Sponsored Content: Edge of integrity or the salvation of advertising?

sponsored content

Sponsored content is probably the hottest — and most controversial — marketing trend around.

Embedding advertising messages in the editorial portion of online properties is an act of desperation — Traditional advertising is in decline as technology allows people to avoid ads

The fact of the matter is that sponsored content works best when you don’t know it’s an ad. This raises so many questions about best practices, disclosure and regulations.

On our new Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I tear this issue apart from every angle:

  • Does sponsored content demonstrate that the advertising industry is in crisis?
  • Sponsored content — only effective if it’s sneaky?
  • Will the FTC regulate this trend?
  • Is a company blog sponsored content? Where do you draw the line?
  • Will sponsored content bolster confidence in a brand or jeopardize it?
  • Is this trend necessary to save traditional media? Ad agencies?
  • Radical honesty as a point of differentiation.
  • When do guest posts become sponsored content?
  • Could sponsored content actually be better than organic content?

This is a vital and fascinating topic and by this point you are probably ready to go. Well, here it is:

By the way, if you are enjoying our podcast, why not let others know by leaving a rating on the iTunes site. It’s so simple and much appreciated!

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  • I get this a lot on my games review site. If it is an article that is impartial I sometimes go with it. However, I never allow a company to pay for a review or pay to publish their own review (and the question has been asked).

    This is why I am poor and the site is struggling!

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  • As a blogger, I don’t mind sponsored content as long as it’s disclosed properly. The folks that scare me are the ‘intermediate’ sites that aren’t selling ‘sponsored content’, they’re walking a thin line by just pitching articles (that they paid for) that an agency is trying to get placed. If a company PAYS for an article to be written by and promoted by an agency, I don’t understand how that’s different from any other sponsored content. It needs disclosed. I’ve posted this question to Matt Cutts several times with no response.

  • geofflivingston

    I am looking forward to the FTC workshop on this tomorrow!

  • That will be a good one!

  • Agree Doug. And as I mention in the podcast, it is probably going to be regulated. But just like the 2011 “blogger disclosure” rule, it probably won’t have much teeth. I think it is an issue for all content creators to be concerned about. An honor to have you stop by,

  • You point to a whole host of issues in that one small comment my friend! The economics of content are broken.

  • geofflivingston

    Yup, I’m going to liveblog that bad boy!

  • As a newbie to “sponsored content” while listening to your informative, and playful conversation with Tom on “sponsored content” I am wondering…

    Are articles on YourStressMatters.com that are paid for, and used in payers’ newsletters/textbooks/websites considered “sponsored content?”

    Looking to be.enlightened, thank you!

  • Ethics and morals – the crutch of the poor man lol

  • I’m not sure I understand completely, If people are paying you to post content on their site, you should disclose that fact. Does that answer your question or do you need to give me more detail?

  • If you are paying “employees” to write content, that is fine and dandy. If you are being paid to publish an article that has not been written by you or people working for you – it is sponsored and should be flagged as such.

  • Disclosure is the key!

    May I assume this includes newsletters, and textbooks?

    I am delighted, and thank you Mark for continuing to share your expertise with me

  • I greatly appreciate, and thank you Andrzej for take the time to enlighten me with your delighful, and reassuring response

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