You’ve done it; you figured out how to create an amazing website and use content to bring visitors in. You’ve got your strategy down and using SEO keywords on your page. You are officially killing it.
One problem, though- no new visitors or revenue are showing up.
You looked at your SEO optimization; you’ve been tracking your visitor traffic like a hawk. You’ve even added new and exciting content. Nothing is working. You are this close to calling it quits on the whole thing.
But this doesn’t have to be your story.
There are a few ways to garner more visitor traffic to your site. One of the best methods is utilizing sponsored marketing. In this article, you will learn what a sponsored post is, the benefits of such posts, and how you can use it for your business.
What is Sponsored Content Marketing?
In short terms, sponsored content is a form of advertising put out by publishers, brands, or influencers in collaboration with other similar entities. Defining sponsored content and its connection to other content and advertising is harder. More on this later.
There are different forms of sponsored content marketing, and all is to generate traffic, clicks, and sales depending on your objectives.
Sponsored content approaches can be through a traditional ad or other forms such as content used to promote search ads, or can be shared on social media platforms, traditional ads, native advertising, and LinkedIn sponsored content. Sponsoring is done to drive traffic to the sponsor’s website by tapping into the existing audience of the publisher.
Our Own Type of Branded Content
There are many ways to define sponsored content. Here at LeadAdvisors, we stand by our own unique definition that has brought continued success to our clients.
In our definition, sponsored content is branded content, something not everyone is knowledgeable in. Branded content is the persuasive long-form articles we create for our client’s sites, designed to excel on Google through focused keywords.
Our branded content allows you to deliver a persuasive long-form article that focuses on search queries and keywords to target the right audiences hunting on search engines for your product or services. One may google “best” or “top 10” of a certain product to make a purchase. Our branded content puts your products and services at the top of this search, which influences the buyer’s decision. This way, you can give your readers informative content that they’re searching for, while placing your business as an authority site on Google.
Would you like our branded content for your business? [click here to learn more]
Sponsored Content Article Format Types
A sponsored post can come into different formats, with each type bringing its benefits to a brand or business. Examples of sponsored content include:
- Video content
- Sponsored Tweets (Twitter)
- Sponsored Pins (Pinterest)
- Carousel Ads
- Instagram TV Episodes
- Instagram post
- Snapchat stories
- Facebook stories
- YouTube videos
- Podcast episodes or series
- Influencer sponsored content
Whether using an infographic or creating a post for social media, the format type you choose to create should depend on your viewers and how to reach them. While whitepapers might be a good format for business execs with time, blog posts may be better for more general viewers who read on the go.
Specific formats, like editorial content, require a publisher. For example, sponsored content can be formatted as a blog post for your site. Here are some examples of informative blog types:
- How-to blog posts
- Listicle blog posts
- Step-by-step blog posts
- Case Studies
You are not obliged to create all these types of content. However, you should know what type of sponsored content you should create to reach your target audience and benefit your business.
The Benefits of Sponsored Content Articles
A sponsored article can be very rewarding, especially if you are a startup business that needs exposure. Here are some of the benefits of successful sponsored content:
- Establishes reputation and credibility
- Increases brand awareness
- Higher conversion rates
- Performs better than typical display ads
- Trusted by consumers more than traditional ads
- Potential increase in sales
- Presents new opportunities
Marketing your product with premium content can be incredibly effective. A HubSpot research showed that content marketing gets 3x more leads than paid search advertising.
The Pitfalls of Sponsored Content Articles
Although sponsored content yields better results than traditional advertising, there remains a margin for failure. That’s especially true if not properly executed, such as if partnered with an incompatible brand.
That’s why it is important to be selective when sponsoring a brand.
What Makes Sponsored Content Stand Out From Other Content
Many forms of content could potentially bring in more traffic for a website. Unlike other forms, sponsored content is created outside of a brand or business, though it finds its way back to the brand’s site. This means a partnership between a brand and a publisher is created, which may not be seen with in-house content.
Sponsored Content vs. Traditional Advertising
You already know that sponsored content increases traffic to your website because it taps into another publishers’ group of visitors.
But there’s another reason why sponsored content is highly effective.
That’s because sponsored content appears to be similar to regular content. (However, note that it must be specified when content is sponsored). It is not structured to make a sales pitch to your visitors but to provide useful information.
Thus, it’s very different from types of traditional paid advertising, like feed ads, banner ads, native advertising, and other paid promotions. Where invasive advertisement throws off the user’s experience, sponsored content works with other content to guide users.
According to CMI:
“70% of consumers said they would rather learn about a product or service through content rather than traditional advertising.”
In short, people don’t like hard sells.
Sponsored content will drive traffic to your website if people find your content very helpful, informative, reliable, and entertaining.
Sponsored Content vs. Branded Content
They are commonly used interchangeably by some, like us at LeadAdvisors, as they both have their place in brand journalism.
