Sponsored content also goes by the terms "native advertising," "advertorials," "content marketing" and "branded content." It differs from editorial in that you pay for this "placement" in media - print, digital, video and audio.
Like just about everything else, sponsored content is nothing new. Back in the 1950s, Hallmark aired on television the "Hall of Fame" as sponsored content. In the early 1980s, Herb Schmertz delivered Mobil's messaging about energy through paid opinion-editorials in influential newspapers.
One option in some media is to have editorial help prepare your content. Recently Conde Nast announced it was doing that with 20 advertisers.
Whether you collaborate with editorial or approach this as a DIY, here are 4 best practices. They were derived from the research of IAB and Edelman Berland:
- Be relevant. That means aligning your message with the right media. You don't put a general piece on parenting in tech media.
- Be authoritative. That means having the material presented with the right expertise and documentation.
- Leverage the branding. Audiences crave the familiar. Therefore, associate the piece with your most well-known brand.
- Frame message as narrative. Tell a story rather than simply pitch a product, service or point of view.
Here is a complimentary backgrounder on sponsored content: Download SponsoredContentbackgrounder.