Sponsored Articles: What You Should Know About Publishing Them


Sponsored Articles

Sponsored Articles is not a new term in advertising and marketing.  Actually, people remember branded content more the same way they do with a TV ad.  Creating appealing branded blogs, videos, podcasts, and the like requires skill, energy, time, and money.

Brands and marketers sponsor content because they lack the resources, timstartue, or skill to run their own campaigns.  They opt to use influencers or agencies to act on their behalf.  Sponsored content has been around even in print publications.  However, digital marketing moved them from print to the web and transformed how internet users consume content.  Today sponsored content is thriving on social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, etc.

Generally, people ignore ads or find them irritating.  They install ad blockers because they don’t want to come across any form of advertisements when browsing the internet or watching YouTube videos.  The negative effect of this dislike is that it disrupts marketing campaigns and reduces revenues.

Content marketing is the immediate solution to advertising.  This method creates awareness about a brand and its products without looking like a typical ad.  Sponsored articles are part of content marketing, expounded in the subsequent paragraphs.  The branded content helps to expand visibility and reach.

This begs the question, what makes sponsored content so unique or appealing compared to traditional online ads?  The article will tell you more as well as answer questions like:

  • What is a sponsored articles?
  • Why should you publish sponsored posts?
  • How can you get started on sponsored articles?
  • What are the common Formats for Sponsored Posts?
  • What is the Cost of Starting a Sponsored Post Website?

You can publish a sponsored articles today for your clients at reasonable rates on Applegazette.com.  Please contact us via the Write for Us page.

Let’s get started.

Sponsored Articles Explained

Simply put, sponsored posts are paid-for articles.  Brands spend money to get content in front of the target audience.  Sponsored content works because marketers and influencers collaborate in creating sponsored content and publish them on high authority or high traffic websites.

A typical ad in a newspaper may read “50% off or “Buy Now.”  Very few people will see it because of the intensity of hatred towards advertisements.  The message might be cleverly captured on a branded blog or video without the reader getting a clue about it.

Some of the phrases used to refer to sponsored content include:

  • Paid post
  • Sponsored by
  • Powered by
  • Affiliated by
  • Promoted
  • Partnered with
  • Presented by

Sponsored content is purely audience-oriented thus published according to the target audience’s interest.  Unlike traditional posts, sponsored content is more entertaining and educational.  Influencers can, in fact, write high-quality content and post it where it’s visible to a large audience.

Most eCommerce businesses work with influencers who write sponsored articles and publish them on reputable websites like Applegazette.com. Brands can sponsor articles to announce new releases, a new online store, or promotions.

The information is bound to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your site when you publish the sponsored content on a high-traffic website.  The sponsored site’s followers, on the other hand, visit your site to find out what you will offer them on the launch day due to the sponsored content.  The benefits of including sponsored posts on your marketing strategy are endless.

The article will tell you just a few of the reasons why you should consider sponsored articles.

Why should You Publish Sponsored Posts?

Two parties are needed when publishing sponsored content.  The first party is the advertiser who pays for the content.  The second party is the social media influencer or agency that posts the content on a reputable site.

The partnership is necessary because of two critical reasons.

  • The big marketplaces like Instagram, Facebook, and the like have dominated the search engines and organic search. In fact, it appears like brands must pay these marketplaces to access the target audience through organic reach.
  • Creating content and publishing on your digital infrastructures like websites or social networks will not yield the intended result.

Because of that creating and posting sponsored content is the best alternative.  The following are the benefits of sponsored posts.

Increases Sales

Many people buy items such as electronics, cars, beauty products, and more after reading a sponsored post.  The majority admit they previously rejected an ad about such things because it looked insincere.  However, they didn’t dismiss the same information when they found it on sponsored content.

Content marketing doesn’t feel like a sales pitch, so readers are more receptive to it than a typical ad.  Therefore, it’s important to publish high-quality posts because they negate their branded nature when they have helpful information.  They also increase brand awareness, website traffic, following on social media, and ultimately sales and revenue.

They can achieve that by converting site visitors, subscribers, and much more in the following ways.