Sponsored content is paid for by a brand to be published on another entity’s platform. In this situation, the publisher makes the content for the brand. In some cases, the brand and the publisher can collaborate.
On the other hand, branded content is more general. It is content made by a brand and published on its platforms such as websites, socials, and podcasts. It also covers sponsored content because brands also make these.
Therefore, it’s content you create for your business, sponsored or published on your site.
Sponsored Content vs. Native Advertising
Native Advertising is a traditional ad created to look and feel like the content on the publisher’s site. It’s designed to seamlessly tie into the surrounding content so viewers can barely tell the difference. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, native advertising comes in six different forms: paid search units above search results, in feed units, paid search units, in ad with native elements, Take for instance a blog post about makine dutch apple pie. While part of the blog advertises pillsbury dough as the one to use, all the parts of the recipe below are native element units, or the elements of the post that make it native advertising.
The key difference between native ads and sponsored content is that one is an ad within content, and the other is actual content. When creating sponsored posts, say blog posts on shopping websites, the piece is the actual content that is not explicitly designed to sell something. Not all native advertising is informational content, though a native ad can be.
In addition, a native ad focuses on a call to action (CTA) for visitors, usually a link to an article or a brand’s website. Unlike native advertising and other advertisements, like paid search ads and promoted listings, sponsored content gives more freedom, creatively writing a story to draw viewers in.
How to Get Started on Creating Sponsored Content
The first step to using sponsored content is to find a brand aligned with the new audiences you’re trying to reach. The aim is to find a company familiar with products and services like yours and is already in a relationship with consumers you want to entice.
How to Qualify the Best Publisher to Run Sponsored Content With
There are a few ways to stand out to brands as a publisher. First, present yourself as a reputable source. Your content should be factual and accurate, allowing visitors to trust you. You have a higher chance of brands wanting to work with you by standing out as an authority.
Also, make sure your editorial content has a nice presentation to catch the attention of your visitors. If your content gains a visitor’s attention, it will also gain the brand’s.
Depending on what brand you are looking to work with, they might have specific standards they want sponsored articles to meet. To ensure you meet those standards and don’t waste your time, look into their website for such guides. Can’t find any? Be sure to reach out via email.
The Power of Evergreen Content
Creating content shouldn’t be done randomly. It requires an editorial content strategy so you can focus on creating content that is aligned with your business. It’s also important to choose the type of content most fit for your brand.
In most cases, creating written content such as blogs can be an effective content strategy.
That’s the reason why LeadAdvisors highly recommends evergreen content.
What is Evergreen Content?
Written evergreen content (or evergreen articles) talk about topics that aren’t time-sensitive. Unlike news articles, current events, pop culture, and the like, evergreen articles remain relevant for a long period.
Furthermore, when written with SEO best practices in mind, evergreen content is a powerful tool that can drive traffic to your website that increases as time goes on.
Creating evergreen content will help you show your brand’s expertise in your industry. And although most evergreen contents are free for all users, it yields more revenues and business opportunities if done correctly and strategically.
Evergreen content is crucial in SEO
The main purposes of evergreen content (in this context, evergreen articles) are as follows:
- Create content that answers your audience’s questions by providing helpful insights.
- Guide your target customers through your sales funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.
- Help establish credibility and domain authority by being linkable and shareable.
- Consistently drive organic traffic to your website.
- Help your website rank on SERPs.
As you can see, evergreen content is crucial to the success of your brand because it is the one responsible for driving organic traffic to your website. Thus, you don’t need to spend on ads like many marketers drive traffic to your site if your evergreen articles are well-written and properly SEO-optimized.
This consistent flow of traffic, along with the fulfillment of all the main purposes of evergreen content, has a beneficial impact on your brand’s SEO.
Where Do I Publish My Sponsored Post?
You might be asking, “Where should I sponsor my evergreen article?” There are several places to choose from, from print publications to social media platforms. The possibilities are endless. There are, however, a few regulatory issues you should be aware of when using social media platforms. These are a few ways to post on social media you can try:
Sponsored Instagram posts
A sponsored Instagram post is usually in the format of a video or a picture to capture people’s eyes on social media. The great thing about the platform is the many social media influencers that are happy to use their feed to sponsor content. All the content creator has to do is used the branded tag on their post, giving them the ability to measure engagement and insights for the post.
There are some restrictions to what you can post, so be aware of the platform’s rules. You can read the restrictions here.
Facebook is a great solution to spreading your content beyond your web page. You can share and reshare your content, even from other social platforms.
Placing sponsored content on Twitter can be a little more challenging. While you can share any content through a simple link, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the platform require any sponsored post to have the #sponsored hashtag and be manually posted. Twitter is not the place to get spammy on your viewers. Here’s the list of guidelines to review.
