Sponsored content, also known as “native advertising” and “branded content,” is not a new concept. Ever watched a TV show, and noticed that at the end of a scene, one of the show’s stars walked in with a can of Coke and bragging about the great taste while displaying the can? Have you ever read an entire newspaper article just to get to the end and realize you mistook it for news when it was actually a print ad?
Well, these are the traditional forms of sponsored content. Today, this effective form of advertising is making a comeback online.
4 Reasons Why Sponsored Content Works So Well
Here are four reasons why sponsored content is such an effective online advertising technique:
1. Traditional Ads are Invasive and Turn Readers Off
Readers find those big banners and ads running in between content and within side columns very distracting. And, the ones that move with the screen as visitors scroll a webpage are more annoying than gnats you can’t seem to swat. Sponsored content is less “in-your-face”, allowing visitors to concentrate on what they came for… your content.
2. Attracts More Targeted, Long-Term Sponsors
The Huffington Post is a prime example of this one. Both independent and brand-related writers create their content. All of this content co-exists on the site. “Impact X”, for example, is a category dedicated to technology. Cisco sponsors the entire category, making it feasible for them to remain a long-term sponsor. With sponsored content, your “advertisers” can sponsor a specific article, week-long series, or an entire category or section for a long period of time.
3. Visitors Tune-Out Ads, Decreasing Ad Rates
Most users now have a knack for tuning out banner ads, with very few clicking on them these days. Then, there are the ad blockers, which prevents browsers from displaying many ads altogether. Most advertisers simply aren’t reaching their target markets by implementing traditional online advertising. This is causing ad rates to drop dramatically. Sponsored content allows advertisers to reach target customers using good old-fashioned, high-quality content instead.
4. Sponsored Content Excites Advertisers
Advertisers understand how effective sponsored content is for reaching their target audience. They know the value of educational and informative content, versus pushy, “salesy,” invasive ads. Today, it’s important to help your target audience find the information they’re seeking online. This creates trust in your brand, which leads to higher conversion rates. Sponsors understand the value of this process.