Sponsored Content in Marketing: All You Need to Know

Learn more about sponsored content through this detailed guide!

Paid posts, partnered with, and powered by are just a few of the many phrases you encounter while scrolling through social media. Truth is, they highlight sponsored content. With things like banner blindness killing a brand’s marketing strategies, it’s crucial to develop posts that generate higher clicks and conversions.

That’s where sponsored content comes into play. Simply put, sponsored content is paid ads. It’s safe to say that as the marketing world grows, sponsored content is taking precedence over traditional content. 

Learning the basics of sponsored content will help you create the best posts for your social media platforms. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what sponsored content really is and how you make one. So, without much further ado, let’s dive right in.

What is Sponsored Content?

Sponsored content is a form of native advertising. A sponsor pays a publisher, brand, or influencer to create and distribute an ad. But the catch is that these ads don’t really feel like an ad. They fit so naturally into your social media feed that you’ll feel like it’s just another online post you’ve come across. In other words, it is nothing like an invasive advertisement.

Sponsored content is used by brands that want to increase their reach and customer base. It’s also a great way to boost credibility and trust. Sponsored content can include (but isn’t limited to):

  • Articles
  • Images
  • Infographics
  • Sponsored tweets
  • Instagram and Facebook stories
  • YouTube videos
  • Podcasts

As you can see, most of the above choices are social media platforms. So, the fact that sponsored content among B2C marketers does not come as a surprise.

Why is Sponsored Content Popular?

There is no contention when it comes to the popularity of sponsored content. But there’s no point believing all this without knowing the why. So, why should one really bother with sponsored content? Given below are a few reasons:

  • It increases your brand’s credibility and raises the viewers’ trust in you. As a result, ensuring they have an excellent experience with you. Remember, two out of three customers trust sponsored content more than traditional ads.
  • Sponsored content improves the UX. 38% of the business, entertainment, and news audiences vouch for sponsored content’s value.
  • Branded content isn’t just limited to a single format or media type — another thing that adds to its popularity.
  • Sponsored content benefits both the creator and the sponsor. Both parties can improve relationships with their customers. As a result, ensuring their business is an overall success. 
  • More than 70% of consumers like to gain information about a product or service through sponsored content. That’s because sponsored content doesn’t interrupt their scrolling. So customers are more likely to view them.

Types of Sponsored Content in Marketing

Let’s look at a few types of sponsored content in a bit more detail. Rest assured, these are not the only types.

Articles

Articles are probably the first thing that comes to one’s mind when they think of the word ‘content.’ Since no content creation is complete without articles, they’re also an excellent type of sponsored content in marketing. Articles can help you increase your brand reach and better engage with your target audience.

Videos

Platforms like TikTok have reduced the average consumer’s attention span. Although lengthy articles provide a lot of information, most people don’t prefer them. They’d rather watch videos and/or pictures. So, sponsored videos are extremely beneficial in helping you generate sales and increase your customer base. 

Social media

In this digital day and age, you don’t hear of people who don’t have an Instagram or a Facebook account. Almost everyone consumes social media content daily. So, it makes sense for brands to use these platforms to create branded content. 

The best part about social media is that you can create any type of content you want. If you want to opt for short-form videos, you have Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. If you want long-form videos, you have YouTube. 

For simple images, Instagram and Facebook are popular options. Plus, Instagram and Facebook stories are also excellent features to use. 

In 2021 alone, companies spent a whopping $13.8 billion on influencer marketing. So remember, sponsored content will help you drive more traffic, increase brand awareness, and boost sales.

Podcasts

Similar to videos, audio and audio-video content is also super popular. That’s where podcasts come into the picture. Almost 62% of Americans listen to podcasts. That’s nearly half the country’s population. So, you can imagine how effective podcasts can be. 

How to Create Sponsored Content?

Here are the steps to create sponsored content:

Set Goals

I believe we all can agree that it’s not quite wise to do anything without setting a goal first. So, this should be your first step to creating sponsored content. 

Identify what your goals are. Do you want to raise brand awareness and reputation? Do you want to increase your traffic, leads, and sales? Or is generating quality backlinks your priority? 

Just sit and think about all these things and define your goals. It’ll give you clear direction and set you on the right track of branded content creation.

Research Your Target Audience

You cannot be successful with your sponsored content in marketing unless you understand your target audience. Think about what sort of people you want to reach out to. Are they Millennials, Gen Z, or both? 

Once you do this, the next step is to understand their demographics, any problems they have, and their likes and dislikes. As a result, you can create targeted content that caters to your audience’s needs.

Decide on a Content Type

Deciding a content type is also a crucial step in creating sponsored content in marketing. Whatever content type you choose, it must align with the goals you initially set for yourself. 

For example, opting for long-form content might be better if your goal is to increase organic traffic.

Choose a Publisher and/or Influencer

The next step is to choose a publisher or influencer for your sponsored content. Here are some things you should keep in mind while doing so:

  • Audience: The publisher you opt for should have the same audience as yous. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to reach out to a fashion influencer if you’re a health-related company.  
  • Traffic: Remember, creating sponsored content is not a piece of cake. Plus, you’d want the best results since you’re paying someone. So, use online website traffic checkers to see whether the influencer receives enough traffic.
  • Cost: Only choose an influencer if they match your budget. Remember, there’s no need to spend more than what you can afford. It’ll only make you end up in a financially poor situation.

Create Sponsored Content

Usually, the content creation part is left to the influencers/publishers. But sometimes, you may have to provide them with the content. If that’s the case, here’s what you should know:

  • Focus on providing value and avoid your content from looking too promotional. It’ll turn off the audience, and they’ll simply dismiss it.
  • Include multimedia! I cannot stress this enough. People get bored reading long texts. So, adding pictures, videos, or infographics is necessary to keep them engaged. Make sure your pictures are visually appealing to keep your audience hooked.
  • Make sure to follow any editorial guidelines the publisher or influencer gives you.
  • Your content should be SEO optimized for better Google ranking.
  • Your content should complement the platform where it’ll be uploaded. For example, a 30-minute long video is a big no for Facebook or Instagram.

Measure Results

You can measure your results by looking at whether you were able to achieve your goals or not. Remember, results depend on the type of content you create and where you upload it. 

Sponsored Content in Marketing – A Way to Build Credibility

Sponsored content doesn’t feel invasive when people scroll through their social media accounts. So, it’s the perfect way to boost brand awareness, increase reach, and build credibility. It’s a game changer, and something brands should take advantage of. 

Now that you’ve read this article, we hope you’re able to understand everything regarding sponsored content in marketing.

Featured Image: Clear Voice


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