Whether your goal is SEO or branding, it can be challenging to keep up with all the digital marketing formats and opportunities available for your business as an advertiser.
There are the obvious forms of promotion, like traditional advertising. But consumers are growing tired of “distraction” ads, and they’d rather see something more in line with the content they’re choosing to engage with.
Enter sponsored articles. These are exactly how they sound: articles that an advertiser pays a publisher to feature on their site. These articles are intended to appeal to the publisher’s audience while seamlessly promoting the advertiser’s product or service in a natural, non-invasive way.
If you’re in the process of drafting up an advertising budget for the following year, or you’re simply sniffing out new marketing ventures for your business, sponsored articles are well worth considering.
Here are just a few reasons why sponsored articles may be a better choice over other digital formats:
1. They Lead to Sales
When done properly, sponsored articles have the potential to drive sales to your business. Business Insider reported that one-third of millennials have purchased from a brand after seeing a sponsored post. This was based on research from a study in 2017 when sponsored content was nowhere near as big as it is today.
While there are currently no studies looking specifically at sponsored articles, the power of sponsored content is evident.
2. They’re More Trustworthy
When customers read about a product or service via a sponsored article, they associate the advertising brand with the publisher itself.
Assuming that the reader respects the publisher (which is likely if they’ve visited the website to read content), this paints the brand positively, informing the reader that the brand is trusted by the publisher.
3. They Attract Consumer Interest
Publishing sponsored content can attract consumer interest and push potential customers down the sales funnel, according to a study led by IPG Media Lab.
The study found that consumers are 14% more likely to research an advertiser for additional content after viewing an item of sponsored content. Again, this study is dated, so the figure is likely even higher in today’s world of peak media popularity.
4. They Do More Than Just Advertise
Perhaps the most significant benefit of sponsored articles is that they’re not the blatant, in-your-face advertisements that audiences are becoming more and more opposed to. A sponsored article can do much more than simply advertise a product or a service.
Depending on the content readers expect from the publisher itself, a sponsored article could inform, entertain, or encourage the reader to think deeply about a topic that mildly interests them at the very least. A single native advert could never offer the same level of depth.
5. They Receive Higher Engagement Rates
Sponsored articles are likely to attract far more initial attention than native ads. Rather than being distracted by something they don’t necessarily want to see, readers choose to click on a sponsored article because of an alluring title or an interesting byline.
Once reading the article, consumers are likely to stick around even after discovering that the article is sponsored because they genuinely care about what the publisher has to say. With this content being more personalized and better suited to the reader, it is more likely to pique their interest.
6. They Offer Longer Exposure
A display ad may capture an audience’s attention for a second if that. On the other hand, sponsored articles dedicated to promoting a brand may take more than five minutes to read from start to finish.
A potential customer is far more likely to remember a brand that they’ve read about for several minutes, as opposed to a brand they’ve caught a glimpse of when scrolling through social media or doing something else online.
In short, the biggest reason to consider using sponsored content for your advertising is that it’s trusted. A study by Time Inc. found that 2 in 3 Millennials, GenZ, and GenX consumers thought that sponsored content was more sincere when compared to traditional ad formats. And, with sponsored articles requiring more commitment from the reader, it can only be a good thing for your brand exposure.
Regardless of the stage of the funnel your customer is in, sponsored articles are an essential tactic. As long as you can prove that your message is authentic, you can use sponsored articles to drive engagement and ultimately make more sales.
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