Sponsored content article vs press release
Which is better for you, a sponsored content article vs press release? Learn the differences between these two marketing tools and decide which one to use. Knowing how to use both could help your long-term marketing goals.
First, we’ll go through the details of a sponsored content article vs press release. We will compare them and show the ways they could help your business. Then, we’ll explain how to make top-tier sponsored articles and press releases. For best results, you need both, along with other strategies available.
Traditional ads aren’t as effective nowadays because people have gotten used to them, and people dislike them since they take time away from what they are doing. A sponsored content article vs press release is a slow burn compared to the sudden flash of traditional ads. Yet, they help build a good relationship with your customer base for more leads and sales.
What is sponsored content?
Before we get to press releases, let’s talk about sponsored content. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), these are a type of native advertising.
It’s a paid ad that matches the website where it’s published. Other examples include in-feed ads and search ads, and sponsored content does away with the direct approach of trad ads.
It provides something that consumers like, such as entertainment or information. Instead of selling a product or service outright, it builds audience exposure that drives:
- Brand awareness
Sponsored posts come in numerous forms. They’re spread across several social media platforms and websites. Here are some of them:
- YouTube Videos
- Sponsored tweets
- Instagram posts
- Facebook stories
- Snapchat stories
- … and many others!
As people see more of them, they start to see a company in a good way. If they find the content fun or valuable, they may try goods and services from the brand.
What is a press release?
Big companies may tell the public about the latest stuff they’re doing. Maybe they merged with another business. Perhaps they’re reporting about a new product launch.
News releases usually give information that the public must know as soon as possible. Companies may want the media to tell about it, so they’ll tell it to other people.
A press release may share something about a brand so that reporters may report it in an article. It may somewhat serve as an online promotion of your business.
Still, it’s best to keep your marketing and PR campaigns separate. The media might not report too well about your brand mixing both in a public statement.
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What is a PR wire release?
Companies might not have the time to wait for the media to publish their content on a press release wire service. They went away from TV and radio and into the internet.
If people see your blogs on their websites, your brand may gain more respect, and it might stick in people’s minds as an industry expert.
What’s more, print publications talk about your company. As it’s featured more often, you might catch the attention of magazines or journals. In turn, they could report more about your brand.
You may check out the biggest ones like PR Newswire and Business Wire. Still, it has flaws. Later, we’ll discuss some of these problems.
Difference Between Sponsored Articles vs. Press Releases
You shouldn’t confuse a press release with editorial content, though. The main difference lies in how your message spreads on the internet.
You pay a media outlet to publish your sponsored or blog posts. These native ads often have the words “paid promotion” or “sponsored content” at the start or end of an article.
Meanwhile, a press release should encourage reporters to write about your brand. Your PR team should provide an angle that the media couldn’t resist writing about!
If you’re going with a press release, it’s similar to sponsored content. You’ll often need to pay for both of them. There are ways to publish them for free, but they might not have much impact.
As we’ve said, sponsored posts often give info that readers could use in their daily lives. Otherwise, they provide entertainment as videos or other online content.
PR could talk about topics besides their products or services. For instance, it could tell about an upcoming event. A company might say to the public about awards it won recently.
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Sponsored Content Pros & Cons
- People trust sponsored content – Gen Z, Gen X, and Millenials like it more than traditional ads. Many of them think it’s more interesting.
- Increases brand appeal – As people read your sponsored posts, they may start liking your brand more. Those have to connect well with your audience, though.
- Helps you stay competitive – The internet gives the most extensive customer base ever, and content marketing lets you tap into it. Most companies already use sponsored blogs, so why shouldn’t you?
- Targeted towards consumers – It gives companies more creative control on what message they want to deliver
- It might backfire – Mess up sponsored content, and your brand image might take a hit. Thankfully, digital marketing agencies like LeadAdvisors can handle your campaign.
- You might lose your readers’ trust – Make sure you clearly explain what your content is about. Otherwise, your readers might feel you took advantage of them.
- This takes a long time to work – You need time to post enough content and gain a massive audience. That’s why marketing campaigns often involve other strategies.
Press Release Pros & Cons
- More websites will feature your brand – Some media outlets probably check your industry. If they see your brand in a press release wire, they might write about you too.
