Revenue Generation Strategies Through Sponsored Articles for Media Organizations

By Muhammed Dalhatu

NAMIP held its first community event of the year on Thursday February 13, 2024, with Muyiwa Mátùlúkò, CEO of TechPoint Africa leading the session. TechPoint Africa is a digital media company that focuses on showcasing the best innovations from Africa through their publications, data, and events.

During the event, Muyiwa shared his insights on newsroom revenue generation strategies, specifically through sponsored articles for media organizations. In today’s ever-changing media landscape, newsrooms face the constant challenge of diversifying their revenue streams. While traditional advertising models still hold value, sponsored articles offer an effective tool to generate income while engaging audiences with informative and relevant content.

If you’re wondering what sponsored articles are and how you can leverage them to their full potential, Muyiwa guided the NAMIP community on this topic.

Sponsored articles are content pieces that newsrooms create in collaboration with brands to inform and educate readers while subtly promoting the brand’s message or product. For Techpoint’s customers, some of these pieces are considered thought leadership with a commercial twist as they integrate brand messaging within insightful and engaging journalism.

Understanding your niche audience is crucial for attracting brands whose values and target audience align with yours. When you do this, brands will prioritize reaching individuals similar to your readership, seeking to leverage your brand association and awareness. By analysing your audience’s demographics, interests, and online behaviour, you can tailor your offerings to attract brands that align with your values.

Muyiwa shared five tips to setting up sponsored articles and unlocking new revenue in 2024:

  1. Create a comprehensive sales rate card:

NAMIP previously called on the expertise of Carl Davis, Managing Director of MemeBurn to discuss Sales Strategies for Media organizations. TechPoint took note of such strategies by developing a comprehensive sales rate card is crucial to attracting impactful partnerships. The rate card should outline audience demographics, and pricing tiers based on article length, placement, and promotional options. Offering packages tailored to specific brand needs, such as lead generation, brand awareness, or SEO optimization, is a good idea. You can find more information about how to develop your sales strategies here.

2. SEO Optimization:

TechPoint capitalized on their strong SEO rankings to boost their sponsored article offering. By optimizing sponsored content with relevant keywords and incorporating backlinks to the brand’s website, you can generate organic traffic for both the brand and your newsroom. This strategy benefits everyone involved, driving website engagement and brand awareness simultaneously. You can find out more about SEO optimization strategies here.

3. Create a distinct section to avoid a mix up with internally generated content:

For Techpoint, this is called “Brand Press”. Sponsored articles offer more than just a sales conversion. Brands can leverage your platform to disseminate information swiftly and build brand awareness through Brand Press. This approach helps brands establish themselves as thought leaders and industry experts within your audience, fostering trust and long-term relationships. It is crucial to feature a distinct Brand Press section with a clear call to action, separating it from editorial content.

  1. Developing an effective payment method:

Streamlining the payment system is essential to attract and retain partners. Offering flexible payment options, clear invoices, and prompt responses to inquiries can help build trust and positive relationships with brands.

  1. Don’t forget to experiment:

Newsrooms should continuously innovate and experiment with different sponsored article formats, explore video integration, and actively seek feedback from brands and the audience. Incorporating valuable insights can continuously improve your offerings and drive the growth of your media platform.

Sponsored articles are a powerful tool for newsrooms to generate revenue while delivering valuable content to their audience. Building a strong sales strategy, leveraging SEO, understanding your niche, and prioritizing brand awareness alongside lead generation can create a win-win scenario for both your newsroom and your partners. A commitment to building trust and continuous innovation is key to unlocking the full potential of sponsored content, ensuring your newsroom thrives in the ever-changing media landscape.