10 Things for Ag Marketers to Know about Paid Content

by Clara Jacob and Lee Larson
September 21, 2016

Do you wish your online marketing were more effective?

Of course you do! That’s why we’re talking about paid content.

First, let’s define what we mean by paid content marketing. It’s also known as sponsored content or native advertising. It usually appears in the midst of editorial and is intended to inform or educate the audience. It’s more like news and less like advertising.

In ag media, paid content is on the rise. Paulsen visited with four ag publishers to find out what marketers need to know about the topic.

1. Get on Board

According to John Ecke, vice president, digital products for Penton Agriculture Group, 60 to 70 percent of major customers are using native advertising. Among all customers, it’s closer to 15 to 25 percent.

“This year, the volume of advertisers we have running paid content or native advertising has risen significantly,” Ecke says. “More customers are talking about it and understanding it.”

Courtney Yuskis, digital engagement director at Meredith Agrimedia, says about 20 percent of their clients actively use paid content and another 40 to 45 percent are showing interest.

Paid content is expected to grow even more in the future. “We’re focusing on developing more products to satisfy the need for paid content,” said Ecke.

Although paid or native content is by definition not provided by or written by editors, it can be educational and informative.

“I see this area continue to grow and grow,” says Stephanie Gable, director of content services at Farm Journal Media. “As we continue to adopt this practice, I think we’re going to get a lot more innovative in how we do things like repurposing content, engaging our readers more, and closing that circle and taking it back to ROI.”

“Of all the things happening in marketing, this is the one area that is really going to change the way we market, and I think that can be really exciting,” Gable says.

Ready to begin? One caveat: It is helpful to have the assistance of an agency when embarking on paid content because of its complexity.

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