Sponsored blog posts are a great way to create brand awareness for your business. Even though blog posts are not as popular as they were before, especially with content being heavily focused in videos and photos, there is still a lot of value in sponsored blog posts written about your business. In this article, we will discuss what a sponsored blog post is, why they are a beneficial strategy to use for your business, and tips on getting started with sponsored blog posts.
What is a Sponsored Blog Post?
A sponsored blog post has the same look and feel as a regular blog post. However, it is mainly a paid advertisement by a brand. Companies pay bloggers to create the blog post and write glowing reviews/information about the product or service they offer. It also gives your brand a persona. Essentially, sponsored blog posts is one of the best digital marketing tactics you can use for your brand.
It is important to remember is that there should always be a disclaimer that a blog post is sponsored and not a post that a writer decided to write on their own will. Sometimes a reader can tell that a blog post is sponsored, but FTC guidelines state that there must be an obvious disclaimer in order to remain compliant.
Why It’s Important to Remain Compliant
Because content marketing, such as sponsored blog posts, can be very influential with consumers, the FTC has strict guidelines to protect said consumers. No one likes to be conned by shady advertising.
For example, Warner Bros. was slammed with a complaint from the FTC after it failed to disclose that they were paying influencers to endorse it’s video game Shadow of Mordor. Warner Bros. was ordered to make future disclosures.
Lord & Taylor was also hit with a complaint from the FTC after they failed to mention that their most successful marketing campaign was actually started by paid influencers. Because their campaign resulted in more than 328,000 impressions and engagements, Lord & Taylor was subjected to a fine of $16,000 per violation. Does your business have that kind of money to pay for such damages?
Why Sponsored Content Helps Your Brand Awareness
There’s no doubt that content marketing is a saturated area to focus in. More and more brands are using many forms of content marketing to stick out from the rest, but how can you as a business stick out among your competition? With sponsored content like blogging.
It’s important to remember that consumers become aware of your brand through how and what is sponsored content introduced to them. This is where influencers come in the picture. Influencers are a great way to gain the trust and interest of potential consumers. This will ultimately generate leads and demand for your business. Plus, sponsored blog content is more likely to attract a more targeted audience unlike traditional ads that wait for consumers to come to them. This will give you a leg up on your competition.
How to Get Started with Sponsored Posts
Are you interested in using sponsored blog posts for your business? Great! Below are some tips on getting started with sponsored posts.
Find the Right Influencer for Your Brand
If you’re going to pay for sponsored blog posts, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth by paying the right influencer.
The right influencer would be someone who has credibility or is well-known in your industry and has an audience that you’re trying to target.
Unsure of who would be the perfect influencer for your brand? Observe these 6 things:
- The topics they write about
- The content they create
- How much their audience engages with their content
- If and how they respond to their audience
- The type of brands they usually promote
- How often they promote other brands
Keep in mind that using influencers comes with the PR package. This means that whoever you choose to write a sponsored post will also become associated with your brand. This is why it is important to work with an influencer with a strong reputation who can bring good long-term PR for your brand.
Set Up a Budget
There are many factors that go into how much you should pay a blogger or influencer to create a sponsored blog post. It’s important to remember that finding an influencer that fits your budget and would create the results you’re looking for isn’t all a numbers game. For example, Katie Clark from Best Blog Courses says that if a blogger gets 100,000 views, they should get paid $100. Although, she has also said that bloggers who only get 10,000 views have gotten paid $2000 for a sponsored blog post. This means that rates often vary depending on audience engagement and influencer popularity, but not necessarily on follower count.
Platforms like Tapinfluence, IZEA, and Linqia are great for connecting with influencers in your niche and also give a good idea on what their rates are. The best advice is to work with an influencer who best aligns with your mission and caters to your targeted audience.
Have a Plan
When you have an influencer on board, you want to have a plan or two in place. This includes marketing to your influencer and creating a marketing campaign.
Marketing to Your Influencer
Before your influencer can start creating a sponsored blog post to his or her audience, you should have a brand experience set up for them. This could be through a product, service, or an event for your product/service.
Preparing an immersive brand experience gives your influencer the opportunity to try your product or service. That way, your influencer can get a good feel for your product and/or service, accurately document their experience, and share it with their audience. This can ultimately generate more buzz for your brand’s marketing campaign.
Creating a Marketing Campaign
Besides the sponsored blog post itself, having a strategic marketing campaign behind it is just as important. What exactly is your goal from this sponsored blog post? Are you trying to generate leads? Get more visitors to your site? Your goal will give your influencer an idea on how to structure their blog post and what content to put in it.
So, what are some ways your influencer can blog about your brand? Here are a few creative ideas.
- Doing a review of your product or service
- Endorsing your product or service
- Having a contest or giveaway
Even if your goal is just to get more visitors to your site, the main purpose of sponsored blog posts is to bring brand awareness. Also, keep in mind that the point of sponsored blog posts is to make it sound authentic from the influencer to their audience.
Benefits of Having Sponsored Blog Posts
Besides increasing your website traffic and attracting new customers, sponsored content advertising can build loyalty with current customers and give you more authority. The benefits of sponsored blog posts seem endless. Here are a few benefits to keep in mind:
It increases your website traffic
Because sponsored blog posts act as advertisements, it will increase your website traffic thus creating more leads for your business.
The point of blog posts is for them to have entertainment and educational value. That is why creating content that answers your target audience’s questions is a great way for them to discover your business.
Appeal to new customers
Glamorise is a 100-year-old plus-size bra company that is still going strong. Wonder why? Because they frequently update their blogs to fuel their searcher’s needs.
Think about it. When you are researching for a product or service online you use a search engine such as Google right? That is because the more pricey a product or service is, the more likely a potential customer will do research.
Having informative and engaging blog posts can help sway a potential customer’s opinion into purchasing your product or service.
Appeal to readers who are seeking fun
Most businesses post blogs with content that answers questions for readers seeking a solution. Although, blogs can also serve as mere entertainment that can stimulate demand for products and services that your readers didn’t even know they want at first! These blogs are catered to people who read for leisure and something to entertain them in their spare time.
The downside to this is that this type of blog content is more difficult to create. That’s because the point of these blogs is to engage the reader, while also gaining their loyalty as a customer. Therefore, blogs like these are more lifestyle-based. They are used to cater to a community and improve their readers’ quality of life.
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