A sponsored post is one of the types of advertising that is out there to add to your arsenal of marketing tools. But in order to use the sponsored post effectively, you first have to be able to understand how it works. In this article, we are going to cover the sponsored post in great detail, to help you understand it and use it better, whether you are new to sponsored posts or not.
What is a Sponsored Post?
Before you can delve into any strategies or even understand the basics behind the promoted post, you first have to know what it is. A sponsored post is basically an informal version of a paid advertisement that is usually used on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. There are other types of sponsored posts out there, and we will definitely be looking at some of those in this article in order to cover the topic completely. But most of the time, when people refer to a sponsored post, they’re talking about the type that you would use on a social media platform like Facebook.
Sponsored Social Media Post vs. Sponsored Blog Post
Besides the social media sponsored post, there are a couple of other types of sponsored posts that you can make use of. The first is the paid posts that go on someone’s blog. This type of post definitely does have some advantages that the sponsored social media post may not have. Depending upon the blog that you choose, and the advertising package that you select with your social media platform, the audience size may be similar. But sponsored blog post could be a much more effective sales tool if the page view count is high enough.
What happens is that when you find a blog that you would like to advertise on; you contract with the blog owner and either have them write a post that slow sells your products or services, or you provide the post yourself and they publish it. Because the blog posting is a slow sell, it can be much more effective at getting someone to convert. Of course, this has to be done correctly, because if you have a post that is completely commercial, readers will be able to see right through it. The topic and content still has to be engaging, it has to be in line with the blog’s normal content, and the selling part has to be relatively subtle.
Sponsored Post vs. Paid Advertisement
There is not a big difference between a sponsored post and a paid advertisement. With social media post campaigns, that line is becoming more and more blurred; a promoted post or sponsored post is more informal than a paid advertisement. If you want an example, think of a post that you paid to distribute across Facebook, advertising some sort of contest that you are running, in comparison with the regular banner ad or sidebar ad that might be present on a social media page.
In the case of Facebook and Twitter, there really are no options for a conventional banner ad like you might see at the top of another website. All of the advertising that they accept is done through their normal social media postings. So, if you want to post an ad on Facebook, it is going to have to be in the format of a regular Facebook post. While you do have some options such as images, video, carousels and links, the bottom line is that there is very little difference between the paid advertisement and the sponsored post on most of the social media platforms that are out there. In essence, the sponsored post is the social media platforms paid advertisement.
Sponsored Post vs. Sponsored Reviews
There is another type of sponsored post that we’ll discuss here – the sponsored review. This is usually a black-hat technique, although not always, where the reviewer posts a report on the product or service in question, often purporting to be an unbiased review while in actuality making money from the affiliate sales or referrals to that product or service. While banner ads and other forms of native advertising make it clear to the reader that the website is making money from featuring that product, sponsored review websites do not.
Why Advertisers Seek Sponsored Posts
So, why do advertisers seek out sponsored posts anyway? This is a good question, because with all the forms of advertising that are out there, why choose this specific method? The answer is a relatively simple one. They choose this form of advertising because it is the best way to reach the audience that they want. Remember, Facebook has tons of data on the users that make up their social media platform. They know what their users are buying; they know what they are interested in and what they will respond best to. When you advertise with Facebook, you get access to some of that data.
This allows you to create unique and targeted advertising campaigns that are going to be more effective than anything else you could do because the people that are seeing them are tailor-made to respond to that advertisement – or to be more accurate, the advertisement is tailor-made for that person. When you do a pay per click sponsored post on Facebook, you know what you are getting. You also know that there is a good chance that your conversion rate will be higher than normal because you are targeting the right people in the first place which is often half the battle.
Why Publishers Offer Sponsored Posts
Why do publishers offer sponsored content in the first place? Obviously, the main reason this is done is because of the potential to make money. Facebook doesn’t make money by people using their platform as a social media site. Setting up a social media profile on Facebook for your small business doesn’t cost anything, and if all you ever see are the posts that your friends and family are making, Facebook is in making a dime. They have to find a way to leverage that platform so that they can have money coming in. The way that this is done is through sponsored posts. This works the same with just about every social media platform out there, although there may be platforms that are able to make money in other ways without offering sponsored posts.
When it comes to blog posts, again it is all about getting paid advertising coming in. A blogger may spend a great deal of time building their audience and writing blog posts that appeal to them so that they come back and read again and again. But if no one is paying to read those posts, then the blogger isn’t making very much money. They may offer banner ads or use Google AdSense on their home page, or they may have affiliate programs running where they promote products, but a more direct way of getting money coming in is by offering companies the chance to advertise to their wide audience through a sponsored blog post.
Advantages of a Sponsored Post
So, you may be wondering what the advantages are sponsored blog posts or sponsored social media post? The first advantage to be aware of is definitely control. You have control over who sees your sponsored posts much more than you do over who sees your regular organic posts. You are able to target specifically the audience that you think would be best suited to be interested in your products or services and convert.