Linkedin sponsored content
The cool thing about LinkedIn is how you can showcase your quality content. You can find the perfect to showcase your content and even a related post, from a single image and video ads and carousels. Think LinkedIn’s the place for you? Click here.
TikTok is a new and rising star in the digital landscape. While the user experience focuses on video content, this could be the perfect place to reach a young audience. Social media influencers help promote your brand here as well. They have all the info you need to create the perfect content here.
In sponsoring your evergreen content, you should research to find the best brand with whom you can partner. Make sure that they have a similar audience to your target viewers.
On the flip side, you can also partner with other brands with a more diverse audience provided that they have a wide reach that it’s impossible not to have your prospects among their vast audience.
We’re talking about media sites.
You can’t go wrong in partnering with reputable media sites like Inquirer, ABC, Forbes, and Daily Mail online because they are among the top websites that get consistent traffic.
Although they are not highly specific regarding audience demographics, their vast and diverse reach in digital marketing can get your brand thousands of eyeballs in a single day. Among these could include your potential customers.
How can you get your brand featured on popular websites like the Inquirer, Yahoo, and ABC local channels?
I’ll be honest, it’s not easy to get featured on these platforms, as it requires industry credibility before they feature your story.
LeadAdvisors has a solid reputation in publishing sponsored content with these media companies because we have been partnering with them for almost a decade now.
Give us a call or send us an email so we can help you out.
Measuring Sponsored Content Performance
To fully understand how your new content performs, you need to get the full picture. Using a few different metrics together will let you know what parts worked and what would need to be changed next time you want sponsored content.
A couple of metrics to look at are:
- How many clicks it gets
- Number of impressions (how many times it was viewed)
- Click-through rate (CTR) (percentage of impressions resulting in a click)
- Engagement metrics (like brand lift for Youtube videos)
Don’t have the time to measure your content’s performance? LeadAdvisors creates evergreen sponsored content that lasts and ensures that your content measures above the rest.
Great Examples of Sponsored Content at Work
- Buzzfeed’s blog post “15 Brands That Probably Wouldn’t Exist Without Led Zeppelin.”
Buzzfeed’s listicle post is a perfect example of sponsored content. The post was created through a team-up between Buzzfeed and Spotify, with links going back to songs found on Spotify for each part of the list. That means viewers had at least 15 chances to find their way to Spotify and rock out.
- Sponsored content from Tums and Hot Ones, a Youtube show where celebrities are interviewed while eating increasingly spicy hot wings. Many influencers on Youtube do this type of sponsored content.
For each video sponsored by Tums, the brand appeared before the show, presenting the medication as a great lead-in to hot wings for viewers with a spicy side.
- LeadAdvisors own content on Inquirer.net
LeadAdvisors has an ongoing partnership with some of the biggest media platforms, including Inquire.net. We produce an assortment of blog posts for the site, creating content for them. Want to see our handy work? Click here.
Final Thoughts: Sponsored Evergreen Content Could Be the Silver Bullet to Your Measly Website Traffic.
If you’ve long been doing your best, but you still can’t improve your web traffic and search engine rankings, I think it’s about time you try sponsored content.
Unlike other advertisements, like custom ads and in-feed ads, sponsored content not only increases your web traffic. If you don’t know yet, increased web traffic also means higher chances of generating more revenues for your business.
It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
And remember, if you still have concerns about creating sponsored evergreen content, you can always call us. LeadAdvisors specializes in creating evergreen content that inspires and lasts while increasing your revenues and saving your website through sponsored content marketing.
How effective is sponsored content for modern businesses?
There’s no definite answer to describe the efficacy of running sponsored posts. It depends on many factors, such as business type, audience, and season.
Nonetheless, there is no denying that sponsored content directly influences a customer’s decision-making process. A study by CMI reported that 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase after reading recommendations from a blog.
Sponsored content is beneficial for businesses of all sizes – from small businesses to large enterprises.
Sponsored content can provide that initial surge of traffic during the most crucial times.
How can LeadAdvisors help with sponsored content?
LeadAdvisors knows the appropriate angle to make sponsored content work to your brand’s benefit.
We will develop a cohesive strategy backed by data and analysis to incorporate into your current efforts.
We will also help develop evergreen content to help you attract as much organic traffic as possible while working on the sponsored side of your marketing.
Is content creation worthwhile?
Content creation is a valuable method all businesses should utilize to attract organic traffic. The primary reason for this is that the content produced by brands is very accessible and doesn’t come with a price tag. Thus, anyone who sees your content can engage with it.
A research study conducted by Statista showed that:
“69% of B2B companies and 60% of B2c companies plan to increase their investment in content creation and production.”
This research proves the importance of content creation and production because it remains a top priority for businesses.
How to Identify Sponsored Content
Websites usually tell you when content is sponsored. While each site does it differently, sponsorship is usually found around the byline of an article. For videos like Youtube, you can find it in the information section under the video or noted as the video plays.