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Sponsored Content: Who Produces It? (Part Two)

Posted on the 06 December 2016 by Themarioblog @garciainteract
Sponsored content: who produces it? (Part Two)Sponsored content: who produces it? (Part Two)

As more newspaper and magazine publishers turn to sponsored content as a possibility to increase revenue, one of the first questions is: who produces sponsored content? 

While the brand in the content may still be involved in shaping it, generally sponsored content requires a publisher to distribute and often to help plan and or produce it.  The existing models involve a combination of journalists and creative advertising types, including designers, who get together to produce copy based on information that the audience may want and will find interesting. In any case, the content does not sell a product directly, but presents ample information on how that specific product may be useful.

And, so, an airline with great winter destinations may do sponsored content that deals with the benefits of getting away in the middle of winter, while profiling cities in countries were a good escape can be reached via the airline, of course. The content, however, will never deal with the pricing of tickets, special sales of travel packages or any of the traditional advertising strategies.  For all practical purposes, such a story about winter destinations could appear in the newspaper or magazine's travel section, except that, in this case, it is paid for by a specific airline, or hotel, or tourism agency, and such is noted visibly for readers to see.

The creative studio concept

To work well, sponsored-content roles have to be a separate arm of the publishing organization, though there may be some synergy and more frequent communication with the newsroom team.

Newspapers are beginning to start their own creative studios to offer sponsorship content to their advertising clients.

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have their own creative studios. 

According to the INMA NATIVE ADVERTISING TRENDS 2016: THE NEWS MEDIA INDUSTRY report , the most popular ways to provide native advertising (another term for sponsored content) is in-house through either the editorial team (42%) , in-house creative studio (33%), or separate native ad team (28%).

What are some of the basic rules of sponsored content?

Sponsored content stories are structured to engage, educate and entertain the reader, as well as build brand awareness and create goodwill toward the advertiser.

The four essential rules that publishers must follow are:

—The truth—sponsored content must be truthful and accurate.

—Interesting and engaging: For people to want to read it, it must be interesting and compelling. The stories are not focused on the advertisers themselves, but about an important issue or a hot trend. Done right, sponsored content is very effective. Customers will be talking about your sponsored story and they will view your business as a leading source for your product and services.

—Looks and reads like.....Sponsored content, when well done, has to fulfill most of the same principles as regular content.

Remember, effective sponsored content should be “useful even to someone not interested in buying," "is not disguised," "provides value to the reader" and "is honest and without hyperbole."

Should be properly labeled as sponsored and/ or paid content. The reader deserves to know not only that this is sponsored content, but what role the sponsors played in shaping the content. Did the sponsors write it themselves? Did you write it but they reviewed it before publishing? Or did they have no control and just want to associate their brand with the content? 

Coming up

Wednesday: Sponsored content and the local newspaper (Part Three)

Thursday: Sponsored content -how much to charge? (Part Four)

Friday: Sponsored content: getting started (Part Five)


Monday: Sponsored contest: the promising new frontier (Part One)

The INMA report on native advertising

A portion of this blog post is via information from the recently released INMA"s  Native Advertising Trends 2016: The News Media Industry by Jesper Laursen and Martha Stone 

For more information and to obtain the full report :

Speaking in Austin, Texas

Sponsored content: who produces it? (Part Two)
Sponsored content: who produces it? (Part Two)
TheMarioBlog post #2536
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