Looking for the best marketing strategies in Singapore? We got you covered. People from all across the marketing spectrum appear to be in perfect harmony on the importance of sponsored content. They’re the unsung hero of marketing that barely receive any mention, yet their effectiveness is on the same scale as any other marketing channel out there.
The adoption rate for marketing channels such as SEO, social media broadcasts, and PPC is much higher compared to sponsored content. It could be because they’re a bit straightforward and easy to understand, while the whole concept surrounding sponsored content is rather hazy.
So long as you understand the role of keywords and everything, wrapping your head around the whole concept behind SEO and PPC becomes a cinch.
Another plausible reason could be that these channels are always steady, ready to deliver content to their targeted audience when they need them. So the content produced gets to the right recipient at the time of their convenience.
There’s one major problem, however. The internet is getting swamped up with content, and many of the channels where users frequent to for new content are getting bloated.
Come to think about it; more than 2.73 million articles are published daily. Meaning, many industries are receiving an excessive supply of content to the extent that they’re experiencing a surplus. Consequently, marketers are having a hard time getting their content seen, and that’s a massive problem to marketers that rely on content for new business.
As a way of maximizing their content visibility, marketers have no option but to turn to new marketing techniques and reinvent the old ones. In comes sponsored content, native advertising, and influencer marketing, to name a few.
Simple, instead of waiting for your customers to find you, you take your content to them in the hopes that some may be interested enough to check you out and take action.
This is nothing out of the ordinary, brands have been sponsoring their articles on blogs and other online publications. These platforms have an audience already, an audience that might be interested in what you’re offering. So it makes sense for you to take your content to them instead of waiting for them to find you.
A recent revelation shows that brands on average spend 6.7% of their marketing allocations on sponsored content, with the number projected to shoot as time goes by. Examples abound. From Forbes’ Brand Voice to the New York Times and the rest, a sweeping glance over these sites should reveal some famous examples of sponsored content.
So what exactly is Sponsored content?
Sponsored content is whereby a brand chooses to advertise its editorial content on a media outlet or content discovery channel, but after taking necessary measures to ensure the content, they post is in all possible ways similar to the kind content that channel or media outlet posts.
It’s almost similar to branded content, with the only difference being in the manner of which the content was generated.
For branded content, the content is produced by an in-house team employed by the brand. Which is to say, the brand writes everything from scratch either through the help of an in-house team or by outsourcing the services of a writer and submits it to the publishing outlet after paying them to run it.
In which case, the publish has little say in what is published. Sponsored content, on the other hand, will have the brand working closely enough with the editorial staff assigned by the publisher to come up with the content to be published. Ideas have to be shared and fly both ways before the content can be produced and published.
Qualities of a Good Sponsored Piece of Content
A sponsored piece of article can be magical when worked right. And here are five crucial elements that define what’s meant by good sponsored content:
i. A good sponsored post must be well written and quality enough to stand out.
ii. A good sponsored post must be relevant to your target audience. Your target audience must be able to draw value from it.
iii. A good Sponsored post must be engaging and shareable. It must intrigue and capture readers’ attention that they’d be compelled by their own curiosity to check you out.
iv. A good sponsored post must be truthful. It must NOT bear false information that’s meant to misinform or misdirect those reading it.
Why is Sponsored Content an Important Tactic in Marketing They’re Engaging
Customers behaviour and expectations have changed a great deal in the recent past. People don’t just look at an advert and make a mental note to take action.
Instead, you have to take time to convince them and engage with them in a manner that they’ll have an easy time trusting you with both their time and money.
The kind of audience you’re targeting isn’t used to sitting through a TV commercial. Immediately a TV commercial comes in; the channel gets switched.
This kind of audience has zero tolerance for the disruptive traditional adverts. The same applies when they’re reading. They lose it the moment their reading is disrupted by a commercial pop-up. So expect them to scroll past it rashly or hit the exit button immediately.
Worse yet, a whopping 72 percent have admitted to lowering their opinion of a brand that subjects them to pop-up ads.
And that’s precisely where sponsored posts come in handy. Instead of disrupting what a prospect is doing to remind them of a product you’re offering, sponsored content tries to deliver the same message in a less intrusive manner, and in such way that the consumer can engage with it on a whim.
They’re Hugely Preferred
Given an option to be subjected to traditional ads and sponsored content, a vast majority of the population would choose the latter. Reason being, sponsored ads are only served to a relevant audience with interest, instead of being forced down anyone’s throat.
That explains why brands are beginning to invest more of their resources on sponsored content and going slow on other forms of advertisement. Brands want to pass their message across; and at the same time, they do NOT wish to come off as a bother to anyone.
Room for In-depth Storytelling
A banner can be useful, but it’s limited when it comes to what you can say. Same case for a 15 seconds video advert.
