Find Your Balance: Content Marketing vs. Sponsored Content
Content marketing has always been a great way to communicate with customers throughout the buying process. It has even become one of the most popular digital marketing trends in 2015. Sponsored content, also known as native advertising, is similar to content marketing. It focuses on both reader appeal as well as getting the brand’s message across. Sponsored content fits into your more traditional advertising initiatives, while content marketing is typically seen as a long-term customer-building solution. So how do you find the right balance? Discover why and how you should incorporate these two into your marketing strategy.
When it comes to content marketing the goal is rather simple – educate the reader. Deliver information on your own content platform, such as your website or blog, which produces a more knowledgeable buyer. Instead of trying to sell your products or services, you’re helping and informing your consumers. Helpful guides, info-graphics, blog posts and videos are all forms of acceptable content. Acceptable meaning, it’s easily shareable on social networks, making content marketing inherently organic self-promotion. The goal of a content marketing strategy is to build an audience that differentiates you as a brand and that will influence their buying behavior by communicating with customers. By giving the consumer an idea without selling, it leaves the buying decision in their full control. With this marketing strategy, the belief is that if a business delivers consistent and valuable information to buyers, then they will reward them with their business and loyalty.
Sponsored content is different from content marketing. It consists of a brand partnering with a publisher and producing content on a publisher’s platform. Sponsored content serves useful for entertaining information in order to favorably influence the perception of the sponsored brand. It is important that sponsored content still primarily serves the reader. This has proven to be difficult when sponsors are paying for their content to promote their own interests. Take Netflix for example, most readers had no idea this article in The New York Times was paid for by Netflix and is a pure example of sponsored content. Netflix brilliantly captured their audience while still relating the post back to their original series, Orange is the New Black. Too sneaky? That’s a whole other topic of debate.
Find Your Balance
When it comes to marketing your business, there’s really no silver bullet. A comprehensive attack is your best solution; hence, why it’s imperative you experiment to find the right balance that works for you. For example, sponsored content is most important when you are initially introducing yourself to potential customers. Sponsored content also helps maximize your visibility on other online publications with preexisting audiences. It focuses on short-term sales. After the initial introduction, a supplemental, long-term solution is in order. This is where content marketing comes in to play. Content marketing is essential when it comes to building on-going, loyal, lasting relationships with your customers. Content marketing’s main focus is long-term sales. With the right mix of the two, leads convert to customers.
Bigfin.com, an industry leader in online advertising, excels at creating original content that entices and promotes action amongst readers. Our comprehensive digital marketing solutions include content creation as well as social media management on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social outlets. Looking for online marketing solutions or help with content marketing? Contact us online or by phone at (425)822-8200.
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