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Custom Content, Webcasts and Video Can Be Prime Areas for Sponsors

Sponsorships can come in many ways, from events and coffee mugs to podcasts and custom content. With event registration revenue dropping so significantly this year, the importance of attaining sponsorships only amplifies—not just for events but for all those other areas as well.
Here are six successful examples of sponsorships in other areas of the publishing business.
The Skimm – in-content mentions. “Feeling stuck in a rut?” today’s Daily Skimm asks at the bottom. “Same. So we partnered with Mentos Pure Fresh Gum to bring you some ways to shake things up. Because Mentos is all about fresh ideas, fresh breath, and fresh perspectives. This week, we’re talking about refreshing your WFH video calls.” They go on to list three bullets: Check your lighting; reserve your space; and take breaks. “Science says breaks improve productivity. So actively schedule time to refresh between video calls. Then make the most of it by popping in some Mentos Pure Fresh Gum, taking a walk, and giving your brain a reset. Ahhh.”
Modern Distribution Management – sponsored webcasts. MDM has been having success with sponsored webcasts for many years. It’s impressive that the webcasts are relatively frequent—at least twice a month—and can go five or six episodes with a different sponsor each time. Particularly impressive is a webcast from a few weeks ago titled MDM’s Top Distributors of 2020. It featured five members of the MDM team including CEO Tom Gale and editor in chief Elizabeth Galentine, and was sponsored by infor.
Harvard Business Review – banner ads and report/webinar partners. Banner ads get their share of grief, but you still see them fairly frequently everywhere—so they must still be working to some extent. HBR uses them—“See how RMS helps customers outperform” tops the Technology page. A Salesforce-sponsored content ad tops the Diversity section. For their popular Podcast section, there’s a banner ad and then an array of unsponsored podcasts. But at the bottom there’s a Partner Center that lists four HBR happenings that are sponsored—a workplace report sponsored by Facebook; a radiology AI report sponsored by Siemens Healthineers; a webinar sponsored by Verizon; and a live Q&A Ask HBR sponsored by Meltwater, a SaaS company.
The Atlantic – sponsored multimedia. At the top of a story from a couple years ago titled, The Rise of the Connected Family, these words stare out: “CRAFTED BY THE ATLANTIC’S MARKETING TEAM AND PAID FOR BY NEST.” The article is about how technology in the home is changing family dynamics. It features expert interviews, research, images, graphics, and product recommendations—showing off Nest’s advanced tech without too much selling. Including other brand names gives it a more balanced read. At the bottom of the story are Nest products, a personal video, testimonials and an infographic.
Meister Media – custom content and video. “Our dedicated, award-winning team of marketing strategists, designers, writers, web developers, and project management specialists will make your DREAM custom project a REALITY,” says the Meister Custom Team page. For example, a company called Brandt asked Meister Media Worldwide to produce a marketing video featuring a grower who just had a record soybean harvest. BRANDT used the polished video for their sales meeting. KeyPlex wanted website content and design. BASF asked for educational content. It’s a staff commitment but for the right niches—can pay off.
Industry Dive – lead campaigns. “In the broadest sense, we are 99.9% advertising-based but that doesn’t mean Web ads,” Industry Dive CEO Sean Griffey said earlier this year. “Pure digital display is probably less than 10% of revenue. The rest of it comes from the brand studio which is approaching 20% of our growth revenue, and newsletters and lead campaigns. When we say lead campaigns, very few of our products are priced as guaranteed leads, it’s more of a sponsorship basis. But at the end of the day, most of our advertisers are evaluating their success based on the leads that they generate from us.”