We continue to break down the different aspects of digital marketing. And today, we're shedding light on sponsored articles’ significance in article marketing. Why should we care about it? Simple. Sponsored articles engage readers without the 'in-your-face' approach of typical ads. They're the secret sauce in a marketer's toolkit, connecting brands with audiences.
Below we will reveal what a sponsored article is and how to effectively create this kind of content.
Understanding Sponsored Articles
Differentiating Sponsored Content from Editorial Content
What exactly are sponsored articles? What purpose do they serve? Sponsored content is created with a specific purpose – to promote a brand, product, or service. Sponsored content is crafted to add value, to offer insights or entertainment, all while subtly weaving in the sponsor's message.
These kinds of materials don't scream that they are advertisements for a particular company's product. We've previously covered the difference between sponsored content and advertorials.
Nevertheless, the transparency aspect is paramount. This is why you may notice the "Sponsored" label in such articles.
Traditional editorial content, on the other hand, is the voice of the media outlet itself, their point of view untainted by outside business interests. This content is driven solely by the outlet's agenda, whether to inform, entertain or challenge readers.
The main benefit here is that you have the space to talk about your product. But it's important to have balance and meet the overall criteria of the material being posted.
Types of Sponsored Articles
1. Native Advertising
Native advertising seamlessly blends in with the platform it's hosted on, mimicking the look and feel of surrounding editorial content. They are so well-integrated that they often leave readers unaware that they're engaging with a promotional piece. Native advertising aims to provide value to the reader while subtly promoting a product or service.
2. Branded Content
Branded content takes a more upfront approach to sponsorship. In this type of sponsored article, the brand's identity is front and center. The content is crafted to align with the brand's messaging and values. Branded content allows companies to connect with their audience on a deeper level, through compelling narratives or informative pieces.
3. Influencer Collaborations
Influencer collaborations are the latest trend for sponsored content placement. And here's the deal. In an age where people spend most of their time online, industry experts have a huge influence on them. A great solution for your product is to reach out to them.
Brands partner with industry experts to create content that leverages their credibility and reach. These influencers lend their voice to endorse products or services, creating a sense of trust among their followers. This is where a customized influencer marketing strategy can help. FINPR will find the right influencers and organize your communications in the best possible way.
Strategies for Creating Effective Sponsored Articles
Identifying the Target Audience
Sponsored content not only enables you to raise your brand awareness, build relationships with professionals, and attract quality candidates to your company. It also lets you take a piece of content that you've published as a company update and push it out to a broader targeted audience beyond your company page visitors and followers.
That’s why identifying your target audience is the bedrock of any successful sponsored article. Dive deep into the demographics, interests, and pain points of your potential readers. What keeps them up at night? What problems can your product solve?
Start by defining a compelling narrative that ties into your values and the needs of the target audience. Incorporate relatable characters or situations that your audience can connect with. Use real-life examples and case studies.
Your story should evoke emotions, whether it's through inspiration or empathy. Engaging stories are more likely to be shared and remembered.
Don't forget the power of visuals. Incorporating images or videos can make your content more appealing and shareable.
Integrating SEO Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the engine that drives organic traffic to your content. Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is likely to search for. Once you have your keywords, seamlessly integrate them into your content.
But don't overdo it. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Write for humans first and search engines second. Ensure that content flows naturally and provides value to readers. Google's algorithms are smart to spot quality content. Optimize your meta tags, including the title and meta description, to entice clicks in the search results.
For such a case, an expert hand is needed who always keeps an eye on the new changes. FINPR offers a variety of SEO tasks, including a detailed analysis of your website, link building, and many more services packed in separate SEO plans. The advantage of our team is that experts from different fields are brought in to solve the tasks to achieve the best result.
Expert support in SEO will help to rank your article at the top of Google's rendition. It turns out that your sponsored article will be seen by both regular readers of the chosen media source and those who were just looking for similar content.
Best Practices in Sponsored Article Writing
In the realm of sponsored article writing, there are some golden rules to live by.
Maintaining Authenticity and Transparency
When crafting your content, stay true to your brand's voice and values. Don't try to be something you're not. Authenticity builds trust. And trust is the foundation of lasting customer relationships. Encourage open feedback from your readers. Respond to comments and engage in conversations. It provides valuable insights for improvement.
Ethical Considerations and Disclosure Requirements
Ethics are the moral compass that guides your sponsored content journey. Always abide by industry standards and regulations, and respect your readers' rights. If you're collaborating with influencers, ensure they disclose their relationship with your brand. Avoid misleading claims or false information.
Respect data protection laws, especially when collecting user information. Ensure your data handling practices comply with relevant regulations.
Crafting Engaging and Relevant Content
The key to a successful sponsored article is crafting content that captivates your audience. You're going to need an image and a headline to go with your piece of content. Start strong with an attention-grabbing headline. Use language that piques curiosity or offers a clear benefit to the reader. Deliver on the promise of your headline within the first few sentences.
And the other thing you're gonna want is at least three different images. A lot of times the image is more important in capturing attention than even the title. Break up your content with subheadings, bullet points, and visuals to make it easily scannable. People love to skim, so make it easy for them to find the information they need.
End with a strong call to action (CTA). Make it clear and enticing.
On a Final Note
So that's it. The essence of a great sponsored article lies in its ability to engage and inform without overtly selling. Be creative, be visual, have a clear call to action, and when possible, start a dialogue with your audience.
Offer insights or solutions that genuinely help your readers. When readers feel they've gained something from your article, they trust your brand. But don't shy away from promoting your service where it makes sense.
Also, remember that you are representing your company. So be sure to use the voice of your company. Most importantly, make sure the content you share provides professional value to your target audience.
Creating a truly high-quality sponsored article or any other material can be done by a team of professionals. FINPR experts will help to convey your message in a unique manner, while engaging the readers.
Our agency can assist you in publishing sponsored articles in 80+ media outlets, including regional Forbes, USA Today, Cryptodaily, CoinDesk, Cointelegraph and many others.