If you're working with brands (or hoping to), at some point you'll write a sponsored post. But how do you make a blog post about a brand not one big buzzword-filled snoozefest? Keep it true to your style and voice for starters. You'll not only make the brand happy; your readers won't hit the back button either.
These five tips will give you a fresh twist for your next sponsored post. Plus, check out the examples from bloggers who know how to write for brands in a way that's both authentic and informative.
Just Be Real… Even at Your Own Expense
You don't have to sound like you're spouting marketing-babble when you write a sponsored post. Brands want to see you being you so keep it real, even if that means showing a less-than-perfect day or poking a little fun at yourself.
Shining Example: Anne from AnneHogan.net did a great sponsored post for Kohl's Wink of Pink Giveaway. Is pink her favorite color? Not at all. But she took on the challenge of working in pink clothes into her wardrobe, which makes a believer out of any pink skeptic. Not only that, Anne wasn't afraid to poke a little fun at herself. Every time I see this picture, I crack up. That would TOTALLY be me.
Start with a Compelling Headline
If you want to bore someone into never clicking on your blog post, then start off with a really boring blog post title. Who wants to click the link that says “NEW POST: Free React Mobile App”? Zzzzzzz. Instead, create a snazzy headline that makes readers curious. The only caveat? You MUST follow-through with an awesome post!
Shining Example: Dani from Cloudy with a Chance of Wine does this brilliantly, both the headline and the post. Instead of calling her blog post “Free React Mobile App,” her post is titled “Why I Never Left College Parties by Myself.” Now THAT's a post I want to read. She doesn't disappoint, using her college mishap to explain why this app is such a good idea.
Add a Dash of Video
Do you like creating videos? Well, no one says your sponsored post has to just be written words. Adding video to your posts helps readers really get a sense of the product being talked about (not to mention, get to “know” you a little better by seeing more than a little headshot in your sidebar.)
Shining Example: Fadra from All Thing's Fadra is always the first person who comes to mind when I think of great sponsored posts with videos. Her post for Kia about Life in a Small Car takes a humorous look of a luxury chick trying out the Kia Forte LX. She saves some of the car's features for the text, but in the video she shows herself using the car for a little trip to a blogger meetup. She takes the car for a spin, drops cookies, and her camera falls. While the latter two might not relate to the car, the video is memorable and fun… just what Kia wants.
Give Readers a Benefit that Clicks
A rookie marketing mistake is to only talk about a product's features. Typically, benefits are what seals the deal in a consumer's mind. Using __ product will make me ___. So, when writing about a brand's product or service, consider your audience. How can that “thing” make them healthier? Improve their life? Simplify their day? Solve a problem?
Shining Example: Anna from My Life and Kids didn't just create a green smoothie recipe to promote Silk Coconutmilk. She tapped into a feeling most parents have: feeling tired. Her solution is an energizing smoothie for tired parents all over. (Must try this!)
With three little kids, a growing business and an endless pile of laundry – I don’t have time to be tired. No – seriously. I don’t have time to spend my afternoons yawning or unfocused. I don’t have time to spend my mornings in a foggy, half-awake state while I try to get one kid on the bus, another kid dressed for preschool and keep another kid from playing in the toilet.
Brands work with bloggers because they're “just like you and me.” A brand talking about their own product, service, or cause is one thing, but hearing it from someone we can already relate to? That's even more convincing. When you start off a sponsored post with something everyone can relate to (like nostalgia), you get your audience nodding their head… and reading your content.
Shining Example: Roo from Neon Fresh knows how to pull readers in with a relatable, humorous style. And her sponsored post about eBay's Curate a Collection for a Cause is no different. She gets you all nostalgic for the 90s (even as a child of the 80s, I can still relate to playing Oregon Trail, yo), which is the perfect set up to talking about eBay, isn't it? She makes me WANT to put together a curate a collection…maybe one in which I curate bits and pieces of the 80s (Rainbow Brite anyone?).
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!