Content is becoming a bigger bet for brands. This is not a new way for them to get more people to know about their name or products. It’s about showing their worth, giving them a face, and showing how they make the world a better place. One way to do this is through content that is paid for. But what’s going on? What to do? How can it change things?

Sponsored and branded content

First, it’s important to know the difference between two terms that are often used interchangeably when talking about content made by brands. We’re talking about branded content and content that is paid for.

Branded content is when a brand makes, publishes, and promotes its own content on its own platforms.

A sponsored content format is when a brand and a news outlet work together, and the news outlet promotes and publishes the content on its platforms. The content may also be made by the news outlet.

It is important to understand why they have become important models for digital marketing and content marketing strategies. First of all, now that we have devices that let us “skip” ads and adblockers, brands have to try out new tools that help them get their message across and make sure their content is seen by as many people as possible.

Sponsored content meets these needs because it gives brands access to the audience of their chosen media. This can increase brand awareness, traffic to their pages, conversions, and leads, as well as make their brand more well-known.

Even though this tool has been around for a while, different entities use it in different ways. Brands and the media are putting their money on content that is useful, interesting, and informative for their target audience. So, companies stop selling products or services and instead try to position themselves based on their knowledge, their principles, and even their purpose. They do this by making content that is useful and informative. After all, consumers are putting more and more value on these things.

Why is sponsored content so important for the media?

How smart of the media is this bet? When you type “sponsored content” into Google, you can see that it is linked to a number of well-known media outlets. There are a lot of examples of sponsored content, and one reason for this trend is that advertising revenue is going down. Because of this, the media have had to change the way they do business and start acting as content agencies as well.

However, this solution raises some questions. How can the media keep their credibility and honesty when they create and publish sponsored content? How do publications like Forbes, which was one of the first to use this strategy, do it? First, it’s about finding a good balance.

“[…] how loud it is. We put out about 400 editorial pieces and six to ten sponsored pieces every day. This is how we find a good middle ground. If we ever have 200 sponsored posts, we will have to add more editorial posts “he told Comtedo in an interview at Web Summit 2016 when he was starting his new job as Marketing Director at Forbes.

The success story of Forbes

When it comes to sponsored content, Forbes is one of the best-known success stories. It works with international companies like Citigroup and IBM. In order to do this, it has made BrandVoice, its own brand for sponsored content.

First of all, it’s important to stress the ability to change. “This idea came from Forbes and BuzzFeed. It was never a choice to give up. A lot of people say we are selling our souls to the devil, which is not true. But if [sponsored content] is done well and with good intentions, consumers and viewers will want to be a part of it “Davis spoke up.

The way brands tell their stories is the second thing. “Brands don’t know how to do it, which is our biggest problem. They get help from our teams. (…) They choose the topics, make editorial calendars, publish the content in Forbes, and promote it on the platforms”, Davis told, “If you need it, Forbes can also help you choose a marketing agency and content creators”.

Sponsored Content vs. Audience

When you think about brands, you realize that sponsored content can be a very useful tool because it can spread the message to a large number of people without interrupting the user’s experience with ads all the time.

The big question is whether sponsored content can be used in the same way as editorial content because its structure, presentation, and content are so similar.

But a study published by Contently in 2016 shows that a few years ago, most people were skeptical of content paid for by brands and didn’t think much of it. This has changed. A study from 2021 shows that people are now more likely to trust this kind of content. So, the “2021 Contently Report” says, “There’s no reason to hide logos or sponsors.” “Brands are now more likely to publish their content and reach a large number of people.”

At the same time that organizations are getting more comfortable with publishing valuable content and thinking more and more like media companies, media outlets are making it clearer what sponsored content is and often create their own brands for this type of content.

What should be published?

The best way to deal with sponsored content is to take a clear and honest path and give brands more personality. This can be done by putting money on stories, picking the themes, and looking at how the content affects people. “If brands can tell their stories and make people feel connected to them, then people will want to work with them. That seems to be the big secret, “David believes. “It also helps to be honest, up-to-date, and consistent.”

The study by Contently shows that this is true, as it found that 65% of people prefer to buy from brands that share their values. Also, people are more likely to buy after reading stories about how a company is making the world a better place.

Content creation has a bright future for brands that focus on the truth, add value, and find their own voice.