2014 Trend: Sponsored Content With 5 Tips

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medium_4320973853If you’ve been blogging as long as I have – coming up on four years posting three to five times weekly about professional topics, you have a love affair with your blog. You may also have an intense dislike for the commitment required to keep at it.

How do you think marketers regard your blog?

The Age of Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is replacing blogger authenticity. There’s a race to see who’ll win. My vote is on the former because no more can marketers depend on a blog or two plus some social media channels to earn the ROI they expect.

Long-Term Bloggers Are On Top

What that means for bloggers with a solid track record of authentic content is an opportunity to finally monetize. I know this to be true, because it just happened to me. There are new monetization opportunities for bloggers; however, you need to put your eye on the prize to ensure you’re among the chosen:

1. Regard your numbers highly. What does that mean? Rather than poo at Klout, Twitter followers, Facebook likes and friends, and Google+ circles, regard these numbers as a way to quantify your credibility.

STOP!

Before anyone gets his or her panties in a bundle, let me explain. No, influence is not scored by a number; however, to the marketer or brand ambassador NOT in the know, the higher the number, the more influential you are as a blogger, right?

Think on this a moment…you may have purchased followers and you’re sprouting 10,000 peeps on Twitter following you. These followers aren’t legit; anyone can check to see, so that doesn’t help you. Be authentic and organic in your numbers from hard work to earn every single digit to your credit.

Transparency Is The Name of the Game

2. Be authentic and true to your school (whatever that means). We do know what “be authentic” means, though, right? When you write #RockHot content, peeps want to share it, no question. You’re not phony, and you’re not zigging through the motions – you’re zagging, and that’s GOOD.

3. Engage in blogging communities. Safety in numbers, right? Yes, to an extent. When you write for #RockHot communities like SteamFeed.com, join a ton of tribes on Triberr (there’s a solid reason for that), or engage with other growing blogger communities, then your brand and reputation precede you. This is all part of the social branding journey. (I hate when people put the word “social” in front of everything and try to create a new term, but in this case it fully works to describe personal branding the social way.)

4. Look for Opportunities. Let’s look at two clichés and negate one of them. The early bird gets the worm. YES. Good things come to those who wait. NO. In the social sphere, you need to be a first mover, early adopter and touter of the next new thing. When you are and you share it right, then you boost your brand exponentially.

5. Be a thought leader first. Did you see my post about Jeremiah Owyang? What a gem of a visionary and thought leader. When you listen and read about him, he’s the most down-to-earth and approachable gentleman you’ll find, and so freaking cool. Just go emulate him already and see how the influence marketing thing unfolds thereafter.

Simple?

Nahh. It’s totally hard work and requires tons of daily dedication and tough skin to endure and ensure you continuously grow on your professional journey. Ask me!

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

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Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati is a public relations marketer and message mapping master. She blends content marketing, digital marketing and social media with core PR. She is president of Soulati Media, Inc. and an award- blogger writing at http://Soulati.com. She is author of "Message Mapping: Why You Need It and How To Do It" available free on her website. Trained in Chicago's PR firms, Jayme is a media relations veteran and a past president of the Publicity Club of Chicago. She plays competitive tennis player and wants to connect with you on any social media channel!
Jayme Soulati

@Soulati

Jayme Soulati: Message Mapping Master. Soulati Media, Inc. Core PR, Digital, Social Media Marketing. Author, Blogger, Speaker. PR Strategist. 3.5 USTA Tennis.
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Jayme Soulati
Jayme Soulati
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  1. alaskachick says:

    All I can think, reading this for the third time is I am out classed. Majorly.
    Why else would there be no questions or comments??

    Jayme, I don't know what (or why) has me so confused but I really don't understand the "Native Advertising" (yes, I went and read everything!). I simply want to help our business move into a new chapter of it's life (2014 will be 90 years!!), write on our blog, learn as much as I can, help others the way I have been helped, meet new folks and take a few of them to some wondrous places to see amazing things.

    But… I cannot help but feel that this post is the next highest peak I need to find a way up the face of…

    • Ah-hah, AL. I get your tweet comment about confusion now!

      My next piece for this community will be more on Native Advertising. It's a confusing term and one that is so simple in its complexity.

      Where each of us needs to branch out is away from our comfort zone. Did you know that 80% of business owners function within a comfort zone? I made that number up, but the number is significantly high. What that means is you need to push your boundaries and limits.

      For Pioneer Outfitters, your goals (IMHO) for 2014 should be — expanding into the travel blogosphere; connecting with extreme sports enthusiasts; striking a deal with Go Pro and wear a cam on your head when you're hunting big game in the wildnerness; striking new relationships and also featuring BUYERS of your product.

      We now know whom you are and your team; what I have never seen (and I could've missed this) is an interview or video with one of your customers. Film them on the trail; make them real and bring the experience alive for those considering your product.

      Instead of always featuring You, You and YOU (which you do), it's time to put yourself into the crowd. Did you see my post on "Jeremiah Owyang Says The Crowd Is Your Company?" Read that and be confused! Better yet, read that and open your mind to the possibilities.

      • alaskachick says:

        Ok. I am going to re-read and catch up with the rest. (Including the post about Jeremiah Owyang) Good points and directions for PO in 2014 (our 90th Anniversary!!).
        I must admit, I HAVE tried to do some quick, impromptu interviews with both clients and guests ~ It's funny, as we were taught as we first arrive, getting our pictures taken and being on videos ~ IS part of our job. This is something I can work harder on and with.
        ok, I'm on it.
        I really am looking forward to more – on native advertising and more. (My brain feels like it is on overload…) Huh… 90 years… Not-not-not-me… hmm…
        Sheesh, I really need to go for a ride and clear my mind, maybe I'll steal a sno-go today or go snow-shoeing…

  2. A great article indeed about sponsored content. This is very helpful. Thanks for posting.

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