Why Good Sponsored Content Is a Win-Win-Win

By Aaron Paitich


Sponsored content can be scary. It’s still relatively new, and many brands have yet to take the plunge, but it’s becoming more and more common in marketing.

While that does mean there’s more competition—and yes, sometimes clutter—it also means that good sponsored content has been forced to get better, forced to break through the clutter.

And with the right publisher, high-quality sponsored content can be a win-win-win.

OK, What?

First off, what exactly is sponsored content? And is it the same as branded content?

Sponsored content is collaboratively brainstormed by the publisher and brand, and then produced and hosted by the publisher (website, magazine, email, social, etc.). So the brand is, in effect, paying for the publisher to produce and share the content with the publisher’s audience, which would include a callout for the advertiser (“Presented by,” “Sponsored by,” etc.).

For example, here’s Cathay Pacific teaming up with the New York Times: Business Travel and the Boost to Your Bottom Line

This is different than branded content, which is when the brand itself produces the content in-house and hosts it on their own websites or marketing platforms.

For example, here’s a story from Bank of America’s Small Business Community, a content hub which we, ahem, produce content for (shameless plug): Creating a Parental Leave Policy for Your Small Business

Branded content, if done well (we can help with that), can also be a boon for businesses, but not all brands have the resources to execute such a project, nor the premium audiences at their disposal.

Time to Win

So how can sponsored content be a win-win-win? Seems like too many wins. It’s not.

Here’s why we all get the “W”:

Win for the publisher: Sponsored content brings in new revenue while expanding and offering more services and exposure for advertisers while also maintaining your readers’ trust.

Win for the advertiser: Print advertising is still a driving force for publishers—we know from experience. But sponsored content is just another way for advertisers to reach, communicate, and connect with our premium audiences. And in an increasingly cluttered world, that’s huge.

Win for the consumer: Compelling and quality sponsored content actually serves your readers, customers, and consumers. It provides them real and relevant information in an entertaining and educational way—and it is designed to blend in without being too “salesy.”

Sponsored content isn’t going anywhere. It’s only getting better.