Sponsored Posts Would Work Better If You Improved Context

Chris Brogan People are talking about how sponsored posts are showing up in their stream on places like Instagram these days. I saw one the other day for some TV show. It was a bit jarring, because I was pretty sure I wasn’t following Liev Schreiber. And that’s the thing. A sponsored post would work so much better if the people running the sponsored posts improved context.

Sponsored Posts Are Useful

I’m a fan of sponsored posts, but only if they match the intentions of the person creating them. For instance, later today, I’ll be launching a project with Jacq on BossFit about the Spartan Race. It’s paid content. It’s sponsored. And it’s on a site that’s dedicated to fitness and the business professional. It makes sense to be there.

What I don’t love is when an ad of any kind (but definitely these in-stream sponsored ads are kind of the worst) has no real tie to the stream or location where it’s placed. A long while ago, I had an ad partner for this site. I was happy with the deal until I started noticing what kinds of ads they put in place when no “real” ads were running (Snickers, teenage girl bras). That wasn’t useful.

Serve The Community

I LOVE making business happen. I love making money. When I work with a company for sponsorship, it’s from someone who aligns with my goals to help you. I’m on a fitness kick, so I promote Skora running shoes. I work with to promote a health challenge. When I share things here, there’s a good reason and that reason is, it fits you. :)

That, in my not at all humble opinion, is how you do it. Serve a bigger story.

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  • McHarguePatrick

    Great post, Chris. I’ve been exploring sponsored posts and this will be very helpful. The goal is to add value to their current stream, not distract from it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan


  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Maybe someone needed some bras!! Or a “manzierre”…

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan


  • Pingback: Sponsored Posts Would Work Better If You Improved Context | Dave's Blog

  • http://www.chandlercrawford.com/ Chandler Crawford

    I agree. One of the things Gary Vaynerchuck talks a lot about is context. How context in social media is almost more important than content. It’s annoying when you are looking through some topic and get slammed with something irrelevant. It doesn’t serve the audience it distracts them. Which, I guess is one tactic, but it’s not how you get raving fans.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      I don’t want raving fans. I want allies.

      • http://www.chandlercrawford.com/ Chandler Crawford

        Interesting approach. I like it.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    I think your last 4 words summed it up great. “Serve a bigger story.” But herein lies the problem doesn’t it? When people don’t think about serving. Seems some get tripped up thinking too much about the transaction vs the relationship (even in things like ads). Transactions don’t care about serving. Transactions care just about what’s in it for me. But relationships serve. If I care about the community I’m trying to build, I’ll serve their needs and I’ll do my best to make my content provide value (even ads). Oddly enough, at least for me, I have found that when the relationship is the priority… the transactions increase as well.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      A mission of service is everything. You and I know that. We just have to help others pick it up.

  • http://www.changeagents.ie/ Paul O’Mahony

    Some day I’ll pay for a sponsored post or tweet or whatever it is Facebook sell. I’ll experiment. You see I’ve had years of hating ads for stuff I’m trying to get away from. I want my internet to be mine. Selfishly I want ads from people I love. I don’t want distractions from sources I have no time for. Because I have a trust agent in the form of Chris Brogan – he can put anything he likes in front of me – within reason. And therein lies the art. The art of being in tune with the people who want to be served by you.
    You all got me thinking – thank you

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  • Trevor Cherewka

    The #1 reason why so many say that fb ads simply don’t work. It has nothing to do with the ad and everything to do with the target.

    I for one am tired of FB using their secret power to turn even the most layperson into a marketer. I see it everyday. The minute a company puts up a fb page they think of themselves as expert marketers.

    This truly is a pebcak issue.

    Thanks for sharing Chris. As always, great content.