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Sponsored Content: Definition, Types & Best Practices For 2022

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Are you looking for a new way to monetize your blog?

We know you are tired of hearing about affiliate marketing and selling stuff.

But that is not the only way to monetize a blog or website in 2022.

You can start writing sponsored content, even if you are not an influencer.

Follow this simple guide to learning more about sponsored content and the best practices to help you in 2022.

What Is Sponsored Content?

Sponsored content is paid for by an advertiser but created by a content creator.

Various content types can be used as sponsored content, including blog posts, videos, images, and podcasts.  

Difference Between Sponsored Content and Influencer Marketing?

Content marketing produces quality content promoting a brand, service, or product.

On the other hand, Influencer marketing focuses on finding an influential social media personality that can collaborate with the brand and raise engagement.

Both have an end goal of increasing sales, but content marketing focuses on the content alone, and influencer marketing focuses on the person.

What Is the Purpose of Sponsored Content?

Sponsored content is a collaborative effort between content creators and businesses.

It helps brands market products or services for longer.

Since sponsored posts stay up for a long time, they can offer more sales even years after you made the post.

Sponsored content also helps creators make money and monetize their websites, blogs, and/or social media pages.

Why Is Sponsored Content Important?

Sponsored content is essential because it helps brands reach more people.

It is a reliable form of advertising that receives higher engagement and offers a longer exposure period.

Traditional advertising efforts are not enough to generate sales.

As the world continues to move online, marketing efforts must reach an online audience.

Because of how sponsored posts work, brands can often reach more people than they would by placing a Google or mobile app ad.

Sponsored content helps brands capitalize on already built and engaged audiences of influencers and creators to increase their revenue.

Benefits of Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is beneficial because it:

  • Leads to increased sales for businesses
  • Attracts more customers for the business
  • Increases engagement for the publisher
  • Can build a connection with the audience as it doesn’t seem cold
  • Offer longer periods of exposure
  • Has higher engagement and conversion rates

Common Types of Sponsored Content

The following are a few of the most common types of sponsored content you would see regularly.

  • Sponsored Posts: These are blog posts and articles that a business or brand pays for to help promote a service, subscription, or product they have.
  • Sponsored Videos: These videos, usually on YouTube, feature a seamlessly integrated paid promotion by a business.
  • Sponsored Social Media Posts: These are any social media posts containing content paid for by a brand or business to promote it.
  • Brand Collaborations & Mashups: This is when two or more businesses come together and create an advertising campaign to benefit them all.

What Types of Sponsored Content Are Most Popular?

Sponsored videos and social media posts are the most popular types of sponsored content.

They are easier to create and monetize, and influencers tend to have loyal and engaged audiences that are easy to convert.

However, sponsored blog posts and social media posts are a close second.

Getting sponsored content for blogs and social media accounts with engaged audiences is easy.

Examples of Sponsored Content

Here are a few examples of sponsored content and how brands utilize it.

BuzzFeed: 15 Bands That Probably Wouldn’t Exist Without Led Zeppelin

BuzzFeed is known for its listicles and fun trivia.

They capitalized on this niche with 15 Bands That Probably Wouldn’t Exist Without Led Zeppelin.

Spotify sponsored the article, but it features all the classic BuzzFeed article characteristics.

It doesn’t feel forced but encourages the audience to check out Spotify.

WSJ: Cocainenomics

A thought-provoking and entertaining piece by the Wall Street Journal that Netflix sponsors.

Cocainenomics features innovative storytelling and exemplary graphics, telling the story of the Medellín Cartel.

It draws the reader in and makes them want to watch Netflix’s show Narcos on the same.

The Telegraph: Reasons To Visit Australia

The Telegraph did a series of stories on the wonders of Australia and all the reasons you should visit the country.

Each article covered different things you can do while visiting Australia.

They were captivating and triggered their audience’s wanderlust, which was perfect because they were sponsored by a brand collaboration effort featuring Etihad Airways and There’s Nothing Like Australia.

Both companies facilitated an aspect of going to Australia.

Where To Find Ideas & Inspiration for Sponsored Content

When looking for inspiration for sponsored content, try looking at other sites in your niche.

Studying your competition is the perfect way to know what brands want when sponsoring content.

Pinterest also features a lot of pins that link to informative articles and videos on creating sponsored content.

You can also search for ideas on YouTube or TikTok, with videos with lots of information on creating sponsored content.

How Do I Get Sponsored Content?

Getting sponsored posts is simple but takes a bit of work.

To get sponsored content, you should:

  1. Post high-quality content regularly in your niche to attract sponsors
  2. Have a sponsor page or a media kit on your site for easy contact.
  3. Check out other blogs in your niche to see who is sponsoring them
  4. Find businesses and brands you want to work with and pitch a sponsored post to them

Process of Creating Sponsored Content

Sponsored content done right can drive sales through the roof.

For content creators and authors, it can increase their revenue and bring in new clients.

Here is the process of creating sponsored content:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Research your target audience
  3. Decide on an angle
  4. Edit and send a draft to the advertiser
  5. Measure results

How To Create Sponsored Content

Like any other marketing strategy, you must develop a plan to execute sponsored content properly.

