Sponsored content — editorial content purchased by a single advertiser — has the potential to give destinations and attractions exposure on websites with large preexisting audiences, drive organic traffic to advertisers’ websites and become valuable marketing assets. Here are four tips for creating effective sponsored content.
#1. Keep it short
The average human’s attention span is reported to be less than 10 seconds —highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitized lifestyle on the brain, according to a study by Microsoft. To accommodate easily distracted Internet surfers, articles should be concise and easy to read. Outline the goals for the article (for example, increase hotel stays, promote a certain season, bring attention to local outdoor recreation, dining, scenic beauty, etc.), and be specific with what you plan to include. The desire to pack in as much as possible into a sponsored article is natural (after all, it is a paid article) — but brevity often supports engagement.
#2. Provide links to more
Links to advertisers’ webpages are one of the most important features of sponsored articles. In addition to driving organic traffic, links lead readers to additional information that you didn’t have room to provide in the article. Cleary label the link text, and don’t provide too many links to the same page or content, which can hurt your Google page rankings (for example, linking to the advertiser’s homepage in every paragraph or including a dozen links to “book lodging”).
#3. Do your research
Make sure users interested in the article will find it by doing an analysis of search-engine-optimized terms related to your destination or attraction. At Miles, we use BrightEdge, an SEO and content-performance-marketing platform, and Google Adwords, to find highly searched keywords. Using Google Analytics to learn what topics perform well (for example, articles about off-the-beaten-path outdoor experiences or family-friendly activities) on the website where the article will live and implementing those trends also helps ensure that the article will receive the traffic you’re seeking.
#4. Make sure it fits in
While it’s important to provide a distinction between regular and sponsored content, sponsored articles should fit the voice, quality and tone of the rest of the content on the website. Make sure the article provides useful, entertaining information that serves the reader — and avoid sales-y verbage and overstatement of brand information. Our editorial team at Miles writes or carefully reviews all sponsored content submitted by advertisers to make sure the articles maintain the integrity of clients’ websites.
Read some sponsored content created by Miles: