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Written by Jessica Jansasoy
Published on December 15, 2022
Reading time 10 minutes
If you’re tired of reading generic advice on how to create effective sponsored content, you’re in the right place.
You already know that the first step for creating sponsored posts is to know your audience. There’s no need to repeat it. It’s time to expand your knowledge into something more actionable.
In this comprehensive guide about sponsored posts, you’ll learn best practices, discover strategies, get resources and find inspiration for your social media campaigns.
A sponsored post is a piece of content used as an advertisement in any of the major social media networks to increase your brand exposure by targeting a specific audience. Sponsored posts look like native content on the social network, blending with organic content in the user’s feed.
There are two different sponsored posts, which are:
With sponsored content, you can create a better experience for your audience by leveraging these less intrusive ads for your influencer and paid social strategies. Plus, sponsored posts expand your reach by tapping into new audiences.
Whether you’re a small business trying to put your name out there or an established brand seeking to boost engagement, here are some tips to help you get on the right track.
This is one of the most difficult—but crucial—steps to get started with your sponsored content campaigns. That’s why you need a clear direction for what you want to achieve with your sponsored posts.
You can define specific campaign KPIs based on your target audience, past campaign performance and potential reach. To evaluate this potential reach, have in mind if you’ll be working with influencers or not.
Here are a couple of questions to help outline your goals:
To figure out a budget for your sponsored posts, look at your social media marketing budget as a whole. Knowing how much you can spend helps you allocate your resources wisely. Download our custom budgeting spreadsheet to start outlining your expenses.
Remember, the money you spend on your social media strategy depends on the amount of sponsored content you want to incorporate. Or if you’re willing to work with influencers.
For sponsored content efforts, here’s what you need to consider:
The goals you outline can be translated into key metrics (think: reach, engagement and conversions) that calculate ROI.
In the case of sponsored posts, justifying your marketing budget based on likes and comments may seem like a difficult task. But ROI isn’t just measured by bottom-line profit.
You can measure ROI by money saved or used efficiently to expand reach, brand awareness or conversions (think: clicks to your website or sign-ups). However, through social shopping, you can impact the bottom line through direct sales or influencer endorsements (think: influencer discount codes).
Here’s our take on figuring out your ROI:
Note: Focus on relevant metrics when measuring your sponsored post performance. Tracking too many metrics can distract you from your initial goals. More information isn’t the same as better information.
Sponsored posts can take on a variety of formats, such as videos, testimonials, infographics or static images. Regardless of the type, you can follow best practices to create effective posts.
The anatomy of high-performing sponsored content consists of:
Sponsored content doesn’t have to be paid partnerships. But influencers are a highly effective way to expand your reach and build trust. They’re experts in their niche with an engaged, loyal audience. So, if you partner with them to generate sponsored content, it’s likely some of that trust is going to rub off on you.
Here’s what you need to have in mind for your influencer marketing efforts:
Use tools to look for influencers or do your own research on social media. They’ll usually have their contact info for paid collaborations on their profile.
Sponsored posts on Instagram enable you to promote a post from your business profile or partner with an influencer for a paid sponsorship. Additionally, you can promote Instagram story ads.
Instagram sponsored posts have a “Sponsored” tag below your brand name and call-to-action buttons like “Shop now”, “Learn more” or “Sign up”.
This is what a promoted post on Instagram looks like:
For paid partnerships, sponsored posts on Instagram have a “Paid partnership” tag under the influencer’s name, and sometimes also lists your brand’s name.
This is what a paid partnership on Instagram looks like:
To create a promoted post on Instagram, you’ll need to boost an existing post:
To manage your Instagram advertising efforts and see how your sponsored post is performing, go to your profile, select your post and press on View insights or Ad insights. From there, you can view your engagement and goal metrics.
With paid partnerships, the influencer will create and post the content. It’s up to you to approve the influencer as a content creator associated with your brand. To achieve this, you:
With your approval, the influencer will be able to tag you as a business partner in their sponsored post. And you’ll be able to see the reach and engagement metrics from the influencer’s post.
Facebook only gives you the option to do promoted posts (no influencers here).
Facebook promoted posts have a “Sponsored” tag below the name of your brand and include a call-to-action button that can be “Shop now”, “Learn more” or “Sign up”.
This is what Facebook promoted posts look like:
These are the steps to create a promoted post on Facebook:
To view the results of your boosted post, you can go to your Facebook page, select Ad Center, choose your boosted post and press the View results option. The Ad Center lets you track all your paid posts, so you can see the performance of your entire Facebook advertising strategy.
Sponsored TikTok posts have both promoted posts and paid partnerships as options for your TikTok ads.
Much like the others, a “Sponsored” tag appears below your brand’s name and the captions, along with a CTA button.
Here’s what promoted TikTok posts look like:
TikTok sponsored posts have a “Paid partnership” tag under the influencer’s username and captions.
Here’s what paid sponsorships on TikTok look like:
Sponsored posts are just one of the many ways you can make money on TikTok. Since TikTok users are 1.4x more likely to research brands or products on the platform, these types of posts can be especially effective.
Here’s how you create promoted TikTok posts, assuming you already created the sponsored content and posted it on your account:
To monitor your post’s performance, go to your Profile, tap on the three-line menu, select Creator tools and check your Analytics.
On the paid partnership side, you can contact a TikTok influencer to collaborate with you by following these steps:
Later on, when you reach an agreement with an influencer and the sponsored TikTok post is live, you can check how your post is doing. For this, log into your TikTok Creator Marketplace account and click on Reporting to see your Campaigns, Views and Engagement rate.
For LinkedIn promoted posts, the format remains similar, with a predominant “Promoted” tag along with a CTA.
These are the steps you need to follow to create a LinkedIn ad:
To manage the results of your sponsored content, go back to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager and click on the Performance Chart to see clicks, impressions, conversions, leads, the average cost per lead, etc. You can also click on Demographics and display information like job title, company, company size, location, country and more information about the people who have interacted with your ad.
Twitter promoted posts have a “Promoted” tag at the bottom left with a little arrow pointing upwards. Twitter doesn’t have defined CTA buttons, but once you press the ad, it redirects you to the associated landing page.
This is how you create promoted Tweets for your Twitter advertising campaign:
To monitor the performance of your promoted Tweets, go to Twitter’s ad platform once again and click on Analytics. Then select Tweet activity to see the impressions, engagement, engagement rate, likes and other metrics for your Top and Promoted Tweets.
Now that you leveled up your sponsored content knowledge, it’s time to explore how sponsored posts fit into your social media strategy.
As you test sponsored posts and learn what works best for you, also consider how they can be a part of your larger creator marketing strategy. Working with creators has become a must, so check out our article to learn how you should be integrating creators into your social strategy.
Jessica is a freelance writer and SEO specialist based in Las Vegas. You can find her writing and auditing websites for SaaS and B2B companies or watching the Water Show at the Bellagio fountains.
Read all articles by Jessica Jansasoy
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