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SPONSORED BY:
<Beverage Trade Network

How do you make a sponsored content link pay off?

Sponsored content links are those paid by sponsors and, on Wine Industry Insight, clearly marked as such. (Not clearly marking paid content is misleading and dishonest.)

In the daily News Fetch email briefing, sponsored links look like this:

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 11.00.57 AMor

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 10.59.24 AM

HOW TO MAKE SPONSORED LINKS PAY OFF

Write an irresistible headline. Use Sharp Headlines To Hook Readers – Or Else

Use active verbs and keep the headline as short as possible. Less than 70 characters is usually more effective.

In writing that headline, you … mustsuccessfully … answer the following question: “Why should I care?”

In order to make someone care, you must know enough about your target audience to know what they care about. Do your research. Put yourself in their shoes.

LINK TO SOLID CONTENT

Your link should be NEWS … this is the nature of “native content.” It should look like news, feel like news and BE news.

The link should go to a blog post or a page that offers valuable and interesting information. Sell sheets and promotional hype will turn people off.

DO NOT LINK TO A STANDARD/GENERIC PAGE

People who click on that link are looking for information and not a standard page like your home page, a product page etc.

LINKS ARE VISITOR FRICTION. MAKE IT PAY OFF FOR THEM

Clicking on a link is friction. It takes time. Visitors hesitate. Will the time be worth it?

For that reason, make sure the destination content that the link goes to pays off on the headline promises.

OFFER GOOD SOLID INFORMATION

The best destination pages from a marketing link are blog posts that offer good solid, useful information. See: Blogging makes marketers 13X more likely to get positive ROI. Read the source article below the graph.

The destination should NOT be a bunch of marketing or sales-dominated stuff. See: When Company Blogs Slide Into Sales Brochure-land

Make sure the “payoff” information begins at the top of the destination page. Assume that people are accessing it on a tablet, phone and on a laptop without a giant screen. Do You have A Mobile Web Disaster? and Mobile Commerce Grows, But Desktop Still Rules

DO NOT ANNOY

Do not annoy your visitor … get rid of sliders, carousels, Flash, animations, blinky crap and other web affectations that cause immediate click-away escapes.

For why, see:   This Is Your Site On Flash … and Slider/Carousel Will Sabotage Your Web Page Traffic & Visibility

Do make sure you highlight your strengths, but do that in a modest way that avoids (or eliminates) adjectives, adverbs and self-congratulatory hype. That just causes gagging and another immediate click-away escape.

MAKE CONTACT EASY

Make sure visitors have a way to contact you. Use the HTML “Mailto:” function. Never use an email form that has to be filled out. (Contact Forms Mean You DON’T Really Want Contact)

CHANGE YOUR LINK OFTEN

New content keeps people coming back … IF you have proven yourself useful and interesting in the past.