How Sponsored Content Can Bypass Banner Blindness

Thomas LAPORTE • 7 December 2021 • 8 min read
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Enticing new audiences with online advertisements is now more difficult than ever. The digital marketing industry, which was valued at an estimated US$350 billion in 2020, is projected to hit US$786.2 billion by 2026. There’s more competition than ever, and knowing how to stand out amongst competitors is essential. 

Being flexible with your monthly advertising spend helps you get more out of your digital marketing efforts. While traditional ads might be a substantial part of your brand awareness campaigns, using these in conjunction with other methods ensures you reach a wider audience. 

Sponsored content is particularly promising in today’s world of ad-blockers and general distaste for banner ads. A branded article is featured on a publisher’s website and written by the publisher, ensuring that it fits seamlessly alongside its editorial content. 

This guide will look at the benefits of sponsored content compared to banner ads and how banner blindness is forcing marketers and advertisers to think beyond traditional ad formats. 

What Is Banner Blindness?

Let’s start with an understanding of what banner blindness is. 

Banner blindness refers to a phenomenon in which web visitors ignore banner-like information. They may do this consciously or subconsciously. 

For instance, a visitor may notice a banner ad and choose to ignore it because they find it irrelevant to their website purpose. Over time, visitors may unknowingly train themselves to look away from the website sections dedicated to banner ads, such as the left and right margins and the very bottom of the page. 

Banner blindness is a challenge for advertisers who spend a significant portion of their marketing on banner ads. An Infolinks study found that 86% of consumers experience banner blindness, meaning that 86% of a brand’s potential customers don’t even notice their ads at all. 

Unsurprisingly, advertisers are looking for more authentic, less ad-like advertising forms to remedy this problem.

That’s where sponsored content comes in. 

86% of consumers experience banner blindness

Why Sponsored Content Beats Display Advertising

Sponsored content is non-disruptive and isn’t affected by banner blindness. Often, sponsored content isn’t even seen as advertising, which helps boost the campaign’s performance and facilitate a positive perception from potential customers. 

Let’s examine some of the evidence-backed benefits of sponsored content compared to display advertising.

Suppose you’re looking for definitive proof that sponsored content doesn’t induce banner blindness. In that case, it’s this: Sponsored content drives 59% more brand recognition than other forms of digital advertising, like banner ads. 

Brand recall is one of the most important aspects of advertising. It means that, even if a customer doesn’t order your product or service straight away, they’ll remember your name if they ever need to buy something from your market in the future. 

Branded articles likely facilitate brand recognition because audiences read a full page of information about a brand presented in an informative, interesting format. On the other hand, a display ad is blatantly ad-like, and a consumer is less likely to retain information from a glance. And that’s if they even notice the ad at all. 

Marketers put a lot of thought and energy into making display ads as engaging as possible. But flashes of colour, moving images, and enticing taglines mean nothing if a web visitor doesn’t want to engage with them in the first place. 

In fact, with banner blindness being such a common phenomenon, the money spent on display ads might not even be worth it.

Sponsored content is 22 times more engaging than banner ads. The reason for this is most likely because the audience chooses to engage with sponsored content. Most consumers choose against engaging with display ads, on the other hand, because they find them distracting or annoying. 

That’s the big difference between the two.

sponsored content engagement

In Summary

Sponsored content has already overtaken display ads when it comes to audience engagement and business branding. Marketers who want to appeal to a genuinely interested audience should certainly consider investing in sponsored content this year.

If you haven’t considered using sponsored content before, don’t be intimidated. Certain aspects of this form of advertising are particularly easy to get started with. 
For instance, with Getfluence, arranging for branded articles to be published by influential media couldn’t be any easier. Rather than sourcing your contacts, you can choose from a catalogue of publishers and reach out to those who best suit your industry and branding intentions.

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