  • Offer an incentive
  • Ask leads questions
  • Add them to your email marketing list
  • Ask for the sale

Leads to Higher Engagement Rates

Sponsored content has higher relevancy and engagement.  First, content creators understand the target audience before generating sponsored posts.  They find out when, where, why, and how to position their article, video, infographics to engage customers further and create a strong emotional bond with them.

The goal of sponsored posts is to personalize the content in order to attract the attention of a particular audience.  Brands know how valuable educational and informative content is to the audience.

On the other hand, consumers engage with the content more when the information attracts their interest.  So brands that provide the target audience with the information they’re looking for online build trust and in exchange for higher engagement and conversion rates.

Sponsored Display Ads are Successive

Most marketers in the pets, family and parenting, food, and drinks realms prefer sponsored posts to ordinary ads because they’re more successive.  In fact, the click-through rate is 8.8 times higher with sponsored display ads than with typical display ads.  As a result, advertisers know that sponsored content reaches their target audience.

Consumers Trust Sponsored Content

People believe that sponsored content is more sincere, credible, truthful, tells a story, and related to customers compared to traditional advertising.  In fact, Gen Z, Gen X, and millennials engage more with sponsored content than they do with conventional ads because they trust it more.

What are the common Formats for Sponsored Articles?

The format of your sponsored articles depends on various factors such as your objectives, resources, and budget.  Even with that, the common forms of sponsored posts include:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Carousel Ads
  • Infographics
  • Listicles
  • Podcast episodes or series
  • Social media posts or stories
  • YouTube videos
  • Photos
  • Webinars

Brands can pay for any type of content, not just those mentioned above.  In other words, they can sponsor any kind of content, including tweets on Twitter, pins on Pinterest, or any other element on the social media platform.  They can cover wider topics and use the content for many years, similar to evergreen articles.

Sponsored Content vs. Native Advertising

Some people confuse sponsored posts with paid advertising formats like native advertising and advertorials.

Native advertising

  • Matches the webpage content it’s displayed on or
  • Brands that create them intend to benefit when they publish them.
  • These ads try to sell something to the audience when they pop up on the feed of your social networks or appear on the search engine results page.
  • They include in-feed social media ads, email newsletter ads, sponsored search results, promoted products on marketplaces, recommended content at the bottom of the articles, etc.
  • They are marked as paid ads, just like sponsored articles.

Sponsored posts

  • They are more subtle; thus, they don’t market products or services outrightly; instead, they allow visitors to concentrate on the content.
  • Brands partner with content creator or influencers who creates them and publish them on highly authoritative websites.
  • They always ensure that the sponsored content matches the tone of voice and the quality that the audience expects of them.
  • The aim is to build trust with potential customers, showcase your expertise, and leverage a platform they already value and recognize.
  • Sponsored posts have links that direct customers to the brand’s assets, thus driving referral traffic.
  • Publishing your sponsored content on a medium with a huge following expands your reach and connects the brand with potential customers with your preferred buyer persona profile.

What is the Cost of Publishing Sponsored Post?

The majority of publishers charge $250 to $1000 per article.  A package of 3 may go for $500 to $750.  This raises the question, why are some publishers charging more to publish sponsored articles than others?  The cost varies based on the article’s length, the topic, and the number of backlinks.

You should consider the following factors when negotiating the price of publishing sponsored articles.

  • The amount of traffic the site gets
  • The search engine traffic stats
  • The click-through rate
  • The size of its social reach or the number of followers
  • The number of people on the mailing list, engagement rates, the list growth rate per week/month
  • The domain authority
  • The niche market
  • The extra value the site is adding to your brand
  • The length of time needed to create the content, i.e., a blog post, video, podcast, etc.
  • Your brand size
  • Your measurable result
  • Your budget

How to Get Started with Sponsored Posts

The goal of writing sponsored articles and publishing them on several platforms is to target your audience heavily.  As a result, it is vital to approach sponsored content strategically.  Here is how you can get started with sponsored posts.

Choose the Right Platform

The internet has a lot of information about sponsored articles, including where to publish them.  However, you should post the content on the sites that are right for your business.  For instance, companies in the B2B market will benefit more when they publish sponsored posts on LinkedIn because it’s a powerful distribution channel.  Those in B2C markets can promote on Facebook and Twitter.

