By Kimberley Moran – Senior Digital Editor at WeAreTeachers and School Leaders Now
It doesn’t take long in any culture to realize the truth in the old saying, you are known by the company you keep. Look around and you’ll find people aligning themselves with brands everywhere from makeup to food to educational products. It makes good sense to want people to look at your logo or company name and think good things. One of the best ways to have this happen is a well-placed sponsored blog post, or article.
What is a Sponsored Blog Post?
A sponsored blog post looks like any other post or article on a blogger’s website. It should have the same tone and editorial feel. The big difference is that a brand is paying the blogger to create the post. There should be something included in the post somewhere that tells the reader that it’s sponsored. This helps garner reader trust. You aren’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. Rather, you want to help people understand who you are by helping them see concrete examples of what you believe in and who you align with. In some cases, readers can figure out that a post is sponsored on their own, but under the FTC’s guidelines, some form of obvious disclosure is still required.
Top 5 Reasons to Sponsor a Post
1. You Want to Explain More
Most articles are around 500-700 words, but sometimes you have more to share. Research has shown that long-form editorial (some 1200 words or more) can increase engagement. A long-form endorsement can also help increase brand reputation and drive acquisition.
2. You Plan to Answer Your Readers’ Questions
Becoming a part of the conversations happening in online chats, at the dinner table, and in offices is critical for understanding your audience. When you develop thought leadership pieces that associate your brand with a topic or issue, you help your readers connect the dots back to you. When defining what thought leadership piece you might want to sponsor, consider things like interviews, research findings, customer participation, and even injecting a little humor into your area of expertise.
3. You Hope to Increase Your Organic Reach
Your digital marketing plan is diverse, as it should be. But this means your organic traffic might be down because there are different avenues to get your information. When you align with other brands, you improve your chances of showing up higher in Google’s search results.
4. You Know Readers Will Value Your Social Authority
Social authority is more important than ever. People want to feel like brands are their friends. The real value of social media comes from engaging in conversations that lead to opportunities. The more you give, the more your social capital grows, and the more people come to trust you. When people trust you, you have social authority which is quite valuable these days.
5. Your Goal is to Build New Audiences
If a brand can associate itself with a new audience that finds the new information useful, trust in the brand increases. Showcasing your company through different lenses can help broaden your audience and also gives you more analytics to use when determining next steps. Consider the topics you typically share and think about new ways to look at them that affect other groups of people. Don’t miss any opportunity to share what you’ve got with new audiences.
Sponsorship is a partnership between a company and a cause, organization, or brand. Both partners have a stake and a say in how it goes down. It’s a two-way street that requires sincere interest in objectives. With a solid understanding of your needs and objectives, you’ll be better equipped to strike up the right partnership.
Kimberley Moran is a senior digital editor at WeAreTeachers and School Leaders Now. She was a K-8 classroom teacher and literacy coach for 12 years. Kimberley has worked on integrated marketing campaigns for numerous clients, including Learning Ally, Scientific Learning, Its Learning, Scholastic, and Epic Books. She holds an MS in literacy education. She is the author of the book Hacking Parenthood. Outside of work, Kimberley knits constantly and eats all things Maine from blueberries to lobster.