The Importance of Sponsored Content

A recent article on CMO.com discussed three ways to fix your B2B content marketing strategy.  Citing a Gartner study, the article states that top priorities of marketing leaders is to engage customers with online activity and drive them as quickly as possible to some sort of sales interaction.  We see this day in and day out - clients want to do some sort of sponsored content and get readers to fill out a form or request a demo.  This provides their sales teams with a flow of leads of people/companies who are actively in the market for a product similar to one they offer or, at the very least, are assumedly doing research.  The Gartner study also found that a typical buying group is comprised of 6-10 individuals.  All of these people have some sort of interest in finding a solution to their problem, which may be solved by this product they are reading about in an sponsored article, white paper or some other form of content.  

The key to effective sponsored content, as detailed in the article, is to focus the content on the customer and help buyers (all stakeholders) through the purchase process.  Gartner summarizes this strategy as "buyer enablement" and defines it as "prescriptive advice and practical support that enables customers to buy the same way companies enable sellers to sell."  I would add one further layer to the success of content in saying that it has to be distributed somewhere other than your company's website, ideally a reputable publication within your industry.  This is the part where "sponsored" comes in to play.  Many companies have blogs and dedicated emails that are circulated and shared amongst their current customers and known prospects, but what about the buyers you don't know?  How are you getting the information of front of them?  The adage from the baseball movie Field of Dreams of build it and they will come does not translate to content.  Write it and they will read isn't it.  You could author the greatest, most informative article or white paper that has ever been but if you aren't distributing it beyond your known circle, how is it going to help win new customers and bring new dollars in the door?

I should also mention that as an added benefit, selecting a publication with strong SEO and working with them on a sponsored content campaign will, in turn, improve your company's SEO and raise your site's placement on search result pages driving more organic traffic to your site.  Hopefully to request that product demo!

HW Content Solutions can help you maximize your Sponsored Content strategy.  Click here to learn more.