Is content marketing worth it? Without a doubt! According to HubSpot, 56% of marketers leveraging content marketing cite it as effective, with 10% reporting that it generates the most ROI of their marketing efforts. Likewise, 70% report actively allocating their marketing budgets to content marketing, while 24% plan to increase their investment. And why? Because nine out of 10 consumers now expect brands to provide content.
The challenge with content marketing, however, is reaching new audiences. Content sponsorship helps your business reach new target audiences, build credibility, and increase sales. Branded content sponsorships often result in 86% better brand recall and recognition. You will also see a 50% higher brand lift with the right content marketing partner and publisher.
To help you make the most of your strategy, here is everything you need to know about the benefits of a content sponsorship and what it consists of (i.e., native advertising vs. sponsored content).
What is a Content Sponsorship?
Content sponsorships are a type of media that brands create and publish on another website. It comes in various formats and is often associated with the publisher's established trust among their audience, automatically making you more trustworthy to new consumers.
Take, for instance, sponsored content on social media. When an influencer sponsors your content, research shows that 61% of consumers trust their recommendations compared to branded content on your business's account (since people consider it more biased). Another example includes sponsorships on the radio (digital and broadcast): On-air radio personalities are deemed trustworthy by 75+% of listeners, and 52% of podcast listeners are more likely to purchase from brands podcast hosts sponsor.
How Content Sponsorships Work
Content sponsorships involve a partnership between an advertiser and a brand. No matter the media form, a deal exists that ensures the brand is sponsored, authentically, and seamlessly presented. Audiences can then encounter the branded content in a way that associates their love and support for the advertiser with the sponsored brand.
It is a form of native advertising, which means your branded content is native to the advertiser's content. That makes it look less like an advertisement, reducing the chances that the viewer/reader/listener will disregard the sponsorship.
Aspects of Content Sponsorships
- It looks like a natural ad
- It feels like a natural part of the site
- Blends in seamlessly
- Consistent with the platform it's on and surrounding content
Types of Sponsored Content
Sponsored content comes in various forms to suit the content consumption needs of your specific target audience. Some example types include:
- Articles and sections
- Sponsored videos
- Sponsored social content
- Podcast series and episodes
What are the Benefits of Sponsored Content?
The benefits of a content sponsorship can exceed expectations, getting brands closer than ever to a more significant segment of their market while providing them with just enough associated trust to create instant connections:
- Sponsored content makes your brand feel credible and trustworthy. Loyal consumers value sponsored content as much as the publisher's because it does 'look' or 'feel' like an ad.
- Puts content in front of the audience you need/want. When done right, your sponsored content appears in front of an audience you wouldn't otherwise be able to reach — let alone resonate with on a personal level.
- Doesn't disrupt users' usual experience. Forget ad annoyance and frustrations. Consumers like ads if they're from brands they trust (51%) and are relatable (44%).
- Consumers are more likely to engage and interact with your sponsored content. At least 37% say that when an ad doesn't feel like a sale pitch, they're more likely to ignore its branded nature.
- Can conduct it on multiple platforms. Speed up your impressions (it takes 5-7 impressions for a consumer to recall/recognize your brand) by connecting with audiences across several platforms.
- Build an emotional connection with consumers. When you sponsor branded content on a trusted publisher's platform, the emotional connection their audience has built with them over time extends to you. That is crucial because studies have shown emotionally engaged consumers spend twice as much, are more loyal (with 82% thinking of that brand every time they need something), and will more likely promote that brand to anyone who will listen.
Work with a Partner to Develop Sponsored Content
When you're ready to connect with a reliable content sponsor partner, McClatchy is the right solution for you. Not only has our media strongly connected with local and national audiences, but McClatchy's audience reach is unmatched. We have an 83+ million audience reach, 73+ million unique site visitors, 266+ million page views, 10+ million video views, and 9+ million social media followers!