Company sponsored blogs have come under more attention in the last year.
The idea of a company sponsored blog is for a company to be affiliate with a blog. It can happen in a few different ways.
First, the company can directly take control of the blog. The company hires the writers or trains people from inside the organization to create blog content. The goal is always to attract new readers and customers to the brand.
Second, a company can partner with a blog that already exists. It could be a purchase or it could be an actual sponsorship where the company advertises or sponsors the blog. It’s like the company is saying “We support the content on this blog”.
There are other ways companies get involved with sponsored blogs in between these two ways.
Let’s review some company sponsored blogs and analyze them. Hopefully you can pull out some information and apply it to your own company sponsored blog.
Examples of Company Sponsored Blogs
1. LabTalk by AstraZeneca
This is a great example of how a company can create a useful and forthright company sponsored blog. LabTalk is created by AstraZeneca. From the moment you visit the site you understand the relationship. The blog posts come from the ideas of the scientists at the company. It’s aimed at helping people all around the world with a variety of issues.
It’s a great idea. Who better to follow for health advice than scientists working daily to make the world healthier and better?
2. Onextrapixel by Smashing
The Smashing Network is the biggest group of blogs aimed at giving designers knowledge and experience. The Smashing Network is basically a sponsored relationship where Smashing allows other blogs in the design field to use the Smashing name to give credibility to the blog.
One example of this is Onextrapixel, which is one of the most popular blogs for designers. The sponsorship allows the two brands to associate with each other and raise the profile of the other.
3. Digital Photography School
Guest posting is a type of sponsored blogging. Mostly guest authors are freelances or small business owners. They provide content on a blog that has an audience in exchange for small promotion of themselves. The sponsorship is disclosed by stating that the author is a guest author and provides a little background info and often a link.
Digital Photography School is a great resource for photographers of all skill levels. One of the great things they do is provide an outlet for photographers to create content and create a name for themselves. It’s great for both parties.
4. Red Bull
Red Bull has been a company that’s entirely buying into the content strategy. They know they are a media company that produces an energy drink. They associate their brand with athletes and other extreme personalities.
Red Bull has a number of sponsored blogs hosted on its own site including the Thomas Morgenstern Blog. It hasn’t been updated for a while, but you get a sense of the relationship in the archives. Thomas shares his stories from his ski jumping challenges. It’s a look inside the mind of an extreme athlete.
The relationship furthers the brands of both partners.
5. Justin Rose
This kind of flips the sponsorship around in a way.
Golfers have long been examples of being associating themselves with brands. Golfers started by wearing logos on their clothing while on the course, but today the relationships go much further.
One example is Justin Rose. He maintains a blog on his website. On the website are the images of his sponsors. It’s a less direct way of sponsored blogging, but it still is just the same. Everything Justin does relates to his sponsors and that includes the things he blogs about.
Another example of this in a different way would be Greg Norman blogging and associating it with his own brand. I always have admired Norman for creating his own brand instead of taking the guaranteed money from another company. He can blog and it’s all associated with himself and his brands.
In both cases there is no confusion about how the blog is sponsored.
The best option for a company sponsored blog is for the company to host and manage the blog itself. Always make sure it’s clear that the blog is sponsored and affiliated with the brand. There will always be pushback if you’re not upfront about that fact. You can’t trick people. They’ll find out eventually.
So be upfront with your business blogging and it can be a great benefit for your organization.