As brands attempt to create an online competitive advantage they are turning to some established advertising methods taken from the print-media world. In the online environment having your message go “viral” is considered an award-winning achievement of digital marketing. With fewer people clicking on banner ads brands are resurrecting some of the proven techniques used for years in print media. The “advertorial” (an advertisement in the form of a editorial) renamed as “sponsored content” for Internet marketing has become one of the fastest growing segments in online advertising expected to reach $1.9 billion this year.
In the newspaper and magazine business you still see this concept in regular use – because it works. You can spot these advertorials, which look just like regular columns, by the small heading at the top of the page that reads “Advertising.” However, in the web world these little warning signs do not exist – yet.
This advertorial concept is now being used effectively online by savvy advertising agencies to help their clients gain a competitive advantage. Marketers are buying space on strategic digital-publication’s websites and then “paying to place content on them”. This content, just like in the paper publishing business, is made to look like the normal content on the sites. However, with “sponsored content” the sponsoring brand has discretely woven into the fabric of the story their brand and its benefits. The key to this technique is subtlety. And the hope is that the article will be re-posted – endlessly.
Blatant self-promotion will only get you so far online because people will tune it out. So with “sponsored content” marketing the goal is to get you message read and then reposted. While being discrete in the content is the rule, the golden-rule of “content marketing” is to have a powerful engaging headline.
“In the world of “sponsored content marketing” the headline is almighty”
If the headline does not draw the target in with a powerful dose of self-interest and curiosity – the content will never be read, and if the content is not read you can forget about the article ever going viral.
John Manlove Marketing & Communications has been in the Houston advertising agency business for 50 years, we have extensive knowledge of direct response marketing for the online environment. We assist clients by helping them successfully market and sell their products and services. We are in the business of creating unforgettable brands. As a branding company we create successful marketing campaigns based on proven advertising principles that are driven by award-winning creative. For more information, contact our Houston Advertising Agency via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 281.487.6767, or visit www.JohnManlove.com.
John Manlove, CEO/President, John Manlove Marketing & Co