Sponsored content is a well-established way to get the word about your brand out into the world at large. Not all sponsored content, however, is created equal. Just as a good piece of sponsored content can lift your brand, a poorly-executed one can cut it down.
Luckily, there are plenty of examples of great sponsored content you can emulate in your own campaigns. You don’t want your own content to piggyback off of what others have down, though. In order to create successful content all your own, try to make sure that it contains some of these qualities:
Lines Up With a Goal
What do you hope to achieve with sponsored content? The answers to this question will determine how you use it. While different types of sponsored content will achieve different ends, having a set goal is what all successful campaigns have in common.
A goal to increase visibility for a product launch will direct how you approach sponsored content. It will influence your writing, the platform you select, and type of content you want to use. The closer these factors align with your goal, the more success you’ll find.
Looks Like It Belongs
First and foremost, the best sponsored content looks like it belongs in the platform you see it in. The reason sponsored content performs so well is because it’s not intrusive; it looks appropriate alongside the other content it sits between.
To launch a successful sponsored campaign, mold your content to the platform it’ll be published on and the style of who you’re partnering with. Viewers will be more open to the content when it flows with their newsfeed instead of popping up at them aggressively.
Another important aspect of your content imaging will be its accessibility. Over 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Keep this in mind when designing content, making an effort to make it viewable through different means.
Clearly Displays the Brand
What’s the point of sponsoring content if viewers can’t tell who the sponsor is? In order for a sponsored content campaign to be effective, branding needs to be front and center. Anything you want to be known by customers should be clearly displayed for them to see.
Branding cannot overtake the content itself, so clearly displaying your brand will take some finessing. Most companies start with their name and logo; symbols which define their organization and make it easy for customers to do some research on them.
The words you use when introducing your brand are also of vital importance. Headlines, ad blurbs, and mentions should be clear, concise, and eloquent. The better the presentation of your brand, the better it will resonate with readers, viewers, and listeners.
Includes a Call to Action
When issuing sponsored content, do so with the objective of getting customers to act. A call to action will encourage more viewers to access your site, learn more about your brand, or click links to shop directly with your company. A call to action should be short and sweet, and leaving it out deprives you of the huge benefits of sponsored content.
Let’s say you sponsor a podcast covering an industry related to your company. The podcast host will deliver a small opener thanking you for sponsoring the episode. You can add a small call to action here. You can also sweeten the pot with a little incentive, like a coupon code exclusively for listeners to the podcast to use on your online shopping site.
Targets a Specific Group
As with any marketing campaign, the best sponsored content is developed, published, and advertised to a specific group of people. These target audiences will be most receptive to the content in mention, leading to higher engagement rates and better quality sales leads.
The podcast provides another great manifestation of this concept. As mentioned previously, you want to align your sponsorship with channels that reflect your target audience. If you own a sports apparel company, this means you’ll want to work with a podcast covering athletics of some sort. Your sponsored content will be much more effective there than it would on a podcast talking about astrology.
Once you’ve pinpointed your target audience and the platform to reach them, make sure your sponsored content is relevant to them. Connect with them by using personable stories and images that help them connect back with your brand.
Once you’ve launched one sponsored content campaign, it isn’t likely to be your last. To continue improving on their marketing, companies will make sure every piece of content in every campaign has analytics that can be tracked. This provides them with the insight necessary to make decisions on how to move forward.
Some examples of data metrics you can track include total viewership, clickthrough rates, and conversions. Track data that lines up with your campaign goals so you can work to meet them. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, pay particular attention to conversions and website visits. If you’re simply trying to make your brand more recognizable, then look for views and engagement.
Of course, success comes with experience. Try sponsored content for yourself and you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t for your company. With a little fine tuning you’ll be able to push out consistently successful content like it’s second nature.