The days of getting sponsored content into a major outlet and your product/service going viral are all but gone. After publications went the route of opening the floodgates for just about any “thought leader” to publish and sponsor to contribute to their platform, only to see that it devalued their platforms, getting published in mainstream publications doesn’t seem to attract the ROI necessary to justify the means. The value is still there in boosting credibility and utilizing across marketing and sales channels, but brands are still living in the days where paying to play in large publications and hoping for the best, when the strategy on how to publish to publications and see not only a boost in credibility but a boost in traffic is readily available. Here’s how sponsored content is changing and how you can take advantage of it:
More often than not, brands take the prices publications give them for sponsored content and just assume that is the rate they HAVE to pay. While I'm of the belief that you can negotiate anything, this is especially true when it comes to sponsored content. The pricing model is typically very fluid, even with major publications dependent on the amount of inventory they have, time of year, and term length. It comes down to how good you are at negotiating.
Getting published in Forbes or Ad Age is no longer enough to ensure that you will drive new eyeballs to your site or store. Negotiate social posts, advertising boosts, and potentially even paid e-mail sends into your payment to the publication. Having a multi-channel approach will allow a much higher opportunity to reach a large audience and lower your risk of spending with no return.
Once published in a publication, make sure you use this content in all of your sales and marketing. Most brands get published, tweet about it once, and move immediately on to finding the next sponsored or organic opportunity. At this stage of sponsored content, over half the value is in how you utilize it. Invest time into inserting it in your sales funnel, the follow-up process, hiring funnel, marketing funnel, and as validation/credibility on your site. The belief that old content isn’t as valuable is a complete myth and it should be used and reused over and over again with your prospects, customers, new hires, and team.
Understanding that the sponsored content landscape has changed is the first step to understanding how to better negotiate, utilize, and work it into your customer/user acquisition strategy. It can be a highly effective strategy if negotiated and utilized successfully, but an expensive and borderline waste of time and funds if not.