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How Sponsoring Your Content Can Build Engagement and Boost Revenue

Sponsored content can open a lot of doors for your association, its revenue stash, and it facilitates relationships with companies. We’re breaking down sponsored content and giving you a few different directions to explore.

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Keeping your association’s revenue streams flowing is a tough task to tackle, and sometimes outlets that used to bring in a lot of profit run dry. How can you bounce back from a revenue dead end?

Let’s face it, revenue sources aren’t what they used to be. With advertising revenue seeing a plateau in the current and following years, associations that rely heavily on bringing in revenue through ads and promotion might be scrambling to come up with more profit. And depending on your association’s industry, you may be seeing declines in other areas of revenue as well. So, how can you come up with a new way to bring in profit for your association? Say hello to the concept of sponsored content.

If your association is already one with a strong content marketing strategy, implementing sponsored content into your schedule could be the solution to your non-dues revenue problems. So, where do you start?

Sponsored content can open a lot of doors for your association, its revenue stash, and its relationship with sponsoring companies. That’s why we’re breaking down sponsored content and giving you a few different directions to explore when creating content of your own. [H2] Sponsored content: What is it and how does it work

Sponsored content is extremely self explanatory. It’s content that is sponsored by a certain company/organization looking to promote its products or services to your audience. Sponsored content takes on the same form as your association’s other pieces of content. It should have the same style and feel that your members know and love, the only twist is it includes advertising for a company. Depending on what that company is looking for, this can be anything from a brief mention to a full product review.

Sponsored content is a win-win for both parties. For your association, you’re opening up a brand new revenue stream that can score you some serious profit. You’re also opening doors to create new, fruitful relationships with organizations that you trust and enjoy. For sponsors, they have access to a curated audience within their target market. They’re looking for a better return on investment for their promotional efforts, and they realize the opportunity that lies within advertising to your association’s members. With sponsored content, otherwise known as branded content, you have a new way to rake in revenue while keeping your members engaged. So, let’s go over some best practices you can use to make your branded content a hit with members and sponsors

Tip #1: Don’t overdo it

Your association’s members put their trust in you to deliver the latest in industry news and updates, along with valuable information they can use to propel their professional lives. Therefore, they expect your branded content to provide them with just as much value- and if it doesn’t, you could lose their respect and engagement. Pumping out a mass amount of sponsored content may be great for lining your association’s pockets, but you should always do so with caution. If you put too much focus on revenue, you could sacrifice the quality of your content.

Be sure to stagger your sponsored content out in between your other, organic content pieces. Too much sponsored content at once can seem like your association is selling out its integrity, and therefore lessen the value of your content altogether.

Tip #2: Choose who you work with wisely

So, you’ve decided to opt in on sponsored content, and you have a lot of brands willing to work with your association. Great! But how do you choose the ones that fit best with your association’s own brand?

When it comes to working with companies on content for members, it’s better to be picky. Letting just any brand come in and advertise to your members can again break the trust and respect members have for your association. If you work with brands that do not align with your association’s beliefs and missions, it could look hypocritical and overall a bit sloppy. Instead, be sure to screen any brands willing to work for your association in order to make sure they’re a good fit. You’ll want to work with brands that have similar goals to your association, align with your members’ interests, and whose products and services are a reasonable deal for those looking to become a consumer.

By screening the brands you work with, you save members the guesswork when they look into starting a relationship with your sponsors, ultimately increasing the trust they put in you.

Tips #3: Consider selling ad space on content

If you’re an association that wants to make more revenue, but isn’t necessarily comfortable with the idea of creating promotional content, you can consider selling ad space on your content instead. This is a great option for associations who want to keep their content strictly native, but still want to partner with companies and create a new revenue stream. With your association’s content being prime real estate for organizations to reach a new audience, selling ad space can be quite the selling point to sponsors and brands. You can do this a few ways. For example, you can allow companies to display a call-to-action on your content for audiences to click and get redirected to their offer. Or, you can include a paragraph within your content that also works as a call-to-action.

Additionally, any open space around your content can be used to put in advertisements and promotional images at your sponsor’s discretion. Sponsored content doesn’t have to be all about your sponsor- there are other routes that can be taken.

Tip #4: Create long-term relationships

When working with companies and organizations that you believe in, you should always strive for your interactions to push past a one-time experience.

Building a long-term relationship with brands can set your association up for more steady revenue opportunities in the future. If your sponsored content is a hit with members, chances are companies will want to work with your association again and again, and forming a partnership that works for both parties can decrease the worry of bringing in revenue in the future. Strive towards creating more partnerships out of one off sponsored content pieces. Whether that’s keeping close contact with companies, reporting back with positive engagement analytics, or reminding them of the success your content brought them. Let companies know that you’re willing to keep the good times rolling in the future.

Sponsored content broken down for any association to understand and utilize in the future. Consider giving our 4 tips a try, and you could see an entire new world of revenue open up sooner than you think.