By: Melissa Fernandez

What even is sponsored content?

Sponsored content has many names:

  • Native advertising
  • Sponsor generated content
  • Brand voice
  • Paid post
  • ‘Brought to you by’
  • ‘Presented by’
  • ‘Promoted by’ 

These are just some of the many names news organizations use to label sponsored content on their various media platforms.

The terms can be interchangeable from website to website, and the definition itself can be hard to grasp. 

According to the American Press Institute, there is no single form of sponsored content and it is easier to define by what it does, not what it looks like. “It (sponsored content) is generally understood to be content that takes the same form and qualities of a publisher’s original content.”

In layman’s terms: Sponsored content is advertising, structured in a way that entices the reader and engages them with the sponsor.

What is the difference between editorial content and sponsored content?

Editorial content is any type of article written by a journalist that does not intend to sell a product or business/company to a consumer. This content is first and foremost newsworthy.

Sponsored content is written with the consumer in mind to try and connect with them in a more impactful way than a simple banner ad could. Sponsored content is first and foremost advertising, but published in a format the reader is more likely to consume.

It is important to keep this distinction in mind when creating sponsored content: to successfully reach your audience.

Why labeling sponsored content is important

Similar formatting of editorial and sponsored content makes it easier for the reader to watch/read/interact with the content. 

But it also means that it is important to clearly identify yourself as a sponsor.

Transparency is always key when it comes to your audience. If the content isn’t clearly labeled as sponsored, then the audience and future consumers might feel duped.

Trust is also important . If readers lose trust in their publication, the publication loses readers. 

When creating sponsored content, make sure to inform and entertain the reader, but also have them leave knowing the sponsor and their part in the content creation. This is the best way to make sure the reader keeps their trust in the publication and the sponsor.

Often, this means uniformly identifying sponsored content on all mediums of publication.

Content creation and collaboration

Sponsored content can take the form of a video, an article, an infographic, etc. 

So when it comes to creation the publication and the sponsor often collaborate to choose the best medium to reach their target audience. The sponsor can present their target audience to the publication and have them pitch ideas, or the sponsor could come to the publication with a clear idea in mind.

Once an idea is agreed upon, the sponsored content is created in the same way editorial content would be created: Trial, error, revision, editing and the creation of a successful final product.

If you’re interested in creating sponsored content, contact us.