Follow these steps to create sponsored content for advertisers:

Set A Goal

Once you have reached out to a brand or they reached out to you, you need to brainstorm.

Understand what they want to achieve with sponsored content.

Be sure to ask them if they want one post or several.

Setting the main goal will help you as you focus your research and write better content.

Research Your Target Audience

If a business reaches out to you, you already have reached its target audience.

However, if you reach out to them, ensure you know their target audience.

Creating content for an audience you have no relationship with will be difficult.

Great sponsored content usually feels authentic and matches the rest of the content on your site.

Decide On An Angle

You can write a sponsored post from multiple angles.

The only thing to strive for is to provide value to your audience.

You can decide to do a review, a comparison post, a listicle, an informative post, a guide, or any other form of written content.

You can also decide what social media content to use to advertise your post.

Deciding on an angle helps you write a more suitable sponsored post instead of haphazardly mixing different post types.

Edit And Send A Draft To The Advertiser

Some advertisers prefer having an initial copy of sponsored content.

Check with the business you are collaborating with to know their process.

They may want to have the final say on the content, make edits or run it by their legal and PR teams.

Measure Results

Once the advertiser accepts your sponsored content, publish it and start tracking results.

Run analytics on the post and check the reach, engagement, and conversation rates.

See what your audience says about the post and measure how much traffic or sales you generated for the advertiser, helping you improve your sponsored content and build a portfolio for future collaborations.

Best Practices for Sponsored Content

vector graphic showing an illustration of sponsored content

You must follow good practices when creating sponsored content to reap its benefits.

The business that is sponsoring you will want to get value for their money, so follow these practices:

1. Hook Your Audience

It is essential to hook your audience from the beginning.

Use a short, exciting heading like a question, fun fact, or wild assumption.

Clickbait headings usually encourage clicks and keep a social media audience engaged.

Getting your audience invested in what you have to say from the beginning makes it more likely that they will buy what you sell.

2. Include MultiMedia

Even as a blogger, your sponsored content should include multimedia.

Posts with images and/or videos perform much better.

If you are promoting a product, take pictures or videos of the product in use.

Include a video or screenshots of you playing it when promoting a game.

Think outside the box and find ways to include relevant images and videos in your sponsored post.

3. Provide Value

With sponsored content, you do not want your audience to feel like you are using them for money.

The post must provide them with value.

Value like advice, education, life improvement, or solving a regular problem encourages your audience to interact with the post.

Therefore, your sponsored content should read less like a generic ad and more like a friendly conversation.

Creating sponsored content is a creatively taxing and mentally exhausting process, especially as you do it more often.

It requires a lot of analytical data and creativity. There is usually a high expectation of meeting specific engagement and conversion metrics.

Sponsored content tools make it easier for creators to create and market content that meets the advertiser’s standards.

What Is a Sponsored Content Tool?

Sponsored content tools are applications, extensions, services, and software that help create sponsored content.

These tools make it easier for content creators to curate, edit, manage, and market sponsored content.

Our Favorite Sponsored Content Tools

 You need the right tools to create good sponsored content.

The best tools to help you create excellent sponsored content are:

  • Content Marketing Tools: Content Marketing Tools are software, sites, extensions, and applications that help content creators market their content. They offer new insights, analytics, and unique data to help brands market their content better. It also includes trend analysis, audience and engagement analytics, and more.
  • Content Creation Services: Content Creation Services produce content for a business, including writing, editing, publishing, and developing niche SEO content ranging from blog posts and email newsletters to social media videos and graphics.
  • Graphic Design Software: Graphic Design Software is software that helps design beautiful and unique ad graphics for a brand, including developing multiple media formats, styling and editing images, and technical illustration.

Other Related Content Types to Check Out

Along with sponsored content, there are other types of social media marketing you might recognize.

  • Custom Content: Custom content is created to establish a brand’s voice and engage its current audience and has no application outside that purpose.
  • Guest Post: A guest post is a blog post or article on a specific blog/site written by someone other than the key author(s).
  • Branded Content: Branded content is any content created by a social media creator or written by an author that is paid for by a company and contains their logo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sponsored content is all over the internet, and you may get surprised by how often brands use it.

How do you recognize sponsored content?

If a site is based in the USA, the law requires them to disclose the relationship with sponsors.

It must add a notice that indicates the content is sponsored, so look out for that.

You can also check the byline of a post, or the hashtags, for any indications of paid-for content.

Some creators and authors are very creative, and you may not realize the content you consumed was sponsored.

Is sponsored content an ad?

Not really. Sponsored content is part of paid, native advertising.

Because it is a longer form of brand-sponsored content, it is not exactly considered an Ad.

Wrapping Up

Creating sponsored content is a great way to earn extra income.

If you have a blog or large social media following, reach out to brands to create sponsored content for them.

Remember, perfection is not needed.

Only consistency, creativity, and a good work ethic are needed.

Have any more questions regarding sponsored content?

Share them in the comments below.

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