What Is a Sponsored Post?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Brands venturing into the world of digital marketing may find themselves confused when approaching the subject of sponsored posts. Though the name itself sounds simple enough, the term “sponsored posts” is used in various ways by marketing teams. Sponsored posts act as an umbrella term for different types of advertisements and sponsorships used within social media marketing.

Understanding how your brand’s digital marketing posts perform is a crucial part of the discussion surrounding sponsored posts. Learning the different definitions associated with sponsored posts and mastering brand partnerships with sponsored material can help your brand grow by reaching your target audience. 

This article will cover everything you should know about sponsored posts to create an effective digital marketing campaign reliant on organic reach.

What Are the Different Types of Sponsored Posts?

The term “sponsored post” is often used synonymously in the marketing world to describe boosted posts, paid ads, or paid sponsorships and partnerships. A boosted post is essentially a paid ad, such as those you would see on a platform’s newsfeed. While these two terms are similar, many marketers still refer to them as sponsored posts.

An example of a boosted post can be found on platforms like a Facebook timeline. Brands commonly use Facebook Ads Manager to monitor how their boosted posts are performing and if their campaign can reach people within the brand’s target demographic.

However, sponsored posts can also refer to paid sponsorships or paid partnerships between a brand and an influencer or other popular figure. In this sense, sponsored posts are essentially advertisements of a brand’s products or services where a public figure is given a specific amount of money to market a brand to their audience.

For example, audiences of brands that utilize content marketing may come across paid promotional posts on their feed in the form of Instagram ads. Additionally, Instagram posts made by influencers featuring a brand’s products or services would be considered sponsored posts.

Paid Partnerships Between Brands and Influencers

A sponsored post on Instagram or other social media site from an influencer or public figure is likely the result of a paid sponsorship, or paid partnership, between the influencer and the brand that they are promoting. Brands interested in influencer marketing should focus on partnering with an influencer with a similar target audience. Doing so makes it easier to find people who are interested in your products and services and are more inclined to learn about your brand.

On Instagram, a paid partnership post will often state who the influencer is partnering with, making it easier for marketing teams to improve brand awareness. It’s important to remember that there are guidelines surrounding sponsored post disclosure, meaning you and your influencer partner need to make it clear that the post is an advertisement.

Paid sponsorship posts are valuable to marketing teams because they provide brands with insights into how their content is performing. Additionally, paid sponsorships in which influencers are given the freedom to be creative in what they post for a brand they are passionate about makes the content feel more personable than most paid advertisements.

Why Are Sponsored Posts Helpful for Brands?

There are numerous benefits to sponsored posts for brands looking to improve their digital marketing strategies. This is especially true for brands that partner with influencers that already post about topics and products similar to the brand. For example, a beauty brand may partner with a micro-influencer that regularly discusses makeup and other beauty products.

Among the primary reasons behind why sponsored posts are helpful for brands is the amount of visibility and brand awareness these posts provide. Though your brand likely knows its target audience, reaching this audience on a broader scale is challenging, especially for brands just starting out. 

Brands should seek out influencers that show interest in their social media pages and the products or services they are offering. Influencer marketing with sponsored posts can allow brands to reach more people and audiences that they might not have before, making it a strong marketing strategy for brands within a specific niche.

After determining which type of influencer best fits your brand, you can begin reaching out to influencers to strike up a partnership. It is important to find an influencer that is truly passionate about your products or services. One reason why influencer marketing is so effective is the relationship between influencers and their audience. Audiences feel personally connected to their favorite influencers and expect a certain level of authenticity from them. If an influencer is not genuinely passionate about your brand, chances are their audience will be able to tell!

What a Sponsored Post Looks Like

Successfully promoting sponsored content requires marketing teams to fully understand what sponsored posts look like. A compelling example of sponsored posts can be found in the partnership between Tums and Hot Ones, an antacid tablet brand and a popular YouTube series. This sponsorship is effective for various reasons, most notably because of how both the brand and the primary content suit one another.

The Hot Ones YouTube series consists of celebrity guests eating hot wings while being interviewed. Because of the nature of the series, Hot Ones partnered with Tums, who sponsored the show for its ninth season. 

Though the two do not promote the same product, their purposes are aligned with one another, making it a cheeky and effective brand partnership and a great example of sponsored posts and content. “Tums … will be integrated into the ninth season of Hot Ones in myriad ways, including custom pre-roll ads, social media content, and experiential activations,” shared Tubefilter (linked above).

The Hot Ones and Tums example is essentially what your brand should be looking for, though obviously with an influencer suited to your products and services. You want to find an influencer or public figure that is not only passionate about your products or services but whose audience could directly benefit from your brand.

Final Words

Navigating the variations of sponsored posts can be challenging even for the most experienced digital marketing teams. It’s important to gain an understanding of the different types of sponsored posts to determine what is best suited for your brand. For brands seeking influencers to partner with, looking at paid partnerships on social media can help you determine the direction your marketing campaigns should take.

If your marketing team is looking to improve your content marketing strategy with the help of experts, the professionals at Markerly can help. Markerly is dedicated to helping brands create strong bonds with their audiences through influencer marketing and organic content that ranks. Contact the team at Markerly to get started with your next digital campaign!

Want more content like this?

Influencers, brands and marketing are our passions, and sharing our perspective is our way of starting a conversation! We'd love to have you follow us, and more importantly, engage with us. Sign up to be the first to hear what's making an impression on us!