You also have more engagement with social media post than you would in organic post. The reason for this is that sponsored posts are made to be visible. While in organic post may slip buy in somebody’s feed without them even noticing, the sponsored post is a much more effective tool for getting someone to notice you and engage with your post.
Disadvantages of a Sponsored Post
Of course, there are some disadvantages to sponsored posts as well. The first is that doing sponsored posts on Facebook or some other platforms does not give you a great deal of credibility with your audience. Because there are a lot of scam products and services advertised on Facebook, you can sometimes get lumped in with them and the reputation of your company goes down among those Facebook users.
Another disadvantage is that a lot of the social media platforms out there have low click through rates and conversion rates. While the low click through rates may not be a huge issue when it comes to pay per click advertising, you still need to get a significant response and you definitely want conversions out of it.
People are usually less responsive to when it comes to social media sponsored posts. The reason is simple. They are on a social media website in order to socialize. They are not usually on Facebook or other social media platforms to buy things. This makes the advertising aspect of social media somewhat intrusive – more so than it is on other websites.
Finally, you don’t always have a huge amount of options when it comes to the type of advertising that you run or the size of your advertisement. Even options like text size and color are very limited. You have a lot more freedom when it comes to advertising conventionally on banner ads and sidebar ads on websites because you design the ad yourself and choose from a fairly significant number of ad sizes.
Expert Advice: Using a Sponsored Post Correctly
Here are some expert tips to help you use a sponsored post correctly and get the results that you want.
- Make sure that you’re focusing on the audience that really matters. Don’t worry as much about making your post accessible to everyone, what you really want is to be extremely accessible to the target audience that you’re going for.
- Make sure that you aren’t just posting an ad. When use social media advertising, you have to provide value to your audience or else that is not going to be effective.
- Come up with different headline variations and find out what is going to be the most clickable. Do testing to determine this, and then use the most effective headline you can come up with.
- Be sure to use the built-in tools that Facebook or other social media platforms provide in order to determine when your audience is going to be the most active. Make sure that you are doing most of your advertising during those times.
- Although you really want to concentrate on your headline and make it irresistible, you don’t want to neglect your description either. Your description needs to be just as good as your headline.
- On most of the social media platforms, you can add an image to go along with your promoted post. Make sure that you choose the right image, that it draws in the audience and that you have configured your options correctly to display it. For example, with Facebook the featured image of an article will be pulled in automatically.
Sponsored Posts by Social Media Platform
Now, let’s look at the different sponsored posts options provided by the three main social media platforms out there: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook: sponsored post through Facebook are done through what is called the Facebook business manager, which helps you manage both your business Facebook page and all of the ad campaigns that you are running. You can have multiple ad accounts and users under a single business manager. Within the business manager, you have two different ways to manage your advertising. The first one is called the ads manager, while the second is called the power editor. From within these tools, you are able to set up new campaigns, target specific audiences and manage your entire advertising campaign through Facebook.
Twitter: Twitter’s version of the sponsored post is called promoted tweets. You set up your ad campaign through Twitter, and your tweets will go to various locations around the website to get in front of users that your ad might be relevant to. For example, advertising might be present at the top of a search page, it might appear in response to a trending hashtag or it may even appear on a Twitter users own timeline. Promoted tweets may even appear on a Twitter user’s profile if the ad is relevant to that user. Relevance goes the same for basically any type of advertising that is done through Twitter.
Instagram: the last type of advertising or promoted post that we will discuss is through Instagram. Instagram ads are remarkably easy to set up and they come with four different options. The first is the simple photo ad, as you might expect seeing as how photos are Instagram’s bread and butter. You can also choose to run video ads instead. Just like with photos, videos are an integral part of Instagram. Sometimes a video may be able to get your message out better than a photo can. Instagram also offers carousel ads as well as story ads that are similar to the way that Snapchat works.
It is actually really easy to set up an Instagram advertising campaign. The first thing that you do is create a business page profile with Instagram. You’ll use the same method of setting up and managing your ads with Instagram as you do with Facebook because they are owned by the same people. That means using the ad manager or power editor to set up your Instagram ad. Last, you’ll set your budget.
A sponsored post is a paid advertisement that is generally ran on a social media website like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The reason that it is called a sponsored post and not an advertisement is simply due to the fact that the format is an actual post or tweet – whatever the native form of advertising is for that particular social network.
Some other forms of sponsored posts include the sponsored blog post, where someone writes an article promoting your company on their blog, as well as the sponsored review, where someone posts a review of your products or services in return for compensation.
Advertisers find sponsored post to be very useful because they are able to target audiences better and reach a significant number of users. But sponsored posts do have some disadvantages as well. You will have to weigh the pros and cons and decide if sponsored posts are for you. The main platforms to use for sponsored posts are the three biggest social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.