In 1996, Bill Gates declared that “content is king.”
It’s a statement that remains true today, even if the marketing world can’t quite agree about what the queen might be. Is it distribution? Conversion? Engagement? Activation?
When it comes to creating awareness and starting conversations, content is what continues to matter.
Great content is the fuel for all our campaigns, and it’s particularly important for sponsored posts. Though each blogger or influential social media users has a unique way of approaching a sponsored post assignment, there are a few common successful themes.
These are four traits of sensational brand “influencers”:
1. They get creative.
Brand managers, “influencers” and audiences want authenticity in a sponsored post campaign, which is why core messaging is so often used as a jumping-off point for a personal storyline.
Savvy bloggers and social media rockstars raise the bar for one-of-a-kind content that resonates with their audiences. They do this by featuring humor, including commentary on current events or sharing relatable anecdotes from their lives.
2. They share their expertise.
A popular food blogger might choose to share a custom-created recipe in a sponsored post, a fashionista might style an outfit, and a craft blogger might post a step-by-step tutorial.
Influential online publishers have learned how to provide value to their audiences, and they know the best ways to deliver a brand’s message in their own signature styles.
3. They make it easy on the eyes.
Big, beautiful—and pinnable—images can be the key ingredient to a viral sponsored-post campaign.
Photos help tell a story. Posts with images are also read and shared more, and they tend to be better received.
4. They follow the rules.
Transparency is a must for branded content.
A compelling sponsored post that complies with FTC guidelines as well as Google’s Terms of Service is where paid strategy results in earned media. That’s why brand managers must prioritize working with bloggers and those with large social media followings who are skilled in the art of disclosure.
It’s also a good idea to educate “influencers” on current requirements and review all sponsored content to guarantee that guidelines are met.
By following these guidelines, your content will not only reign supreme within your marketing plan, it will attract your audience’s attention in a genuine way, creating brand awareness and loyalty.
Danielle Wiley is the CEO of Sway Group, a content marketing agency that matches brand managers with well-known social media users and bloggers.