Sponsored content is when a brand pays a third-party site (in this case, Insider Louisville) to have a story written and published and promoted that relates to their business, industry or area of expertise.

Do people read that stuff?

Yes. When it is done correctly, the RIGHT people read it.

Shouldn’t businesses just use the PR department and get coverage for free?

Newsroom priorities have to focus on the day-to-day coverage areas for which they exist. Some days may leave room for stories about a brand, but some days won’t. Paid placement guarantees a spot that will garner audience.

Furthermore, content marketing is usually used for brand engagement – not alerting the masses. Real engagement in the written form doesn’t happen through a press release, it happens through long-form storytelling. And those types of stories are a much harder sell to a beat-driven journalist. Paid space is used to take the audience below the surface of their day-to-day knowledge about the brand.

Do you want people to mistake the paid content for your other content?

No. For any of this to work, the reader has to trust the publication. We are very open about what content has been paid for by using different colors in headlines and marking paid content with the word “sponsored.”

If someone pays for a story, is it less likely they will be shown in a negative light in other places in the publication?

No. This content marketing tool is operated completely separately from the newsroom. Journalists reporting news have no contact with the paid side of the business and vice versa. Paid stories are written by a team of marketing writers, not the same folks covering IL’s beats.

I have more questions!

We’d be happy to answer them. Email [email protected].

I think I might want to try this for myself…

Check out answers to a few more frequently asked questions about using this as a tool for your brand or business.