What Is Sponsored Content and Do I Need It?
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http://moz.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-sponsored-content

Readily-accepted channels for content, such as SEO and PPC, deliver the best results to users at the right time, so is it really necessary to change our game plan? Actually, if you are still using the same content delivery methods, you may be in for a disappointment, according to experts. In the next few years, expect traditional content delivery models to slowly move aside for newcomers such as sponsored content.

Why Doesn’t The Old Way Work?

The old methods of content delivery simply do not work anymore because people are becoming immune to them. “Banner blindness,” for example, means that banner ads are a thing of the past if you want to attract new customers; they simply will not click on these forms of advertising any more. Additionally, at least 2.73 million blogs are written and published daily. If you do not have a way to get your blog content to your audience, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. There is a surplus of content on the Internet; how can you be sure yours gets the attention it deserves?

The Content Promotion Ecosystem

Brand sponsoring of blogs or articles is a good way to get content to people who want to see it. People who are looking for a particular item are more likely to be in certain locations. Therefore, targeting audiences through content promotion makes sense.

What happens with the most successful brands is that they combine paid ads with page content in such a way as to make the reader forget that the ads are embedded. This can be accomplished in six ways:

  • In-feed ads
  • Promoted listings
  • In-ad with native elements
  • Paid search
  • Recommendation widgets
  • Custom content

What Should I Consider in Content Promotion?

If you are promoting content on your website, you should think about several factors that will affect your ROI. First, word count must be in line with best practices; too long or too short and your audiences will not engage. You should include links, of course, but not in an obviously spammy way. Social media and email can be valuable tools in the battle to promote content, as can pay-per-click, which can also provide great data for analysis of user behavior that can guide future content choices.

Above all, promote content that speaks to your audience. The more engaged your audience is, the better return you will see for your content efforts.