Attention spans have gotten shorter and the tolerance for traditional “interruption-style” advertising is near zero. Just think, when was the last time you paid full attention to a TV or online commercial – even the ones where you can’t SKIP. Nowadays, about the only place where an audience sits through a commercial fully engaged is when the lights go off at the cinema or on an airplane during takeoff (when you can’t use your devices).
So how can you capture and hold the attention of modern audiences? The answer: useful content. I say “useful” because not all content is designed to help the audience with a challenge or educate them. Useful content is any article, video, podcast or live presentation that offers something valuable to the audience. Usually this is in the form of knowledge. When you do this, you look more credible, memorable and trustworthy.
However, creating useful content is only half the battle. Getting your content in front of the audience is the next challenge. Enter “Sponsored Content.”
If you’re old enough to remember flipping through your favorite magazines or newspapers, you’ll know that sponsored content has been around for quite some time. It actually got its start in print publications. Sponsored content was basically an article that was paid for by the advertiser. They were typically written by thought-leaders on a topic that were related to the advertiser. For example: How to change a tire safely, brought to you by Big Mack’s Towing Company.
The key was that these sponsored content articles appeared in publications that had great distribution to the audience that the advertiser wanted to appeal to. This maximized the exposure of the article.
Given all of the benefits that sponsored content has to offer, it’s no wonder that it has become a powerful tool for lead generation. Let’s take a closer look. Here are 4 reasons why you should be adding sponsored content into your LeadGen strategy:
1. Sponsored content sells without being “salesy”
The influencer craze has helped jump start this trend significantly. Sponsored content helps raise awareness of your products, services and offerings without coming across as “salesy”. The key is providing useful information and high quality messaging.
A survey conducted by Collective Bias found that that one-third of millennials have purchased from a brand after seeing a sponsored post. Since this type of content doesn’t feel pushy, consumers are much more open to as opposed to being bombarded overtly with generic emails.
2. Sponsored content get higher engagement rates
Audiences don’t immediately dismiss promoted posts like they would some other forms of advertisements. If the content you are providing is more personalized and geared towards a particular interest, readers tend to take more notice.
According to a Reuters survey, 75% of respondents said that, if content piques their interest, then they will engage with it. It doesn’t even matter if the content is sponsored or not.
3. Sponsored content allows you tell your story
There is only so much you can say about your brand in a display ad or other forms of promotion.
With sponsored content, you can take a deeper dive into the story behind the product or solution you’re spotlighting, which already gives you a leg up on other forms of traditional advertising.
Research shows that messages that are delivered as stories are up to 22 times more memorable than just facts. An article or video gives you the space to showcase your story and your expertise which allows you to become a proverbial subject matter on the topic you’re writing about – that’s pretty powerful stuff.
4. Sponsored content expands your reach
When you publish something to your blog, it circulates to your circle of influence – your email list, your social media following, etc. When you publish sponsored content in partnership with someone (like a media outlet, an association, trade group or a partner company), you expand your reach to include THEIR audience.
People are much more willing to share valuable (read: useful) content with their audiences than an overt sales message. By widening your audience, you increase the pool of potential leads that will funnel to your sales and marketing teams.
Sponsored content allows you to reach new audiences and gain valuable trust from prospective customers. As you start looking for organizations to partner with, be sure to look for brands that align with your values and feel like a natural fit.
To learn more about Healthcare Scene’s sponsored content opportunities, click here.