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The Reign of Sponsored Content

by | Updated on: Feb 15, 2021 | Digital Marketing 101 | 2 comments

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Native advertising vs sponsored content

Do you know that around 3 million blog posts are put up online every single day? As an online marketer or content writer, can you calculate the competition you find yourself in? An expert in the field of digital marketing joked that as a writer or internet marketer who publishes a blog post online, there are as many chances of you winning the Pulitzer than a sizeable chunk of online readers coming across your content piece! The conclusion is very much written on the wall: the internet is saturated with blog posts and articles, many times more than what is read or even seen. How do you then, as a writer or marketer, get your blog post to the computer or mobile screens of readers?

Sponsored Content: The Way Out

The traditional forms of content publishing and promoting, like the social media channels or even the directories, are not being able to increase content visibility for new blogs or article pieces. The way out is in the form of sponsored content. What is sponsored content? It is very similar to the trend of publishing advertorials in the newspapers. Articles or content written by an online writer or marketer is published in blogs or article forums that already have a designated number of online readers.

Of course, there is a fee attached to the publishing clause. The article or blog post will have proper credit to the source and can even have backlinks to draw SEO juice to the parent website. In this manner, the content will have the visibility that the platform enjoys and will be able to reach out to a whole new section of readers.

The Hitch in the Deal

It looks like a really good deal for the blog writer or the internet marketer who gets a whopping number of online readers reading or checking out their content. But a deal is never one-sided, is it? What about the popular, visitor-rich platform where the content piece is published? Do they engage in the publishing of sponsored content only because they are paid handsomely? There are allegations from regular readers of such platforms that sponsored content often do not measure up to the content value of the platform.

This results in many dedicated readers leaving the arena and moving on to greener pastures. This adversely affects the readership of the platform and in the process, cuts down the number of viewers for the sponsored content as well. That is why experts suggest that every online platform that engages in sponsored content should be very careful about the editorial value of such content and brook no compromises on this issue. Famous examples of online platforms that support sponsored content include big brands like Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Lesson: If these big names are into sponsored content and still maintain their editorial worth, there is surely a way to do this right!

Rise, and Rise, of Sponsored Content

To push our case forward, let us look at some statistics. By 2013 end, 62% of the total online publishing platforms had allowed sponsored content in their channels. This survey was done by Hexagram and Spada. They had also predicted, and rightly so, that another 16% of the platforms will add to the previous 62% by the end of 2014. In another survey conducted independently by eMarketer, among the total platforms publishing content online, only 10% decided to block out online sponsored content. Both the surveys are clear indicators that something is brewing up into a tempest!

Pricing Structure of Sponsored Content

The pricing model of sponsored content is a very complicated model, primarily because there are so many factors that go into deciding the price tag. Other than the popularity and worth of the online platform that the content will be published in, there are several other factors which determine the price tag. Here are some of them: word count of the sponsored article, nature and number of web links attached in the content, the PageRank of the platform, the domain authority of the platform, add-ons like social media or email marketing promotions, etc.

Tools and Networks for Sponsored Content

As the use of sponsored content is a win-win situation for both parties in the deal, there are many tools and networks for writers or online marketers to make use of sponsored content. Some examples are Nudge, HubSpot, BlogHer, GroupHigh, Adproval, Markerly, The Syndicate, etc.

Have you used sponsored content for your website? Chime in with your experience and advice!

Author:- Debajyoti Banerjee is the Founder, Director & CEO of Seven Boats - A leading digital marketing agency & digital marketing training institute in India since 2011. He is a TEDx Speaker, Google & LinkedIn Certified Digital Marketer & Trainer, Brand Strategist, Consultant & Entrepreneur. B. Tech in computer engineering & post graduate diploma in Marketing, Debajyoti has 18+ years of domain experience and successful track records in digital marketing services & digital marketing training with 500+ clients & 100K+ students in 165+ countries. He has been invited & felicitated by 25+ Top B Schools & universities including London Business School, AICTE ATAL FDP, UGC-HRDC, IIM Shillong, IIM ROHTAK, IIT KGP, IIT Guwahati, Calcutta University, Ranchi University, St. Xavier’s, Brainware, Techno India, JIS Group, Jaypee Group, Shikshayatan Foundation, IIEST Shibpur, Bhavan’s, ICFAI Business School, GITAM Deemed University, Swami Vivekananda Group of Institutions & many more. He has been awarded with more than 20 national awards and he has received notable media coverage. Learn more



  1. Irina Johnson

    These are the days of sponsored content. It is back with a bang


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