a paid media strategy where the brand picks a topic and has an article posted or promoted on a web page or social channel that fits its niche and targeted demographic.
Sponsored content is written to blend in with the regular content on a website, blog, or social platform. It looks, feels, and reads like all of the native content on the page. This helps promotes your brand’s products, services, or know-how. Sponsored content is kind of like a media placement that you pay for. There are rules around running ethical sponsored content advertisements that you should look into regarding ethics!
According to Nielsen and Mode Media, consumers spend about 2.5 minutes reading a sponsored article. This is roughly equivalent to the amount of time that they spend reading an editorial piece. Sponsored content is sometimes written or designed by someone in your brand’s marketing department or, more often, the website/blog’s publisher’s staff will write it based on guidelines your brand provides them.
There are many different types of sponsored content that your brand should consider creating. Some examples include photos, videos, podcasts, and articles. It does take time and effort to create good content, but it’s worth it. 70% of internet users want to learn more about a product via branded content than traditional advertising, and sponsored content is found to be 22 times more engaging than regular banner ads.
The Top 5 Channels For Sponsored Content
When creating sponsored content (whether a video, a photo, or an article), consider who would be most interested in the content you plan to promote. Once you determine who the content is for, you should ask yourself what your goal for this content is? Do you want to reach more people who like or follow your social pages? Are you trying to find new eyes to engage with your content? Do you want to increase sales on a new product or service launch?
Once you decide on the type of content you want to create and your campaign goals, there are many different channels and places you can run your sponsored content advertisements on. We’ve narrowed down the top 5 most popular channels for your next sponsored content marketing campaign below.
1. Blogs and Websites
When looking for a blog or website to promote your sponsored content article on, it’s important to understand where your targeted demographics are. Once you know what types of online publications and media sources your customers are reading, it’s easy to pick and choose the right website. You can typically request a media kit from the publisher that will include demographic information for their site.
Online publications have differently priced packages, typically based on the size of their audience or how engaged their audience is. If you want to run a sponsored content campaign with Rolling Stone or The New York Times, you’ll have to pay for their huge audiences. In this case, high price points usually translate into high rewards. One sponsored content article with audiences this large could put your product and/or service on the map quickly!
If you don’t have a big budget, don’t worry! Getting your sponsored content posted to various blogs or websites with smaller audiences adds up quickly. Think about it this way. A food blogger with only 25,000 visitors a month may not have a huge audience as Bon Appetit does. However, if that food blogger has one thousand fans who avidly read their blog, you could end up converting quite a few new customers. You do so by leveraging a smaller yet extremely engaged audience.
Sponsored Facebook posts can help you increase engagement and views on certain pieces of content that you want more eyes on. Sponsored content campaigns on Facebook can happen in two different ways: You can pay to promote your post from your own account profile or pay an influencer with a large amount of Facebook fans to post on your behalf. Both are great ways to make sure the content you create appears in new Facebook user’s news feeds.
Types of Sponsored Content Advertisements on Facebook:
- Photos: Facebook users love images! Research shows Facebook posts that include images get two times more engagement than posts without images. When you pay to promote an image that is high quality and resonates with your target demographics interest, you will gain more engagement and more brand awareness.
- Videos: Videos that demonstrate your product or services “wow” factor can become a viral hit on Facebook. Over 4 billion video views happen on Facebook every day, so your potential to tap into some of those views is quite high! Whether your video is funny, entertaining, educational, or just promotional, videos are powerful ways to tell your story and Facebook is a powerful channel to share your videos on.
- Blog Posts/Articles: Facebook has over one billion active daily users and a lot of targeting options, Facebook is a great place to pay to further promote an article or latest blog post that you want more people to read.
Instagram sponsored content campaigns can either be promoted (paid posts) from the brand account or on an influencers channel. Both are effective means of sponsored content advertising if your goal is to increase visibility and awareness of special promotions, sales, new products, and so on. Research has found consumers consider Instagram to be the sixth most effective at influencing their purchasing decisions. Sponsored posts on Instagram have been shown to have a ten-time increase in followers and brand engagement.
- Photos: People are visual beings, which is why Instagram is such a popular social network. You can use eye-catching imagery to drive more awareness of a special promo or new product launch with sponsored posts on Instagram. If you are paying an influencer to promote a product, send them a product for them to create content for you and share it on their channel.
- Videos: More than 25% of Instagram ads are videos. Instagram videos should be short and sweet, ranging from 3 seconds to 60 seconds.
94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing because it is a great channel to run a sponsor content campaign on if you want to target professionals with a business mindset. Sponsored Content on LinkedIn allows brands to deliver updates, promos, and ideas beyond their current LinkedIn Page. You can target users in certain industries, in certain geographical locations, and across mobile and desktop. This will help you build an audience that’s ready to do business with you.
- Videos: The LinkedIn Algorithm favors video content, meaning you have a higher chance of your video reaching the top of your demographics feed over other types of content you post. Plus, using video to share an important brand message or story allows people to connect to your brand.
- Blog Posts/Articles: If you have an important industry-related blog or article to share, consider paying to promote it further on LinkedIn. Sharing a thought leadership piece and paying to promote it can greatly increase your brand credibility.
- Photos: Believe it or not, LinkedIn users don’t favor photos over text in their feed. We recommend focusing more on paying to promote articles and videos that get your messages across.
Podcasting has never been a bigger medium to communicate key brand messages and topics. More than 80% of people listen to podcasts for more than seven hours a week! If your brand sponsors a podcast, it can introduce your thought leadership, products, and/or services to a whole new audience. Plus, you don’t have to spend too much time writing, designing, or storyboarding. Podcasts are best when they have a clear message and are more conversational.
Ready to Leverage Sponsored Content Marketing?
Sponsored content marketing is a vital component in your overall marketing strategy. Engaging potential customers with content that adds value demonstrates your expertise and generates positive feelings about your brand. This will not only lead to brand loyalty but also engage new potential buyers. While it might be a bit of an investment, sponsored content advertising will deliver a strong ROI.
Are you looking for experts in sponsored content advertising to assist your company in your next sponsored content creation project? Not only can we help you manage your sponsored content initiatives, but we can implement an entire strategy that puts your brand in front of the customers that are already looking for you.