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Sponsored Posts: How to Expand Your Social Media Reach

Marketing Definitions

04 Jan 2023 • 7 min read •

Austin Shong

People hate being advertised to — 74% think there are too many ads on social media. Marketers must be more strategic and targeted with their advertising choices to avoid becoming “just another ad” that consumers scroll past.

Sponsored posts are one way to advertise on social media more organically. They allow brands to get the most out of their content without losing audience interest.

With sponsored posts, marketers can target specific audiences and tailor their content to fit their needs. This makes sponsored posts more effective than standard organic posts.

In this article, we’ll break down what sponsored posts are, which platforms offer sponsored posts, and how brands can start scheduling sponsored posts on Facebook and LinkedIn using Loomly.

What is a sponsored post?

A sponsored post is a type of paid advertising that brands use to promote their products or services on social media. Sponsored posts are designed to look like organic content, meaning they appear alongside regular user-generated posts in the user’s news feed on social platforms like Facebook.

However, sponsored posts need to blend in with other types of content so they don’t stand out as advertisements. Buying a sponsored post is also an excellent way to avoid ad blockers, which 40% of US internet users have installed.

Brands can use sponsored posts to target specific audiences based on interest, location, age, gender, and more. This helps brands tailor their messages to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in their product or service.

Sponsored content can include linkbacks and call to actions (CTAs) that direct users to the brand’s website. Brands can choose from existing, new, or lookalike audience segments when promoting sponsored posts to get maximum visibility with minimal effort.

Sponsored content must be clearly disclosed to the public. Any post sponsored by a brand or company must be labeled for the audience to understand the nature of the content they are viewing. In some areas, including the USUK, and Europe, this disclosure obligation is enforced by law.

Types of sponsored posts available

Sponsored posts are a type of display advertising that comes in various formats, depending on the platform. Here are some of the most popular types of sponsored posts.

Native advertising

Native advertising is an incredibly powerful marketing technique that has proven to stand out from traditional forms of online advertising. The ability to match the look and feel of organic posts while delivering a sponsored message ensures that readers remain engaged and don’t feel like they’re being “sold to.”

Example of native advertising

By combining professional-grade messaging with an entertaining twist, these sponsored posts leave a lasting impression on the target audience. Ultimately, native advertising offers seamless integration between brand messaging and content consumption habits — exactly what businesses need to stay competitive in today’s digital world.

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing uses sponsored posts that include special offers or discounts to incentivize people to take action and explore your product or service more.

Using a professional but entertaining tone in these posts increases brand recognition, which can result in lasting customer relationships down the line.

Influencer marketing

Influencers bring unparalleled reach, credibility, and relatability, helping businesses establish a signature style, engage potential customers, and build powerful brands. In fact, the industry is projected to grow to around $16.4 billion in 2022 and continue growing in the future.

The industry has been growing year on year and is projected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022.With the ability to tailor their posts to their audience, influencers offer unique insights into what resonates with consumers. As such, sponsored posts from influencers provide excellent results in terms of higher engagement and greater visibility.

Push marketing

Push marketing is an effective way to create brand awareness and draw attention to your products or services. With the help of this strategy, companies can ensure that their message reaches many consumers in a targeted manner.

The options for implementing push marketing are nearly limitless, from search engine ads to posting sponsored content on social media platforms.

With careful planning, businesses can use these opportunities to boost their visibility, increase their user base, and expand their market share.

Popularity of the term “sponsored post”

Originally coined in 2010, the term “sponsored post” referred to blog posts that involved a sponsorship or partnership. The method was initially adopted by social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to generate money.

Google has developed a similar model with organic and paid search. At the same time, platforms like TikTok have created influencer programs that promote sponsored posts among their user base.

4.59 billion people use social media in 2022, and this number is expected to rise to 5.85 by 2027

With over 4.59 billion social media users, sponsored content has become a genuine way to make a living. Popular content creators and influences are now turning to sponsored posts as a way of monetizing their online presence. Nowadays, most internet users are aware of sponsored posts, as they are typically disclosed as such.

Concepts related to sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are closely related to several other concepts in the digital marketing space. We’ve compiled a few of the most important terms you may hear alongside sponsored posts:

  • Display ads: Display ads are online advertisements that appear on websites and other digital mediums. They may include banners, pop-ups, or sponsored posts.
  • Organic reach: Organic reach refers to the number of viewers who have seen your sponsored post without additional promotion from paid boosts.
  • Paid reach: Paid reach refers to the number of viewers who have seen your sponsored post because of a sponsored post boost.
  • Impressions: Impressions refer to the number of times a sponsored post has been viewed, regardless of whether it was seen organically or with the help of a boost.
  • Engagement: Engagement refers to the number of people interacting with a sponsored post by liking, commenting on, or sharing it.
  • Targeting: Targeting refers to the practice of targeting sponsored posts to specific audiences based on age, location, gender, or interests.

Following industry blogs like the Loomly Blog or HubSpot Blog is a great way to stay up to date with the latest trends and strategies related to sponsored posts.

Now let’s look at how businesses can use sponsored posts on different platforms.

How to get started with sponsored posts on social media

Sponsored posts can be purchased on platforms including, but not limited to, the following.

Facebook

Leveraging the power of Facebook sponsored posts is a great way to get in front of your target market and generate more sales. Creating ads through Facebook really couldn’t be easier; with just one click, you can take an existing business post and quickly turn it into a sponsored post that takes on a new level of visibility.

