On Brand: A Case for Investing in Sponsored Content

On Brand: A Case for Investing in Sponsored Content


In an era when media consumption is at an all-time high and attention spans are historically low, it’s harder than ever for brands to reach and engage their target audience.

This increasingly fragmented landscape is what’s helping drive the market for sponsored content — a form of contextual or native advertising that raises consumer awareness through seamlessly integrated storytelling.

Despite being all about camouflage, sponsored content is making a splash in the digital age. And it’s easy to see why.

A 2017 Adweek article revealed that 70% of consumers would prefer learning about a product through content versus traditional advertising, while a 2016 Nielsen study showed consumers spend roughly the same amount of time with a branded story as an editorial one.

TAKING A SHOT

It’s for these reasons that we’ve made it our mission at The Bullet to key into digital trends that are making waves in the marketing world. Our daily e-blast of hard news and trending trivia reaches more than 50,000, predominantly female devotees each weekday, while our weekend shots of lifestyle stories and longer-form analysis reach a nationwide audience of close to 40,000.

But if you thought we were just a smart and pithy read for the digitally-inclined, think again. We’ve also proven to be an effective vehicle for brands to reach their audience through high-quality sponsored posts.

CONTENT IN CONTEXT

One recent example of our successful foray into contextual advertising was our 2018 collaboration with Cadillac Fairview retail properties. The campaign, which ran for four weeks in the lead-up to Christmas, featured a series of guides that offered gifting ideas that would appeal to a broad range of recipients, from beauty lovers to homebodies to foodies. In addition, the campaign included tips that cleverly highlighted the unique advantages of holiday shopping at Cadillac Fairview retail properties, including coat and parcel checks to streamline the shopping experience and safewalk assistance for late-night peace of mind.

Each tip was seamlessly incorporated into our weekday newsletter and written in our witty signature style.

And the numbers don’t lie. The campaign achieved 1.2 million brand impressions and an average clickthrough rate (CTR) of 2.6% over the course of its limited-engagement run.

TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Part of our success is a result of working with partners who understand the value of integrated content. We’ve built strong relationships directly with brands, as well as through their agency partners to develop sponsored content programs. PR agencies have been especially astute and keen to work with us. They understand the benefits of controlling the message and feeding it to an already engaged audience.

Rachael Montgomery, an account manager at North Strategic, worked closely with The Bullet team to develop the Cadillac Fairview campaign. She had this to say:

“Collaborating with The Bullet allowed us to create authentic, timely, branded content that helped to amplify Cadillac Fairview’s holiday initiatives and services on a national level. Leveraging The Bullet’s existing network, we were able to successfully reach our target audience with content that was relevant to them, effectively driving increased awareness and foot traffic to Cadillac Fairview properties across Canada, leading into the busy holiday season.”

The secret sauce of sponsored content is its precise blend of tailored subject matter and seamless delivery. Rather than clunky and irrelevant ads plunked obtrusively into your newsfeed, quality sponsored content blends cohesively with its surroundings in both substance and style.

It’s an authentic way for brands to engage their audience while delivering a seamless experience that is relevant to consumer needs.

Want to give us a shot? Drop me a line at jt@thebullet.ca