Try adding this lucky charm to your paid media strategy and make every day St. Patrick's Day
If you're feeling unlucky in the earned media department, you're not alone. With six journalists to every PR pro, there's a lot of competition out there. So why leave it up to chance (or media influencers) to decide where your story appears?
One viable way for brands and PR pros to get in front of the audiences you want to reach most is through sponsored placement.
Also known as sponsored content or native advertising, sponsored placement is editorial content written and paid for by a third party that appears as a native article in a publication. Chances are you've come across it yourself on sites like Buzzfeed, HuffPost, even the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
If you, like many comms professionals, are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the ROI of your efforts and amplify your story, consider sponsored content, and the many ways it can help you boost your brand – and drive traffic that can impact the bottom line.
5 Benefits of Sponsored Content for PR
- Time savings. Pitching your story to journalists can be time-consuming, and even the most compelling press releases do not always result in the level of coverage you want. The majority of journalists get over 50 pitches per week and working against tight deadlines to file multiple stories per week; they can't possibly cover every story that comes their way. While there's still value in pitching, for those situations that are out of your control – lack of time, overscheduled journalists, unforeseen events or news stories taking priority, etc. – sponsored placement can save PR pros time waiting to see if a story gets coverage – and enable them to take fate into their own hands.
- Brand credibility by association. Consumers gravitate toward the online publications they trust most, and if your brand’s name and content appears on those publications, you can gain credibility in the eyes of those consumers by association.
- More eye$ on your brand. Even if your story receives substantial media pickup, choosing to place your content in a native ad will only help broaden that reach and amplify your story. On the other hand, if you are struggling to obtain coverage for your story, native advertising can give your story the boost it needs to gain more impressions and engagement – at a reasonable price.
- A lasting impression. There’s a famous “Rule of 7” in marketing, which follows the theory that a prospect needs to “hear” a message at least seven times before taking action. This is why marketers often distribute their messages across multiple channels – to make sure their messages resonate with consumers. PR pros can – and often do – use the same tactic, combining paid, owned and earned media – to expand the reach of their message. Sponsored placement is just one more, powerful piece of that paid media puzzle, helping to drive your message home for the audiences you want to reach.
- Control over the narrative. While earned media coverage is typically the top goal of PR professionals, its biggest downside is the lack of control over your brand's narrative. Journalists write with their audience in mind—not yours—so they may overlook or not prioritize the key messaging you want to emphasize. When you publish your story as sponsored content, you have complete control over the messaging so the odds of getting your story right are forever in your favor.