I have always found it daunting. There have been some occasions when I was called into a meeting for sharing my thoughts on a sponsorship agreement. I was a bit nervous at that time but I soon realized that 95% job is done.
Yes, I had no chance to contribute to the rights but still, there was something for me to do. I had to add a link to the sponsored property’s site.
It is not just me who often face such situations. I’m sure you might have also been through such a situation or you will experience such things if you are a content marketing and
I have learned my lessons and now sharing my thoughts on how you can maximize sponsorships to instate your Content Marketing Goals.
Do a thorough analysis of the sponsored party’s assets and access
You are going to use links that belong to a reliable website and it might be almost impossible for your rivals to acquire.
However, as a professional in the content marketing field, I always think more widely about the opportunity I get.
The fact is that if you succeed in accurately activating sponsorship, the results will be quite overwhelming.
Only a few would be there to compete against you. It is important for you to be a part of a team or company producing rights package.
It will help you in succeeding faster. When you are not a part of the discussion, the assets and access can underwhelm you.
I personally believe that you can be an integral part of the conversation if you evangelize the virtues of digital marketing.
The decision-makers in the team will recognize your potential and make you a part of the discussion.
You should remember one thing that you have to promote your work to prove your support is worthwhile.
The assets and access play a very crucial role in the success of sponsorship activation. It can be anything depending on the associate you are sponsoring and the type of sponsorship. We can list it as:
- Access to influential people
- Access to unique locations
- Social media promotion
- Website coverage
One major thing you cannot quantify on this level is how much of each mentioned asset you might require.
As the experts suggest, you should always overestimate the requirements for three simple reasons:
- Assets you want are comparatively affordable in comparison to naming rights which are an integral part of the agreement. So, you should not worry that your requirements will increase the cost.
- Your sponsored party is going to negotiate down from the quantity you need. It happens and you should be ready for that.
- Whatever remains after the allocation of the obtained assets to your marketing tactic will always be safe.
We were talking about tangible assets, but the agreement will also provide you with access to the sponsored party’s intangible assets.
You will know their cultural value in the eyes of the target audience and perception. You can analyze that before preparing a positioning strategy and set a perfect tone of voice.
Describe and evaluate brand communication goals
Businesses invest their money in teams, events, and personalities because these things can help them in establishing a powerful bond with the audience.
Every productive sponsorship passes the perception and values of the sponsored party on the business and brand.
Every brand spending money on sponsorship wants to achieve this goal. Branded content offers a way of establishing this insight into the target audience’s mind.
It is your job as a content marketer to choose which values you are willing to derive from your partner if you want to activate the sponsorship from the standpoint of branded content.
It is an essential part of the selection process. Therefore, you need to put a little extra effort in it.
The brand would always like to convey a precise sentiment from the associate. Such as:
- A new brand would prefer to work with a reliable establishment to provide trust.
- A small brand would like to associate with a large and successful business to gain credibility.
- A branding willing to prove its significance to a younger audience would choose events, people, and organizations that are popular amongst the targeted group of people.
- A brand that is targeting people from a certain lifestyle will choose a partner that has successfully maintained properties that describe that way of life.
Once you prove that you are dedicated to producing content with the assets and access offered in the partnership to influence the target people and community, the brand also incarnates that sentiment.
However, everything is not so simple at this stage.
When creating content plans you should not forget what the brand is all about. You should focus on finding a method through which sponsorship can work as a vehicle to express this message.
The audience is no fool. People will easily recognize the content is presenting that brand in an unrealistic manner.
It is not necessary that each activation should convey this sentiment. The main goal should be long-lasting change and significant or strengthening of brand insights in the mind of that brand’s target audience.
I have seen many brands that waste their sponsorship rights on short-lived content. It can gain millions of views but such content does not influence people and does not impact their decisions.
Although it is an easy way, it will never help you in changing the target audience’s perception.
You can use sentiment studies and brand uplift to assess the effectiveness of the campaign. You should try to reveal the following things:
- Are the target people ingesting your content?
- How did they find it?
- How did they react to the brand before?
- Has your content altered that notion?
- How the target audience will define the brand to a colleague?
You can find all the answers if you do pre and post-campaign research. You should try to assess change in sentiment and awareness.
It will assist you in evaluating whether the sponsored property’s values and perception are benefiting your brand or not. This should be the main goal of every sponsorship activation.
Positioning and tone guide
There is a big difference between traditional advertising and branded content. You will understand the value of branded content but your colleagues will take it just like a television ad.
They will think it is just a simple effort to gain mass awareness for the brand but you know what it took to produce branded content.
Perfectly created branded content is simply editorial in style and tone. You enter in that particular community when you are working with a sponsorship partner.
You should admire it and treat it with full respect. Produce and supply content that people need.
Many professionals make a mistake that they put their efforts into gaining attention with the partner. It backfires their tactic and does not make any significant impact.
Your focus should always remain on improving the audience’s experience with the sponsored partner.
The day you achieve this, you are going to gather a lot more positive sentiment. Consequently, there will be a lot more engagements.
Publishers also get this dynamic. If they believe you are producing content that their target community will consume, they would happily agree to carry the content and offer a link.
Develop relationship management skills to get the most from sponsorship
Do not presume that the toughest job is done once you sign the deal. Hence you had asked for affordable rights, its drawback will also come in your view.
Suppose the deal majorly included the naming rights of event, stadium, jersey name, etc. you have secured is less important to that.
Here you will face the main challenge because the other party of the agreement will always prefer to deliver on the naming rights regardless of your needs.
In addition, you may be one of the numerous other brands that have signed the agreement. It is more frightening that other brands may have the better position as brand sponsors.
Over to You
All in all, it is always a challenge to work with a sponsored party. You will find many factors that can upset your best-laid plans.
You can reduce such risks effectively. You will have to establish close links and you will have to participate in regular structured discussions with the account manager.
Your partner should always know your rights. Keep your plans ready in advance and make the sponsored party aware of your plans.
I also suggest you assess the risks quite often. Be ready with a backup plan if something does not work in your favor. Your content thoughts should be phase collaborative.
It will reduce the risks of sponsored parties vetoing your plans. You should not forget about the sponsored party.
Your content should also contribute to their success. This is how you can reduce the risks and gain better opportunities.