With the amount of content online these days,  people are craving authenticity, and this need for authenticity has led to a rise in branded content from advertisers. Branded content is defined as editorial or entertainment content that also contains brand-specific messaging. Branded content outperforms pre-roll advertising in various categories, including brand recall and lift. Sponsored content is the most authentic of the branded content options, making it a top choice for marketers.


Sponsored content refers to content that the brand pays for but doesn’t create or host. Influencers, publishers, and other brands create content for the company and then host it on their websites or social media channels.

If you want to get in on this trend, you need to find a company or influencer that aligns with your brand. You can hire the company or influencer to create a photo, video, podcast, social media post, or article. The material will provide value to your customer base, and the brand mentions will be kept to a minimum.

Unlike traditional advertisements that stand out distinctly, sponsored content is designed to blend in, providing a more organic and less disruptive experience for the audience. This type of content can take various forms, including articles, videos, social media posts, and even entire websites, with the primary goal of engaging users while promoting a specific product, service, or brand. Sponsored content allows advertisers to tap into the credibility and trust associated with the influencer or company, while also offering consumers valuable and relevant information when executed ethically and transparently.

However, the fine line between informational content and promotional material in sponsored content has led to ongoing discussions about transparency and disclosure. Effective sponsored content should clearly indicate its commercial nature, ensuring that audiences are aware that they are engaging with content that is financially supported by an advertiser. Balancing the interests of advertisers, content creators, and audiences is a critical aspect of successful sponsored content campaigns. When executed thoughtfully, sponsored content can serve as a win-win situation, delivering value to consumers through informative and engaging material, while also enabling brands to expand their reach and connect with potential customers in an authentic and less intrusive manner.


At first glance, native ads look just like sponsored content. Native ads are designed to fit in with the host website. However, the brand creates the content for native ads. If people click on the ad, they are redirected to the brand’s website. Native ads come in various forms. You can create social and search native ads, as well as recommended content. “Recommended content” ads show up on websites next to other content. For example, if you go to a news site that has a list of articles, you will likely come across a native ad or two. You will initially think it’s part of the website, but when you look closer, you will see “Advertisement” on top of it. If you click on it, you will be redirected to another website. Essentially, native ads look more like advertisements than sponsored content does. Also, native ads are used to make a quick sale, while sponsored content is meant to build brand awareness and recall. Think of sponsored content as a long-term marketing strategy that can put your company on the map.


As with all marketing endeavors, you need the proper strategy to build a hit campaign. You are busy enough as it is, so the idea of adding one more thing to your plate might be overwhelming. Instead of staying up all night hammering out the details, schedule a chat with Ironmark. We can put our heads together and develop a killer strategy.

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Written by Michele Haltmeyer

Michele has a love of creating data-driven social media strategy by combining the sciences of sociology, psychology, and technology, as well as integrating data and research to provide provable results. She holds a M.S. in marketing and has 10 years of industry experience.

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