You are casually scrolling through your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed – or even the latest headlines on a newsfeed app, when those two words appear: sponsored content. What is it? Why is it there? Why should it matter to you?

What is Sponsored Content?

You’ll see sponsored content when a company pays to advertise on a social site or in a publication. The content is structured to resemble the publication’s typical content. Without the “sponsored content” or “ad” notification, you may not even realize it is a paid placement.

What are Some Examples of Sponsored Content?

  • Blogs: Companies can promote their products and services in blog form on other companies’ websites. For example, a debt consultation company may purchase blog space on a bank or lifestyle website. The blog will be informative and educational (such as 10 Ways to Get Out of Debt by Next Year. Hyperlinks are added to content that direct readers to the debt consultation’s website, and a line at the top or bottom provides the debt company’s name.
  • Photos: Instagram influencers are known for their sponsored content. Since the top influencers have millions of followers, it’s no wonder advertisers want to cash in. From hair products to supplements to makeup, influencers are more than willing to add #sponsored or #ad and post a picture of themselves enjoying the product – for the right fee.
  • Promoted Posts: Promoted posts are when the advertiser pays a fee to have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. put a post in front of a wider audience than their typical followers. The higher the fee, the larger the audience.
  • Print Publications: Company profiles and informative articles purchased and placed directly from a business are examples sponsored content in print. 

    What are the Benefits of Sponsored Content?

    Sponsored content enables advertisers to reach a very targeted segment of their desired demographic. While newspapers, television, magazine and billboard ads certainly have their place, traditional advertising is based on casting a wide net and hoping some of the fish you want wind up in it. Sponsored content advertising is akin to using a specific lure. Instead of paying to reach thousands and getting a low conversion rate, sponsored content reaches a very targeted demographic and has a much higher conversion rate.

    For example, a hair product ad in a newspaper will reach many readers, but that same product being used by the likes of Patricia Bright on her Instagram or YouTube channel will have more than a million of her followers instantly enamored with the brand.

    How to Make Sponsored Content Work for You

    The great news about sponsored content is that anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a massive corporation paying a famous Instagram model or YouTuber. Sponsored content is extremely valuable for small businesses and the perfect way to reach a local audience, and to strategically grow your brand.

    The key to effective sponsored content is this: value.

    Whether you are leveraging a blog post, social media feed, or short article in a print publication, your readers/viewers must find value in the content and learn something. Remember, this is not a direct ad that says, “buy this,” but more of a lifestyle piece that says, “improve your life with this – here’s how.”

    The content must be high-quality, free of errors, to the point, readable/viewable, and conclude with a call to action such as “visit this website,” or “click this link to learn more/order.”

    The best part is, you don’t have to do this alone. As a busy small business owner, you need to concentrate on the aspects of the business you know best. Specialized marketing companies will create and place your sponsored posts for you. All you need to do is sit back and watch the conversions roll in.

    Get Started Today

    Sponsored content is the newest and most efficient way of advertising. It shows your customers your expertise in the field, and it targets your market directly. Don’t overlook this highly effective tool. Get started today by contacting Great West Digital to learn more.