Sponsored Content Trends
According to a white paper written by Hexagram, one of the leading content exchanges driving this new trend, "62% of publishers currently offer native advertising and another 16% plan to do so within the year. Brands and agencies’ take-up of this new inventory is currently smaller, but growing: 41% of brands and 34% of agencies currently use native advertising, with an additional 20% of brands and 12% of agencies planning to begin using it within the year. The most popular forms of native advertising are blog posts (65%), articles (63%), and Facebook (56%)."
This form of content is typically labeled as "sponsored", "featured" or "brought to you by".
Companies like Hexagram provide online exchanges that pair publishers with sponsored content providers (typically marketers or advertising agencies) to create scale by quickly reaching millions of readers with these sponsored messages.
Why This Is Important
Publishers should recognize this growing trend as a much-needed source of revenue. Advertising agencies should recognize this opportunity to provide new services to clients by creating and distributing this content. Finally, marketers should recognize that by creating sponsored content that is thoughtful, relevant and interesting to readers, it can pair its offerings with articles provided by established publishing brands such as the Washington Post and gain immediate credibility and readership.