7 Tips for Creating Sponsored Content on Social Media

Internet advertising has now surpassed all other media outlets, with revenues exceeding $100 billion for the first time last year, and that is only in the United States.

The massive use of social media has brands investing their bank into digital methods, not only because they can have more control over their promotions, but also because it’s a great way to reach tailored niche audiences.

According to a study done by Content Marketing Institute, sponsored content on social media is the top paid method respondents use to distribute content online. In fact, 77% from the total number of marketers who use paid methods turn to social media promotions as part of their content marketing strategy.

Having all that in mind, the digital space is becoming increasingly saturated with advertisements and sponsored content, which means that brands need to work extra hard to stand out from the crowd. To get there, the content that your brand promotes has to be carefully crafted.

The flow of sponsored content on social media.

1. Tell stories in their native environment

Every social platform serves a different purpose. While your marketing campaign should retain the same messaging across all platforms, it is important to use every platform as intended.

When you’re in the process of planning the sponsored content that your campaign will include, take some time to consider how you should present that content on each of the different platforms that you use.

A photo showing how coca cola uses the red color to express their visual identity online.

The main goal here is to integrate your brand identity into the content and cater to the specific requirements of a platform at the same time.

2. Communicate the purpose of your post

People in your target audience have goals, and when they choose to consume your content, it’s because they believe that it will take them a step closer toward achieving their goal. If the setup of your content shows that it lacks movement toward payoff for that goal, they will likely give up and keep scrolling.

Effective posts immediately make it clear to the user that they will be receiving value if they continue to pay attention. Make it obvious to the user what they should expect with a clear and simple set up, then deliver the promised value to leave an impression.

3. Stay true to your core values

The content you regularly post sets the norm for the audience’s expectations, so if they follow you, they expect that each time your post will be within the range of your brand purpose.

People who are just getting introduced to your brand through the sponsored post will likely visit your profile to get familiar with your messaging, as well.

Campaign goals and objectives for content calendar example photo.

Come up with guiding principles that describe the key targets that each piece of content you produce should incorporate, and make sure that sponsored content follows those same guidelines.

4. Make things more intuitive

When people see your sponsored post, they get introduced to something that is not a part of their usual feed, so they don’t know what to expect right away. Tactical guiding is there to retain their attention and lead them through the points they should focus on.

Intuitive design guides the user through consuming the content. It lets the user know what they should pay attention to next. That goes into the principles of having a clear and thoughtful information design, copywriting, hierarchy, structure, and so on.

You can also visually engage the audience with the help of colors, shapes, sizing, typography, and other design elements.

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5. Customize and test different versions

One of the best things about running digital advertising campaigns is the fact that you can tailor your audience and change little details in your posts as much as you want to. There is no one size fits all, so get involved into the details of your sponsored posts.

Collect and wisely manage your data throughout the process

Create multiple versions of your sponsored post and experiment with changing things like colors, photos, or the copy based on location, age groups, or any other property of the target audience. If a version of your post starts to pick up more steam than others, then invest more budget into it and take notes for future posts.

6. Be transparent about brand practices

Transparency is there to help you prove to the user that everything you’re doing is up to standard and that it is all done with respect for both your and their goals.

Accenture Strategy’s most recent global survey of nearly 30,000 consumers found that 66% of consumers think transparency is one of a brand’s most attractive qualities.

Consumers are aware that there is an exchange of value when they decide to interact with your brand, so there is no need to hide anything. Be as transparent as possible with them.

If things are not clear, the user will be preoccupied with the thoughts of whether or not they should trust you, and it will overpower their desire to consume your content.

7. Don’t overlook technical details

The message and value premise of your promotion is the most important part, but any technical requirements should not be brushed aside either. Before you invest in content creation, make sure that you get familiar with the guidelines of each platform.

Think about the different device types and how users explore a particular platform, then design your posts according to those standards and requirements. That can include creating different versions of the post for different platforms.


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To make the sponsored content the best your brand has to offer, you need to be in tune with the audience that you’re trying to connect with. When you know who it is that you’re trying to reach, it becomes much easier to speak to them.

While sponsored posts are there to help you reach your marketing goals, always have the goals of the end-user in mind, as well.