Sponsored posts and articles isn’t anything new. Magazines and newspapers have had sponsored articles and printed for the audience to see. The internet-side of sponsored posts and articles just started. Recently, the number of sponsored articles are on the rise and blending well with other editorial items, that’s it hard to distinguish what’s sponsored or not. Sponsored content seems great thanks to the large amount of exposure and “quality” content your company may be providing to the readers. However, according to Contently, all signs lead to no, for now.According to their study, almost a whopping 54% of the people don’t trust sponsored content (including me). Why is that? From my perspective, sponsored content is just another way to get brands to reach its audience or a really long printed advertisement. Some do have some catchy headlines, but do offer content worth really diving into? Plus, people might feel that these sponsored pieces are more company propaganda than anything.
Looking at various websites such as Masable, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and a few others; the sponsored content is looking to be an editorial piece in every way presented for the certain site it appears on. For example, Buzzfeed presents readers a lot of lists for readers to view and enjoy. Sponsored posts try to fit the Buzzfeed’s style and match it by presenting readers a bunch of lists to look over and view as well. Mashable on the other hand, have their own editorial staff writing sponsored content and making them more “official” than sponsored.
Companies want to take every advantage and angle on reaching out to current and potential customers. Especially when banner ads are being less clicked on or blocked by ad blockers, it’s hard for the marketing team to get their product out in the digital world.
Again, according to the study by Contently, the number of people who don’t click on sponsored ads do not trust the content companies produce. A majority find sponsored posts untrustworthy. Seeing the results, it’s not surprising people think sponsored content is all about product pitching and advertisement covered in just fancy words.
Some sites have had more success than most – sites like Mashable and Buzzfeed. But the reason is, the content presented seems more part of the integral site itself and the content given. There are articles that appear to “blend” in well with the other articles. Also, those articles don’t talk about their product – except for the sponsored part and maybe a sentence or two – as much in the article and genuinely try to give readers some great content.
How can things seem less “sponsored” and still bring readers to a brand’s page is still a mystery. Right now, there is no clear view on how sponsored content works or even helps a company advertise their brand. Even with a few success stories from a couple of sites, there are many that still go unnoticed or completely ignored. It’s still an open problem with a solution that’s waiting to be found. Or maybe, there is no solution and sponsored content is not the answer. All it truly means is, time will surely tell if it’s worth it or not.
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