Other credible sponsored post websites include:

  • Applegazette.com
  • Entrepreneur.com
  • Forbes.com
  • NYCtimes.com
  • Startup.info
  • Socialnewsdaily.com

Create Relevant Content

Now that you know where you can publish your sponsored posts, the next step is to create a buyer persona and then target the content accordingly.  As mentioned above, the audience prefers sponsored content because they don’t feel targeted by the advert.  In fact, they appreciate direct marketing only when they have expressed interest in the product or have opted-in to the brand’s email list.

Prepare content relevant to your buyer persona and business offering.  The brand can create the content itself or sponsor content creation by bloggers.  These content creators earn money through creating and publishing sponsored articles about brands, products, and services.

Here are tips that bloggers use when creating sponsored posts.

Use Keywords Effectively: Use the right keywords to describe the brand and products you’re promoting.  You can use Google Keyword Planner to discover the keywords users use in the search engine.  You can include them in your content when mentioning the brand and its offerings so that the article can be found organically in search engines.

Craft a Captivating Title: Sponsored articles with an exciting title entices the target audience to click and read the post.  Actually, people judge content by its titles, so set aside enough time for drafting a captivating title, then accompany it with high-quality content to drive readers to your site.

Avoid Writing a Promotional article: People ignore ads.  Even though you can write an independent review about the brand sponsoring the post and its products and services, it’s important to avoid being too promotional.  Such content will definitely drive away your target audience.  So ensure genuine opinion is only 50% of the entire content.

Disclose It’s Sponsored: You must state that the article is a sponsored post or that you received free products or money to publish it.  Two ways of disclosing that is by; saying in the first paragraph that the article is written in partnership with…or has affiliate links.

Share the Content on Social Networks: Promote your sponsored posts widely in order to reach a wider audience.  You can also encourage your readers to share with their networks as well as give feedback.  In fact, you can put a statement explaining why you want your readers to try the products and share the information with others.  Next, make it easy for them to share the content by inserting a social sharing button.

Optimize Your Formatting for the Website

The article should fit seamlessly into the feed.  There should be nothing sticking out or appearing spammy like sidebar ads.  Study the platform where you’re publishing your content.  Knowing the site in and out enables you to use its unique features in your favour and make your content feel native.

Here is how you can do it.

Type of Post: Generate podcasts, webinars, videos, or articles that solve an immediate problem because they’re likely to convert easily.  Listicles is the best content to publish on Facebook and the like.  However, your goal is to post content that your buyer persona enjoys.  In fact, breaking out of the tradition can help you stand out from your competitors.

The Length of the Content: Keep your message concise but don’t cut it short to the extent of reducing its value.  Also, you can link your content with more in-depth articles from your blog or authoritative website.  This provides real value and keeps your readers on the sponsored articles longer.

Imagery: Whether people will click on the sponsored post you publish on Applegazette.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest or not depends on how exciting the headline and the images are.  Therefore opt for an eye-catching, clickable title and high-quality original image instead of stock photos.

Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Generally, PPCs send website visitors straight to your landing page.  However, sponsored content is more subtle, and the aim is to provide value to the target audience as well as build awareness as opposed to making a sale.

On the other hand, sponsored posts work better than native advertising because people don’t feel like they’re being targeted with the sales pitch.  Therefore rather than promote your brand, products, and service on a sponsored post, plant seeds there by telling your target audience how the company has achieved a particular goal by showing how to do it.  Therefore sponsored articles are not the place for the hard sell.

FAQs

How Can I Distinguish Sponsored Content?

Some people confuse sponsored posts with native ads even though the earlier ones are engaging and effective.  Native advertising is editorial content that brands create about their products and services.  They may pay content creators to generate and publish them naturally like other content on their homepage.

Sponsored articles is designed to look like the rest of the content on the web page; however, they’re subtle.  People will scroll past a native ad but read the entire sponsored content because it’s not too promotional, and they can trust it.  For instance, a local restaurant can sponsor a food blogger to post a recipe video on social media just to showcase their menu or what meals they cook at their establishment.

Do the Sponsored Posts Have Any Disadvantages?

Nothing is perfect on this planet.  In view of that, sponsored content has a few cons compared to its benefits.  These include challenges of measuring the performance, finding an authoritative site to publish the sponsored content can be hard, the cost of posting them can be hefty and requires skills, time, and money to create high-quality and relevant sponsored videos, articles, or podcasts.

