Authentic sponsored content piques user interest and yields high rewards
Monetization has to be multifaceted. Publishers must deliver a site experience that makes the user a top priority without sacrificing the ability to generate ad revenue. After all, readers are no longer going to put up with irritating ad experiences that slow down their consumption of content. And since publishers can't rely on a few viral moments to make ends meet, successful ad campaigns must feel genuine and produce consistent returns to be effective.
The need for smart, sticky monetization methods is nothing new, but publishers and marketers alike are starting to perfect the modern ad experience better than ever before. This success is due in part to the increased use of sponsored content.
Sponsored content is the creation of content for a brand by a publisher — whether it's an article, video, listicle, or any other dynamic media — that is paid for by the brand. But here's the key: Sponsored content, when done correctly, is a valuable content experience that retains the same voice and integrity of the brand that's sponsoring the placement. This seamless integration into the natural flow of content that the publisher normally creates makes it one of the most effective ways to build site revenue. In fact, 80% of readers believe authentic content is the main factor that will drive them to follow or engage with a brand.
While sponsored content has been around for a while, we've found a way to fine-tune this experience to deliver an even more mutually beneficial experience for publishers, brands, and readers alike. We call it the Boost Spot placement, and the growth has been explosive. Here's how it works.
What Is the Boost Spot?
RebelMouse's Boost Spot is where sponsored content is placed in the second position of a content feed on a home, section, and/or article page. And when a brand writes in collaboration with a publisher, the sponsored content usually reflects the same topics, tone, and relevancy as the rest of the publisher's own articles.
The Boost Spot placement works best when articles are set to be featured in a stream of content, sometimes called infinite scroll. The placement as the second piece of media that a viewer encounters is a smart and simple strategy for promoting content that returns a massive impact. For example, if you receive one million pageviews a month on the first article in the stream, you should be able to deliver a minimum of 700,000 pageviews to the Boost Spot during that same time period.
What Is the Boost Spot Good For?
Revenue From Native/Sponsored Content
Many media companies struggle to deliver the pageviews on sponsored content that they have promised to the sponsor, and sometimes have to resort to buying traffic from outlets like Facebook or Taboola to supplement the delivery. It's also common for media companies to sell and guarantee low pageviews, which leaves money on the table. But it is possible to sell massive organic reach to your sponsored content and grow revenue.
With the Boost Spot placement, you have the ability to build custom calls to action (CTAs) in a variety of ways that help build a brand's business. For example:
- You can build shopping/e-commerce CTAs that are built into the body of a post.
- Lead-generation forms can be placed anywhere in content to drive new customers.
- CTAs to visit a specific website or social page can be creatively placed to spur engagement.
- Autoplay videos can be set up in most video players on most devices, which drums up massive pageviews.
Promotion of Editorial Content
If you don't have anything to sell as sponsored content, you can still use the Boost Spot placement to promote big pieces of content from your own editorial team. For example, the Boost Spot can be used for event promotion, a spotlight article, the cover article of your magazine, or even a big news scoop. Anything you put in the Boost Spot will generate traffic quickly because 70% or more of your traffic will scroll right to it.
How Do You Set Up the Boost Spot?
The best configuration for the Boost Spot is to set all article pages to collapse using our "Keep Reading" feature on mobile. That way, if the user isn't too interested in the current article they are reading, it's easy for them to scroll quickly to the next piece of content. The Boost Spot is generally the content or CTA that displays right after the first article.
Getting started with the Boost Spot is simple. Here's how to set it up:
Design the Spot: Sponsored content with custom CTAs does require custom design work and implementations. But for editorial content, no design is needed.
An example of a piece of sponsored content in the Boost Spot placement. From RebelMouse client Upworthy.
Configure and Style the Spot: On RebelMouse, create a section called "Boost." Then, using our Layout & Design Tool, set up the Boost section to appear in the second spot of your site's scroll. Next, train your editorial team on how to use it.
Increase Traffic and Action With the Boost Spot
Thanks to the Boost Spot placement, a recent campaign between a handful of RebelMouse clients and a high-profile nonprofit organization received 35.9x more sponsored content views than a comparable campaign would have through a social giant like Facebook. The campaign received 15.9x better conversion to action on sponsored content as well. In conjunction with other separate campaigns, the Boost Spot has helped to bring in millions of additional impressions and improve the SEO rank on key phrases for sponsors.
The Boost Spot placement can round out any ad strategy or stand alone as a monetization method that doesn't just increase revenue, but also adds value to your own content and readership. For example, in the previously mentioned campaign, the Boost Spot drove massive traffic to content about meaningful topics like social justice, instead of clickbait material that often turns readers off.
Ready to Get Started?
If you aren't publishing on RebelMouse yet, request a proposal today to begin optimizing your approach to sponsored content with our Boost Spot.
Already a RebelMouse client? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to your account manager today to learn more about our Boost Spot.
We also love to make connections and introductions! If you're a publisher on RebelMouse that's interested in using our Boost Spot, but need help finding a sponsor to work with, or you're a brand looking to sponsor content across sites in the RebelMouse network, let us know and we'll help you find the perfect match.