Traditional advertising lost much of its power in the last decade, mostly due to new marketing formats such as sponsored content. According to the report, 70% of consumers want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising.
But the new trend launched an avalanche of sponsored posts, flooding the Internet with both outstanding and low-quality content. Today, only top-performing bloggers and influencers can stand out of the crowd because they are able to craft amazing content.
If you are a social influencer, we suggest you do the same and focus on learning how to create sponsored content that your readers will love. Our job is to help you out by presenting eight practical tips to make your sponsored posts more attractive.
Sponsored Content: Definition and Benefits
We call influencers’ content sponsored every time they get paid to create a brand-focused post. American Press Institute announced that sponsored content had two major characteristics:
- It is generally understood to be content that takes the same form and qualities of a publisher’s original content.
- It usually serves useful or entertaining information as a way of favorably influencing the perception of the sponsor brand.
Such posts seem more natural and 72% of marketers claim that branded content is more effective than advertisements. However, it is important to emphasize that sponsored content does not always generate the same results. On the contrary, it all depends on your professional expertise and skills to craft posts that don’t look too pushy and salesy.
8 Ways to Create Impressive Sponsored Posts
Now you know the power of sponsored content, but learning how to design it is the critical part of our article. Without further ado, let’s see eight ways to create impressive sponsored posts.
1) Know what your audience likes
Understanding your average follower is the first step toward making high-quality sponsored content. You need to learn everything about the target audience:
- Age and Gender: For instance, you might be writing for 20-something guys.
- Location: Where are they? Different places have different cultures and mindsets, so you have to respect territorial preferences.
- Job Titles: Are you writing for IT professionals, athletes, or someone completely different?
- Education: Academic background of a typical reader is crucial for your style of writing.
- Lifestyle: Most importantly, you need to figure out their personal preferences, style, and beliefs.
You can find most of those data on your website using simple tools like Google Analytics. But even if you lack a few pieces of the puzzle, don’t be afraid of asking your fans directly.
You can organize a survey and ask them about their interests and other details you want to learn. In our experience, a vast majority of readers is willing to participate in this type of survey because it gives the feeling of appreciation and acknowledgment.
2) Stick to the brand you really love
The easiest way to create truly inspirational sponsored content is to write about the brand you really love. When you discuss products you use in everyday life, you don’t even have a notion of creating sponsored content. That way, you can be completely honest and your posts won’t look artificial.
But there is catch here: you will soon run out of brands because you probably don’t use thousands of products on a daily basis. In such circumstances, you are forced to look beyond the sponsors you love, so make sure to do it properly.
Before making a deal with a new sponsor, you should ask yourself a few questions: Do I really like their products or services? Is this the kind of brand I would use? Are they nurturing the same values and business vision? Is my audience going to like this brand?
If you answer all these questions honestly, you will get enough material to make a decision whether to work with someone you don’t know or not.
3) Write stories, not reviews
As a blogger or social influencer, you have to develop a unique style of writing and communication. The audience is familiar with it and they follow you because they enjoy your content the way it is. For this reason, you shouldn’t create a product review.
Reviews sound sterile and too technical, thus creating a serious contrast compared to your regular style of work. Try to use your own language and tell a nice story instead.
Jake Sumner, a content creator at the best writing service, says the ultimate goal is to achieve the highest level of honesty without jeopardizing your relations with the sponsor: “The more natural it sounds, the more your audience will trust you. If you build this kind of reputation, there will be no difference between sponsored and organic posts.”
4) Show how products solve problems
Do you know why users read your (or anyone else’s) content? They do it because they are looking for solutions to the practical problem. Successful authors know it very well and they always highlight this side of the story in their sponsored posts.
What does it mean for you as a content creator? Well, it means you need to embrace the same mindset and focus on problem-solving details. When you describe a certain product, you don’t have to discuss colors or materials unless it’s a really important segment of the product itself.
Instead, you should discuss how it works, and explain whether it helps you solve your issues or not. This is the most important detail since you have to give the audience a practical reason to test the product.
5) Don’t publish too many sponsored posts
A lot of bloggers are wondering how many sponsored posts they are allowed to publish. This is a tricky question because it all depends on your calendar of activities and content quantity, but one thing is for sure – you will lose too many fans if you start exaggerating.
We believe that the best solution is to follow the 80/20 rule. What does it mean? It means you should publish 80% of regular posts and not more than 20% of sponsored content. Doing so, you can seamlessly incorporate sponsored posts into everyday content and maintain the regular workflow.
This marketing model gives you plenty of room to cooperate with sponsors and increase revenue, but it doesn’t make the audience angry.
6) Indulge Sponsors
So far, we only discussed what you need to do to indulge the audience, but don’t forget that your sponsors have some expectations as well. Some of these expectations are predetermined, while some things you can do on your own. Let’s check them out here:
- Contract Details: Make sure to respect sponsors’ requirements concerning key messages, links, hashtags, imagery, and so on.
- Social Sharing: Even if you don’t agree with sponsors to share branded content on your social accounts, you should do it to maximize the effect of your campaign.
- Take the Extra Step: Besides social sharing, you can take the extra step by adding a few details that no one required you to do. For instance, you can insert a product photo or add a URL to the product page.
- Boost Engagement: Another option is to encourage fans to engage with your content by asking questions and inviting them to post comments.
All these tricks will strengthen the relationship with your client and make it easier to ensure long-term cooperation.
7) Set the price
There is a huge difference between macro and micro-influencers. While the former guarantee reach and visibility, the latter are much more productive engagement-wise. We guess you belong to the second group and now want to concentrate on your price.
How much should you charge for a post? According to the report, over 90% of bloggers charge $1 thousand or less for sponsored articles. However, your price depends on numerous factors:
- How much time does it take to write a post?
- How many words do they expect?
- How many influencers operate in the same niche?
- How much they charge?
All these questions are significant, which means you have to answer each one correctly and then set the most appropriate price.
8) Disclose sponsorship properly
This one goes without saying, but some bloggers and influencers seem to forget how important it is to disclose sponsorship in their posts. It doesn’t matter whether your client tells you to disclose or not, you are obliged to do it because you don’t want to mess around with your audience. There is nothing strange about it – everybody creates sponsored content, so you don’t have to worry about ruining professional authority, particularly if you publish high-quality articles.
Creating sponsored content without jeopardizing professional credibility is by no means easy. You have to be delicate and studious in order to understand and indulge the needs of all parties: your clients, your readers, and yourself.
In this post, we showed you eight highly practical tactics on how to create sponsored content that your readers would love. It’s a very tricky issue, so feel free to use our suggestions and make your sponsored posts as attractive as every other piece of content on your website!