Example of a sponsored post on Facebook

Of course, if you want to create something tailored to that all-important audience, you can customize your ad campaign by selecting a budget and targeting specific demographics and interests through Facebook Ads Manager.

Alternatively, it’s easy to save time by using Loomly to schedule your sponsored posts for Facebook at the same time you’re working on other content. By using Loomly’s Post Builder, you can create all your content at one time without switching between other social media platforms.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn sponsored posts are the perfect way to make sure your message is seen by the right people. With the ability to create sponsored content ads in the campaign manager and options such as image ads or video ads, there is ample flexibility at your disposal.

A sponsored post as it appears in feed on LinkedIn

Source: Napier

Thanks to an ever-growing user base of professionals, these native ads can drive strong engagement with potential customers and offer exposure for job postings. 89% of B2B marketers already use LinkedIn for lead generation.

Loomly makes scheduling sponsored posts on LinkedIn easier by letting you set up a campaign directly through its dashboard. Posts can be boosted straight from the Post Builder workflow, saving you time spent switching between platforms.

Instagram

Instagram offers multiple ways to advertise and promote your business, including in-feed, Reels, and Instagram Stories. Stories alone make up around one-quarter of Instagram’s revenue and are expected to bring in $15.95 billion in 2022.

Instagram sponsored content as it appears in feed.

Source: ClipChamp

Start by boosting an image from your page feed and turning it into a branded content ad. Or you could go one step further and use user-generated content from influencers or customers. However, check that the creators have given permission for their content to be used for advertising purposes before doing so.

Leverage the ads manager to create advertisements and pick the ultimate target demographic for your desired audience. Both new and existing posts are available to use, depending on what suits your needs.

TikTok

TikTok is quickly becoming the go-to platform for influencers looking to reach a broader and more engaged audience. With sponsored posts, businesses can capitalize on this opportunity and create stories that are both entertaining and engaging.

A TikTok sponsored post as it appears in feed.

Source: Business 2 Community

Challenges are a particularly popular way to engage with viewers, as they add an interactive component to TikTok’s immersive experience. For brands looking to have some fun, create challenges and post them to the Creator Marketplace. Challenge users’ creativity and inspire them to participate in something new and unique.

Twitter

Twitter is prominently a text-based micro-blogging website, but when it comes to advertising, businesses have more engaging options to reach their audience.

Promoted Ads are the perfect way to make sure your message goes to the right people — with text, images, and even videos — giving you total creative freedom. You can also benefit from optimization features, like boosting your post’s reach or targeting specific user profiles.

A twitter sponsored post as it appears in feed.

Source: Twitter for Business

Regardless of your approach, taking advantage of Twitter’s promotional capabilities is a great way to boost your reach and engage more with your target market. From tweets on user profiles to appearing in an audience’s feed or trending page, Twitter ads offer numerous possibilities for increasing meaningful engagement with your brand.

Quora

Quora offers extremely versatile options for its ads, as they can appear as promoted answers, text ads, image ads, and lead gen forms with numerous targeting options. Businesses of all sizes can be sure that their adverts will be seen by the right people, as contextual, audience, behavioral, and broad options are available.

Quora sponsored posts as they appear in feed

Source: Quora for Business

To add to its appeal, mobile users play an integral role in Quora’s traffic, with 75% of Quora’s audience coming from mobile devices.

Reddit

With sponsored posts on Reddit, brands can create engaging posts that appear to regular users like any other post in their subreddit. What makes these sponsored posts unique is that they have the potential to reach millions of viewers, as they appear in both home and news feeds. Brands can also pin their posts to the top of targeted subreddits.

Reddit sponsored posts as they appear in feed

Source: Reddit

Ads can be managed through Reddit Ads, a service that helps businesses create campaigns and send sponsored posts out.

Making the most of sponsored posts

Sponsored posts are a great way to get your message out there and gain leverage with a broader audience. However, they need to be well-crafted to be successful.

Here are some tips on creating the perfect post:

  • Make sure the post has content that fits the platform you’ll be advertising on. This means choosing visuals and wording that will resonate with those who use that platform.
  • Provide something of value in your post, such as a discount code or helpful information about the product or service you’re promoting.
  • Providing an easy call to action related to what you’re offering is an absolute must; after all, people will only take action if you give them clear instructions on how to do so.
  • Optimizing your post with the right keywords ensures that it will pop up in search results, increasing visibility and the potential for a higher return on investment.
  • Track the performance so you can make adjustments as needed.
  • Don’t forget to disclose that it’s a sponsored post — nothing will lose an audience’s trust quite as quickly as you not being upfront and honest.
  • To maximize convenience and efficiency, scheduling Facebook and LinkedIn sponsored posts with Loomly will help you reach more of your target demographic at just the right time.

Experiment with different types of sponsored posts. Incorporating influencer marketing into your campaigns can reach broader audiences and gain recognition for your brand.

Additional resources about sponsored posts

Conclusion

Sponsored posts provide an invaluable opportunity for businesses and brands to communicate their messages and tell their stories in ways that resonate with their target market.

You can easily start creating and scheduling sponsored posts for Facebook and LinkedIn by taking advantage of Loomly’s deep analytics and 15-day free trial — allowing you to see just how successful your campaigns can be. Try Loomly out today!

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