If Measuring ROI for Sponsoring Post is Hard, What other Elements Can I Use to Measure performance?

Generally, measuring the return of investment (ROI) for sponsored content is pretty hard because they are plenty of factors at play.  However, you can use the following metrics to measure the performance of your paid-for content.

Click-Through Rates:  The number of people who clicked on the call to action in your sponsored post.

Audience Response:  How the target audience is reacting to your content.  You can include a call to action directing them to an optimized landing page instead of a home page.  You can amplify your message on the landing pages or create one that just zooms in on a particular topic that your audience is searching for.

Why Should Brands Sponsor Content?

Sponsored content is nearly the only paid advertising method that works.  Although it doesn’t send the target audience directly to your landing page the same way typical ads do, the method is unique because it directs prospects to your resource section or business blog, which builds awareness.  Actually, sponsored content showcases your educational content and establishes you as an expert.  You can achieve this using a few links on your post.

Further, sponsored articles warm up your potential customers before selling to them, which builds trust.  Publishing on social networks enables you to target the right audience making relevancy and quality possible.  It also boosts your target audience’s sentiment towards the company because it educates and inspires them, thus helping the audience to maintain a positive memory of you.

Indeed these are awesome benefits.  But, you must approach sponsored posts strategically.

When Does My Brand Need Sponsored Content?

You need to sponsor content to provide keen competition.  Ads are not working perfectly well nowadays as they did before because internet users either skip them or install ads blockers.  Here is when and why you should use sponsored posts.

Expand Your Reach: You can expand your follower base and engage with your loyal customers.  In fact, the right medium will match you with your buyer persona profile and help you generate quality leads.

Drive Referral Traffic: Sponsored content has links to your website, social media platforms, app, etc.  These links direct the traffic to these assets.  But, it’s important to carefully choose where to direct your readers in order to boost conversion rates.

Establishes thought leadership: Content marketing showcases your expertise and builds trust while leveraging renowned medium that your potential customers already value and recognize.

How Can I Sponsor an Article?

Usually, brands that sponsor content on social media or reputable sites do that through influencers or agencies.  Some of the sponsored articles networks where you can find top influencers, bloggers, and copywriters are Acorn Influence, Adly, AspireIQ, and Intellifluence.

Alternatively, you can select a reputable platform that publishes sponsored articles such as Applegazette.com, Startup.info, and Socialnewsdaily.com.  Next, pitch to the admins using the business email found on the Write for Us page.  The team will give you the requirements and cost of publishing on their sites.

Feel free to negotiate based on your budget, length of the sponsored articles, frequency, number of backlinks, and much more.

What is the Spend and ROI for Sponsored Content?

Sponsored contents cost vary based on the medium you’re using to publish it.  The price can be as low as 250 per article on a popular blog and as high as $25,000 per article on a reputable website such as Forbes’ BrandVoice, New York Times, Media Post, etc.  The package may include special feature opportunities, home page placement, influencer engagement, etc.

The ROI of content marketing is measured using social media engagement, lead generation, organic traffic coming to your site, and the time visitors spend on the site.  For instance, if you’re promoting an event using sponsored content, the attendance numbers or tickets sold out can give you most of the data.

Conclusion

The article has provided you with adequate information on what you need to know when writing and publishing sponsored articles.  The majority of brands and content creators have succeeded in creating awareness, building trust, improving credibility, and eventually selling to their target audience through paid-for content.

Sponsored posts are indeed important because they target customers in non-invasive ways.  They’re versatile and powerful tools that your brand can take advantage of.  When effectively used, sponsored content is a game-changer.

If you have written sponsored articles before, you must have picked what worked and what didn’t.  Share your experience with us.  However, if you intend to start using sponsored posts to market your brand or have established a partnership with a brand and are looking for an authoritative site to publish you, you’re in the right place.  You can reach out if you would like to start publishing sponsored articles with us.  Click here to get started.


Purity Muriuki
I'm a passionate full-time blogger. I love writing about startups, technology, health, lifestyle, fitness, electronics, social media marketing and much more. Continue reading my articles for more insight.

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