5 tips that will help you create great sponsored content

By: David Arkin
August 21, 2022
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Sponsored content is a great way to tell a business’s unique story. Here are the things you need to know today about how to create high-quality content.

Are you in the sponsored-content game? You may be reading stories and seeing research that says now is the time. Here are 5 things I’ve learned that may be helpful as you navigate the sponsored content waters.

1. Your pitch is your storytelling ability.

As we talked with advertisers before launching Check Out DFW, over and over we heard how much they needed content, but didn’t know where to start. Beyond traditional ads, they wanted to get their name out to a wider audience through stories, videos and social posts. It’s not a huge reach for a media company to be able to position yourself as their storytelling solution based on what you do every day. Your work is your proof.

2. Find the angle.

A journalist’s job is to find an angle that tells the story and a quick discovery call with an advertiser can unleash some terrific stories. Example: A Realtor, without knowing she had a great story, shared she had sold a home off market in a popular Dallas suburb, we worked that angle to get into the trend of off-market sales and the story was one of Check Out DFW’s top stories in June. Bringing this journalistic skillset to the table creates immediate value to the advertiser, especially when that story is gobbled up by your audience.

3. It’s not an ad, it’s a great story.

Everything can’t be about brand awareness, we know we have to get people to a brand’s products or deliver a lead, but to do that effectively, we have to center the content on what’s helpful for the reader. They may be interested in your tutoring services, but the way we get them there is learning about a family whose kid was able to overcome a learning obstacle or tips for parents on how to avoid a summer learning slump, opposed to making our story about how great your tutoring services are.

4. Find the people.

People like to read about people and when sponsored content can focus on why the family chose the house (opposed to making it about the listing) or why volunteering is so important to a retiree (opposed to just promoting an upcoming event they are volunteering at), readers are much more inclined to engage.

5. Get it distributed.

Getting the brand’s story in front of the right audience takes some work. Your organic channels are great but targeting the content in paid programs is important (social, programatic). You also have to hustle though. Get it distributed in community and niche Facebook Groups and newsletters that have audience the brand is trying to reach. If it’s high quality, no one is going to blink an eye that it’s sponsored content.

We’re all learning in this space, please share your experiences in the comments.

David Arkin is owner of David Arkin Consulting. Talk to him about helping your media company create sponsored content. Contact him at David@davidarkinconsulting.com

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