The Year of Sponsored Content

2013 was the “Year of Content” according to Econsultancy’s annual report, in which content marketing topped the year’s digital priority list. But although we’ve left 2013 behind us, 2014 is looking likely to be yet another “Year of Content”, what with the amount of buzz on the topic throughout the modern marketing world.

We know that a lot of work goes into producing great content, and that content doesn’t come cheap, so it’s therefore vital for organisations to make sure that they squeeze every last penny of return from their investment.

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This means that if you want to get your sparkly new webinar or lovingly-produced eBook noticed beyond your current social followers and out at exactly the right time, then you should consider the relatively new concept of sponsoring your content.

What it means for you

The cornerstone of any smart organisation’s content marketing strategy – is their social marketing strategy; the social channels across which they share their content once it’s ready, whether it be a precision tweet to catch the audience’s attention on their lunch breaks, or posting an update on the company’s LinkedIn page.

Sponsoring your content means that your content is put in front of your target audience on LinkedIn and/or Twitter, even if they’re not currently following you, thus extending your reach outside of your current network. On LinkedIn, for example, your sponsored content will appear in the news feeds of your target audience, a relevant place for news and updates as opposed to adverts.

Through these means, your content will be displayed to a much wider audience of potential leads than it would be if you were to rely solely on those already following you, providing a greater return in terms of – not just leads – but also brand awareness within your field.

Why it’s worth itsuccessflow

Depending on the size or the niche of your organisation, you might be wondering whether sponsoring your content is worth investing in. Let me answer that by using Linkedin’s content sponsorship program as an example:

  • LinkedIn has over 260 million members all over the world, meaning that the world’s largest B2B database is ready and waiting to be tapped into.
  • Sponsoring content on LinkedIn allows you to focus your campaign by geographical area, job sector, job role, and even individual companies, meaning that smaller companies can launch cheaper, local campaigns.
  • Once your target market is established, you can choose how you’d like to fund your campaign; either by pay-per-click, or per 1,000 impressions (the number of times your update appears on a user’s screen).Most of our clients choose the former, as it means there is only a charge when a lead is engaged. There’s also no additional charge for likes, comments or follows.
  • Once your update has been sponsored it will appear in the news feeds of prospects within your target market.

In our experience, paying in the region of £250-400 in return for 100 visitors clicking through to your company page is well worth the investment, just take a look at the comparison vs organic traffic. But don’t neglect to make sure that your content is interesting and engaging – bad content that is sponsored is still bad content!

Since content sponsoring is a relatively new and underused aspect of LinkedIn, now is as good a time as any to take full advantage of it and establish your brand across LinkedIn’s vast pool of potential customers – and trust us, it’s well worth it.

Better yet, work with the experts to get your message heard

It’s important to make sure that when employing these strategies to success you take time to review the methods in which to implement them. Established companies have the potential to hire experts in the sector. But sometimes, it’s much simpler and quicker to implement a successful social strategy through outsourcing.

You can oversee the process whilst letting a dedicated team concentrate on optimising and managing the social activity around your core content. Sponsoring your content and optimising your company page – to make sure it gets the attention it deserves are just one component of the bigger picture.

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