Sponsored content has become a booming business in its own way. Bloggers, media platforms, brand sites are all offering some kind of form of sponsored content promotion options, and why not — it’s a quick way to make a chunk of money, and it provides you with essentially free content.
While smaller businesses and bloggers work together to create relationships that are based on direct online marketing, big media sites and businesses focus on sponsored content that can drive tens of thousands of visitors and ultimately a large portion of those are going to become leads.
However, just because you are in charge of a particular content website, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are the only one making all the decisions. Quite the opposite. Your readers are what makes the site exist in the first place, and disregarding them and their feelings when it comes to sponsored content can quickly lead to a situation where readers will abandon your site, simply blaming it on ‘selling out’.
Let’s take a look at a couple of tips that will help us craft user-friendly sponsored content, while keeping the soul of our community alive.
1. Tell a story
Depending on who is providing the content, you or the person wanting to advertise on your blog, you should aim to create a story about the brand, product or service that you are helping to promote. Instead of talking directly about the features and benefits that they provide, instead talk about the experience you had directly with whatever it is that you’re promoting and give the readers a reason to read the sponsored content till the end.
2. Incorporate proof
The best performing sponsored content always involves the use of visual content such as video and images that actually showcase your personal experience with the product, or brand. Look to create the kind of content that fully compliments your ideologies and style guides.
3. Skip the marketing jargon
There is nothing more boring or un-entertaining that reading a sponsored post that’s full of marketing jargon, sales terms, and generally coated with the kind of language that only praises the company without really talking about the real aspects of what the user can expect in terms of service and quality of product.
4. Infuse it with a sense of worth
You as the owner of the particular blog that you manage have the full understanding of your own audience and readers, so you automatically become responsible for providing the kind of sponsored content that compliments the needs and ideas of your existing readers. Giving your readers sponsored content about the latest developments in car industry when everything else on your blog is about crafts… well, that just won’t fly so well with your audience, and more often than not readers are more important than a single one-time payment.
5. Be honest
Organic blog communities consist of conscious users who know that in order for them to receive the kind of content that they receive from you, there must be some form of financial support, whether direct or indirect. Be honest with your audience about the kind of sponsorships you are entering, and if possible ask for their advice on what they would like to see promoted, reviewed and so forth. Do full disclosure every time you publish a sponsored post and your readers will actually want to engage it.