With as many as 2.73 million blog posts being written and published on a daily basis, many industries are asking for marketers to get their content available for viewers. Rising on to the scene is Sponsored Content which shares many similarities with Native advertising. However, it is also able to distinguish itself from native advertising by fulfilling other agendas as deemed necessary by the publisher.

What is Sponsored Content?

A Sponsored content or post is, as the name suggests, provided by a sponsor under whose request you’re able to post the content on your website along with quantifiable benefits. In simple terms, a sponsored post or content is when a publisher receives payment to publish an article provided by the sponsor, writer, or blogger, and it may contain a contextual link.

Most sponsored content is directly related to a website’s or blogger’s areas of interest or industry. Hence many sponsored content posts have the ability to show up as part of the content itself without arousing much alarm to the reader.

General Characteristics

Since sponsored content is a special type of content, many have researched to have found some basic characteristics common to most of them, such as:

  • Use of language with a large and visible message that conveys the viewer that it is a sponsored content.
  • Provided by more than 5 contributors/writers/columnists.
  • Used for websites that already display advertising such as banner ads.
  • Pricing schemes for content may vary due to factors such as word count, time on page, links, monthly website traffic, page ranks, and others.

Similarities and Differences with Native Advertising

It is essential to know that both sponsored content and native advertising are paid forms of content. Hence both are subsets of online content marketing, and have the ability to blend in with the look and feel of the residing website and should always adhere to the editorial ethical standards at all times.

On the other hand, the difference amongst the two paid content is basically the nature of their purists. While native advertising is promotional in nature to convince the audience with a call-to-action embedded in it, Sponsored content is not brand biased and its ultimate goal is to inform the audience.

Therefore sponsored content is more genuine in being a part of the content rather than native advertising which by its name is a promotional scheme to steal the audience to the company’s page which it advertises.

Benefits

When asked to post sponsored content, publishers receive monetary benefits along with some fringe benefits such as:

  • Increased viewership and chance to increase traffic for your website.
  • An additional article that does well from an SEO perspective though the quality may vary tremendously.
  • Feed subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers help propagate the article.
  • An article that can have your own distinct voice, unless the interested party wants to control the content and title of the article using SEO tactics.