- More affordable than other ads – You may need some funds ready for a PR wire. Still, other forms of advertising might be more expensive.
- Shows your progress to everyone – As you post more PR about your milestones, people will see the trail you left behind, and that long record of progress could attract more attention to your brand.
- It could still be expensive – Every business owner wants the best for your brand. If you want the best services, it could mean $1,000 and up for every press release.
- It may not reach more customers – People don’t check the press release wires often.
- You might not get your money’s worth – You’ll need massive amounts of time and money to post just one press release. As others want attention from readers, they might not notice yours.
- Shorter lifespan – Press releases typically only stay relevant 1-2 weeks after the announcement. Anything older than a month is no longer relevant.
How to Write a Press Release
You should know the typical press release template, even if someone else will write it. This will help you check it before publishing:
- Headline – it should be short, so it’s easy to read. Make it catchy so readers will read beyond the headline.
- Dateline – Show the date before writing the first word of your article.
- Introduction – It’s the gist of your press release, and it’s the most critical part, too, since journalists don’t read past this.
- Body – Write all you have to say in 2 or more paragraphs. Cite sources if needed.
- Boilerplate – A short paragraph that explains your company in a nutshell.
- Call to action – It’s the thing readers should do after finishing the article.
- Media contact information – This includes your name, phone number, and other essential details.
Of course, there is more to writing than following a format. Check other free online tips for PR writing.
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How to Write Sponsored Content
Press releases have a lot in common with sponsored posts. It has called to action, body copy, and others seen in PR. Still, it has two parts that are seen in sponsored content more often:
- Title – It should be short and sweet, so readers are eager for more.
- Introduction – It should keep your readers’ attention.
- Body – Write everything you need to say, including the details.
- Conclusion – It’s the end of your article that should also have a call to action.
- Keywords/Tags – Use the right words in your article so it tops search engines. At the end of your blog, place words that relate to your content, making it easier for readers to check your other work too!
- Resource Box/Author’s Box – It’s like the media contact information in press releases, but with more details. You must promote yourself using an elevator pitch and a call-to-action of around 3-4 sentences.
You could use free blogging websites to promote your content. They’re not as popular as the big publishers, so only a few people might see it.
In contrast, you could put your branded content on popular sites. These include New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, and LinkedIn.
Like making press releases, you could learn more from free online resources, and you may know more about sponsored content on those websites.
You could even check great examples like Netflix’s Cocainenomics. They teamed up with WSJ and NYT to promote “Orange Is the New Black,” using an article about women inmates.
Why sponsored content is better for press releases?
Big companies have no problems spending thousands of dollars per PR wire release. Small businesses often don’t have the extra cash.
Still, sponsored content or branded content could help you build trust with customers. Depending on your options, you could spend less on it too.
What’s more, it lets you reach more people. PR wire services might bring prestige to your brand. Yet, sponsored content could bring profits and leads. Eventually, your brand gets clout as well!
Other things to consider
Sponsored content is a type of native advertising. Follow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for native ads whenever you write sponsored posts.
The significant publications follow the principles of journalism. If you want them to accept your content, you should follow those rules as well.
What’s more, your content should look pleasing. Use different fonts for the headings and standard text. Other numerous ideas into bullet points so they’re easier to read.
If sponsored content article vs press release work for your brand, use them both. Your marketing campaign shouldn’t just depend on two strategies, though.
Both of them produce long-term effects. If you include other methods like influencer marketing and banner ads, they could give short-term gains too.
We said traditional ads aren’t as effective nowadays. Yet, it continues to help businesses with marketing. Check all the marketing methods that may help your brand.
Learn More About Sponsored Posts and Press Releases
How do I get a sponsored post?
You may create them yourself or hire a marketing team. Otherwise, you could outsource to digital marketing agencies like LeadAdvisors.
What is the goal of a press release?
It informs people about what’s happening in a particular company. Also, it could encourage other media outlets to write about your brand. As a result, you may gain more customers and sales.
How do you promote a press release?
You could hire a PR team to create and distribute them. PR wire services could also help you. Note that it doesn’t always work. That’s why you need several strategies for your marketing campaign.