Published On: 06/19/2014

Sponsored -Content -Blog

The world of sponsored content is expanding and growing continually.  Buzzwords including ‘branded’ and ’native’ are out in the market, and more and more businesses and industries are looking to sponsored content to tell their story.  An estimated $118 billion was spent nationally on content marketing, video marketing, and social media in 2013, a number that will continue to grow in 2014.  In fact, 9 in 10 organizations are currently using some form of content marketing, and 75% of companies expect to shift a portion of their budget from ads to content.

This approach is a ‘new frontier’ for many businesses, and a departure from traditional advertising forms.  With that being said, it’s important to ensure that your businesses’ goals and objectives are in line with what sponsored content can accomplish. A look at the ‘checklist’ below may help clarify if content marketing is a fit for your organization:

  • Positioning:  Sponsored content adds dimension to your offerings, beyond just products.  It’s designed to tell a fuller story; one less about your products or services, and more about the values, vision, and mission of your organization.
  • Engagement:   The use of content allows consumer interaction with brands at a more fundamental level.  Higher time spent engaged with content can lead to increased brand awareness and overall recall.
  • Relationship-Building:   Content creates direct relationships with consumers to strengthen affinity and brand recognition. 78% of consumers feel that organizations behind the content are interested in building good relationships with current or potential customers.
  • Driving Traffic:   A content environment increases traffic to a brand’s website—fostering data capture and e-mail list creation.  When done properly, sponsored content environments provide valuable information to consumers from an advertiser in an environment surrounded by their branding and ad messaging.
  • Elevating Authority:    Leveraging sponsored content, particularly when aligned with trusted brands and content experts, raises your recognition as a topic expert, which can raise your overall authority within specific subject matter areas.
  • Social Interaction:   Promotion of your created content via social channels drives conversation on your brand and cross-readership and engagement within your social media outlets.

Content marketing is a long-term investment in your brand and business, not a ‘quick solution’ to an advertising need. Over time, investments in content will lead to growth in all of the above categories, further distinguishing you from competitors in the market.  Baltimore Sun Media Group offers content marketing strategies at various levels, including content creation, distribution, and optimization.  To learn more about our opportunities, contact Nhan Ngo at 410-332-6130 or nngo@baltsun.com.

Sources: Salesforce.com Blogs, ‘Content Marketing Stats,’ June 2013; Custom Content Counsel, 2012; B2B Magazine, March 2012; INMA, July 2013.