We’re in a climate that is increasingly moving towards digital content marketing, which is a great way to showcase what it is that makes your company, product or service great, rather than slipping into sales mode and just ‘telling’ the reader.
You want to build trust and credibility, and to connect the reader to both your brand and the people behind it. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is to partner with an established platform where you can guarantee an established, engaged readership, and write sponsored pieces.
However, that’s not always as easy as it sounds – you have to strike the balance between promoting your business and being helpful or interesting to the reader.
We’ve pulled together a handy guide to writing an engaging and effective sponsored article.
1. Pinpoint your goal
Before you start writing, you need to know what you’ll be writing about!
Your goal can be anything from raising brand awareness to building credibility, finding a delegate for an event – or even something as specific as generating 500 page visits to a relevant page on your site.
Whatever your goal is, you need to shape your content around it to get the results you want.
2. Identify your audience
Who do you want to be reading this content? This will inform everything about your piece.
If you’re looking to create B2B content, then you don’t necessarily need to define industry terms, whereas you might in B2C content.
Similarly, deciding on an audience is the first – and most important – step to choosing where you want your content to live (see point #5).
3. Be authentic to your brand
Staying true to the voice of your brand is one of the most important things to consider when writing sponsored content.
You’re not trying to be sneaky and pretend you aren’t promoting your business – but your company is also more than just your services.
Write something that will genuinely be helpful to your readers but that amplifies your voice as an expert or a market leader.
If your business has “values”, stick to those – for instance, Bdaily aims to pursue growth, own our roles, be authentic and value connection.
These values can be a good reference point for your content – and showcasing them can help you to connect with like-minded people and businesses.
4. Keep it simple – and stay on topic
You shouldn’t be using too much jargon in your sponsored piece or getting bogged down in detail that isn’t relevant to your audience.
If you start getting too technical, the likelihood is that your readers will click off the page – they want a simple article that delivers on what is promised in the headline.
For each issue that your article is tackling, include one to two lines about how your business can help. This gives you an “elevator pitch” for each of the services that are relevant, and ensures that you don’t stray too far from your point.
5. Make it accessible
After writing your content marketing pieces you want to make sure they get read, so make sure you’re putting your work in the right places.
Firstly, make sure that the site your piece will be on is relevant – if you’re looking for a business community, then make sure a business audience will see it.
You also need to be sure that your piece is shareable. Some partners will share sponsored pieces for you to help your business get more exposure – for instance, Bdaily shares sponsored content to 13.6 thousand followers on Twitter, as well as on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Social media is a really useful tool for sharing your content marketing, so if your piece is only available to an irrelevant audience, you might not get the clicks that you need.
6. Craft your headline
Your headline, of course, sets out what the article is about. However, it’s more than just that.
The headline should be engaging – think about what your reader would want to click on.
It should also include keywords and be SEO-friendly. This makes it searchable, so if someone is looking for – for example – tips on writing content marketing, they’ll find exactly what they’re searching for. Trying to be too clever with a headline can be shooting yourself in the foot, as your piece becomes less searchable as the amount of irrelevant words in the headline increases.
7. Be consistent
This applies both through your article and beyond. Make sure the entire piece is in the same tone, and to the same standards as the rest of your company’s work.
You could also consider doing a series of sponsored pieces or a partnership – if a site has the audience you’re looking for, you can build up recognition and trust by consistently offering helpful and informative content.
Want more info about how we could help with content marketing on our site? Check out our options here.
This was posted in Bdaily’s Members’ News section
Bdaily Digital Marketing Team