As people start to ignore traditional ads, sponsored content quickly becomes the go-to way to build trust and credibility with audiences. In fact, 89% of marketers think sponsored content has a comparable ROI to other channels. But what is sponsored content, and how can you use it?
What Is Sponsored Content?
Sponsored content is promotional media that’s paid for by an advertiser or brand but is shared, created, or featured by another brand or influencer. This type of content is more engaging when you sponsor an influencer or company that targets your audience or aligns with your brand.
Since sponsored content looks indistinguishable from other types of content, your audience won’t think they saw an advertisement. Instead of feeling like they’re being sold to, followers will feel like they learned something interesting, making brands more memorable and credible.
Although native ads and sponsored content have many similarities, native ads are paid by the advertisers themselves, whereas sponsored content is paid by another brand or company.
How Can You Use Sponsored Content to Build Your Brand?
Sponsored content can come in many forms, but the best kinds of ads take a gentle or indirect approach. Here’s how you can use sponsored content to build your brand online.
Track Relevant Marketing Data
Every successful marketing campaign starts with a goal, budget, and metrics. You need to track data from the beginning if you want to know why your sponsored content succeeded and how to duplicate it. If you choose to hire an agency, they call it performance marketing.
Marketers define performance marketing as a form of digital marketing where brands only pay if the services meet their expectations. Brands should consider hiring a performance marketing specialist who isn’t familiar with sponsored content, as they can teach you how to succeed.
Follow the Mantra “Show, Don’t Tell”
“Show, don’t tell” is a writing technique in which a story is told through sensory details or actions instead of exposition. Brands should never over-explain to their audience or say something without backing it up. If you’re committed to eco-friendliness, plant a tree instead of postering.
Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign features models of all body types. This proved they’re happy to platform men and women from all walks of life. Not only did this build trust in their consumers, but it also broke beauty standards and barriers for models. This made their ads memorable.
Hit a Nerve by Appealing to Emotions
Emotional branding is as old as marketing itself. The majority of our purchasing decisions aren’t logical but somewhat impulsive. That’s why so many ads tap into a specific emotion, such as fear, happiness, or sadness. Your sponsored content should also elicit some sort of intense emotion.
WWF’s ads routinely speak out against climate change. They can create emotionally charged sponsored content that provokes anger, awe, and fear, hoping it’ll compel others into action. This tactic is excellent for cause-based marketing and for brands that support these causes.
Feature Role Models and Personalities
Customers want to buy from people or brands they relate to, so you should pick your influencers wisely. Always research the people showcasing your product walkthrough, as they need to market to new audiences effectively.
While celebrities are usually a great choice when it comes to influencer marketing, you don’t need Kim Kardashian to sell your products. More often than not, micro-influencers have a more intimate relationship with followers, meaning they can sincerely and genuinely market to them.