Category: Reader Engagement

Sponsored Content as a Website Monetization Strategy

We all know that sponsored content is an effective website monetization strategy. Instead of marketers throwing up unnatural and obstructive advertisements that either re-direct readers or interrupt their experience on your site, sponsored content can create an environment of trust. 

Creating this environment of trust is key, and in the age of ad blockers, viewability and attribution are the largest concern for professionals in digital advertising. When asked why users install ad blockers their top reason was that ads are annoying and intrusive. 


This is forcing marketers to become creative in how they increase ad viewability for their for their readers. This is where sponsored content comes into play. Sponsored content allows you to advertise to your users without taking them away from your website while delivering information that they are actively seeking out.

The great thing is that sponsored content follows a specific format and can be easily modified for a variety of platforms and messages. Some of our favorite and most creative types of sponsored content includes,


Buzzfeed Promoted ArticlesSponsoredContentWebsiteMonetizationStrategy.png
This type of article is great because it adheres to the Buzzfeed format but is branded by Wendy’s. Bonus points for Wendy’s for using funny tweets to crowd source their content. We can also see in the right hand column that they have a whole slew of articles that aren’t burger related, and adhere to their standard formats, like this quiz, one of Buzzfeed’s most viral article types.  


Sponsored Recipes Screen_Shot_2016-10-18_at_5.18.05_PM-1-460880-edited.png
The best thing about sponsored recipes is their versatility. We like how the recipe we linked to is sponsored by The National Dairy Council, not a specific product. Plus, the recipe is for steak, definitely not something you would think they would be sponsoring. This is a great example since you would have to take a hard look to even realize that something is being promoted. This unique sponsorship shows just how creative you can be.


Spotify Sponsored PlaylistsScreen_Shot_2016-10-18_at_5.19.02_PM.png

Spotify knows what they’re doing when it comes to sponsored content. Through the BMW brand campaign they leveraged what these two brands do best and when combined created a great new feature. They ran a “Great American Road Trips playlist generator” with just a few quick steps users were able to create their ideal road trip playlist with the use of this tool.


Sponsored Pollswebsite_monetization_strategy_sponsored_polls-610127-edited.png

The sponsored poll is a personal favorite of ours. Not only does this type of sponsored content get your brand in front more eyeballs but it engages the person behind those eyeballs. While this poll is sponsored by Pepsi, we can see that they are asking a questions that more than just Pepsi fans would be interested in weighing in on. 




As you can see sponsored content is an effective strategy for monetizing your website that doesn’t alienate your audience like large intrusive ads do. By providing users with an experience, product, or information that is tied to a brand you are able to make both sides of the table happy.


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Maranda Jones

Marketing Director at SquareOffs #OnwardandUpward

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