So where a brand feels compelled to shed some light on complicated issues, sponsored ads stand tall over traditional advertising. With an article, video, or infographic, what you have is more space and room to get to the depth of any subject. You’re NOT restrained to how far you can go so long as you’re doing it right.
And while doing that, you get to showcase your expertise as you emotionally walk your audience through your thought process.
The foundation of any effective advertising lies in trust. And that’s what you exactly get when you invest in high-quality sponsored content.
Compared to traditional advertising; it’s so much easier to earn the trust of your audience through sponsored content compared to any other channel.
Online ads are hugely detested because of their intrusive nature, and online users are doing all they can to avoid them as it’s evident from the massive adoption of ad-blockers.
Ads only demand a few seconds of your time, yet no one has the time to sit through them. Sponsored content, on the other hand, can be super engaging when done right. They’re also interactive, which makes them shareable in a way. And if you’re lucky it’s even possible to get it to go viral.
Even better, sponsored content has a much higher recall rate compared to traditional ads. In other words, when someone takes a much longer time going through your content, they’re likely to remember it compared to an ad banner they only glimpsed over for a few seconds.
It Appeals to Emotions
It’s easy to get a consumer to take actions when you target their emotions than when you force an advert on them. This is one crucial tactic that marketers have been using since time immemorial, and it’s funny how it still works even today.
With sponsored content, you don’t need to trash talk your competition or use rational arguments to justify why your brand is better than a rivalling brand.
All you need to do instead is find a way to connect with your target audience on an intimate level and let them figure out on their own, based on the information they have gathered, whether or NOT they need your products or services.
Sponsored content fosters collaboration and co-creation. This is nothing out of the ordinary as brands have been partnering with film directors and other renowned professionals in different fields to come up with compelling content.
The only exception is that you’re expected to push the effort a little further. You can ask a user to say something about your brand and their involvement with it. That’s engagement at its core. And the content generated can be run as sponsored content, unless otherwise.
The Difference Between Sponsored Content and Conventional Advertising Sponsored content Take the Focus from the product or Services
Sponsored content is never pitchy. It doesn’t strive to convince anyone to take action. It’s also NOT outcome dependent in any way.
So instead of shifting your focus to a product or service you’re offering, the person crafting your sponsored content will be focusing more on abstract value and your brand story.
They’re NOT Invasive
Traditional ads, including TV commercials, banners, and ad pop-ups, try to plunder users into dedicating both their time and attention into watching a particular advertisement. They’re more focused on getting their ad all over your face, without caring a whit about your interests or if the ad is relevant to you.
However, with sponsored content, you’re the person in charge. You’re the person to decide on whether or NOT you want to consume the ad.
Good for Repositioning your Brand
A banner ad or TV commercial limits you to only repeating your slogan. But with this type of content, you’re presented with an opportunity to tell a story. You can use this opportunity to tell a story that you want your brand to be associated with.
In this way, customers get to develop a positive association with your brand and all the values associated with it. It even goes at length to make sure that everything they learn about your brand sticks into their mind for the longest time possible.
Example of Sponsored Content
A prime example of a sponsored post is this article on New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/paidpost/netflix/women-inmates-separate-but-not-equal.html, which talks about the state of female prisons in the US. Netflix sponsored the post in a bid to promote their TV show, “Orange is the New Black.”
And as you can see, the article doesn’t talk about the show directly. But the content is relevant to what the show is all about, and the end of the article, Netflix has a banner ad that gives the reader more reasons to go and watch the show.
This goes to show that it’s possible for sponsored content to involve an advertiser without sacrificing content quality and performance. So your post enjoys as equal viewership as with the rest of the content on the blog or media outlet.
In this case, the New York Times partnered with Netflix to create a sponsored post for its print and digital channel. The quality of their content did NOT change, and neither was the performance of the blog post expected to plummet so long as it was quality enough and relevant to the kind of audience at the New York Times.
So, creators of the “Orange, is the New Black” got their chance to showcase their expertise — and in doing so, managed to get even more people to consider watching the show.
Sponsored posts are proving to be effective because they’re created by experts that understand the nuisance of that particular content discovery channel.
These people have the experience that allows them to write, film, or design content with the audience you’re targeting in mind. This, by far trumps the effectiveness of a pop-up that will be rearing its ugly head in the middle of your watching or reading experience.
The only limitation is that sponsored ads are NOT cheap. With some media outlets such as Forbes and the New York Times, there’s a six-figure price tag on running a sponsored post with them.
But one of MediaOne Marketing’s unique propositions on value is that they offer a broad range of sponsored content programs, with marketing strategies that can still accommodate smaller budgets. All you have to do is contact us via email or by talking to one of our customer reps via the live chat below.