According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), branded, or sponsored, content is content that is “sponsored by/promoted by a brand that is non-promotional in nature.” Native advertising is the paid distribution of that content. When brands like The Washington Post and New York Times publish sponsored editorial content, it’s safe to say this form of advertising revenue has become mainstream.
That said, here are some key considerations for sharing sponsored content:
1)Relevance. In order for branded or sponsored content to be well-received, make sure it is about something which your brand has the authority to speak about. A gaming company for example, is not an authority on organic foods. Ask yourself, is this content relevant to our core audience? If the answer is no, rethink your plan.
2)Quality. The quality of any sponsored content must match the quality of your content. From an editorial perspective, you want it to blend in as much as possible. However, from a transparency perspective, make sure you clearly note that it is paid content.
3)Transparency. To maintain trust and to adhere to industry standards – always disclose by clearly marking sponsored content as such. The IAB has produced a helpful, detailed guide to branded content which can be accessed here.
4) Value. Your audience must perceive high value from any sponsored content you publish. Research by Conductor, an agency partner of Double Forte, found content that is educational in nature increases trust and intent to purchase.
And for more on building trust and loyalty via content marketing, read our recent article on the topic.